People all over the world do experience some kind of trauma during their lives. Some may experience more than one trauma, and some may experience more intense trauma, but sooner or later we all experience trauma. Sadly, our children are not excluded. The first aim of this study, was to investigate the influence of trauma on the lives of children in their mid childhood years. The following questions were asked: · What are the specific developmental tasks for middle childhood, regarding their physical, cognitive, affective, social, religious, moral and esthetical development? · What about trauma is so traumatic? · Are there any recognisable and predicted effects, present in children who experienced trauma? · And last, but not least, how do children understand and experience a traumatic death? The second aim of this study was to develop a trauma counselling program for children who experienced a trauma. The program had to focus on the specific needs of children in their mid childhood years. In order to do this, the following points were looked at: · What is the current understanding of trauma? Are there any counselling programs for children available, and how do they work? · There are a vast majority of intervention techniques available, the most popular techniques – playtherapy, bibliotherapy, grouptherapy, arttherapy and narrative therapy, were briefly discussed. · Finally a graphic presentation of a new trauma counselling program was included. To see whether this trauma counselling program could help children to overcome posttraumatic symptoms and prevent posttraumatic stress-disorder, it was implemented during two case studies. · The first case study was a girl that had been bitten by dogs twice. As a result of this trauma, she developed an unnatural fear of dogs. The trauma counselling program was implemented, and after a few weeks the girl was able to conquer and control her fear of dogs. · The second case study was a boy who needed to accept his father’s suicide. The trauma counselling program was adapted to suit his specific needs, and once again the program helped the boy to understand and accept his father’s suicide. The success of these two case studies, lead to the acceptance of this study’s hypothesis, namely, that if one developed a trauma counselling program that are compatible with the needs of children in their mid childhood years, it will help children to accept and overcome trauma. Therefore posttraumatic stress symptoms will be reduced and post-traumatic disorder will be prevented.
Dissertation (MEd (Learning Support, Guidance and Counselling))--University of Pretoria, 2006.