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Trauma Informed Newsletter - DECEMBER 2015 Edition

CREATING A SENSE OF SAFETY

Hello again,
This month's featured topic is "Creating A Sense of Safety". Highlights include key vocabulary, concepts, questions, and self-care. It is difficult at this time of year for staff to consider safety, when students are anxious and restless, as we approach the holidays and winter break. It is twice the challenge to maintain safety for those students, who are hypervigilant. However, creating a sense of safety is a crucial component of being a Trauma Informed school.

From last month's edition, we learned that trauma has changed the brain structures of our student so their worldview is one of constant threat and danger. When students are triggered they re-experience the fear and terror in their bodies. The prefrontal cortex goes off-line and students respond in primitive ways, because the limbic system in their brain takes over. This is an adaptive response; our brains were designed to do this to keep us safe. However, the student's primitive response often looks like manipulation, defiance, and aggression and our tendency then is to respond with external controls (focusing on behavior.) This may keep students safe, but it doesn't build capacity in our students. Our mantra should be, "mentor, not monitor."

Lastly, don't forget to take care of yourself. It certainly has been a challenging fall/winter, and often we are the ones absorbing the stresses around us. Please take some time for yourself over the break and don't forget to engage in self-care activities that are renewing to you.
See you again in the next edition next year!
Beethoven - Silence

Your Friendly Social Workers

HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY
AND
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!



*References available upon request.