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Children and Art Therapy

             It is described as experiences or situations that are emotionally painful and distressing, and that overwhelm people's ability to cope. Children and adults experience trauma in different ways. A child's brain is putting a lot more energy than usual into keeping him or her functioning, while at the same time it is processing horrible thoughts, and trying to suppress them. This takes resources away from the rest of their body and brain. Children's ability to cope with minor stressors is greatly reduced, and small things may be too much to handle in normal ways. Children need a safe environment created for them in order to help them properly heal. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety, but any situation that leaves someone feeling overwhelmed and alone can be traumatic, even if it doesn't involve physical harm. The child's subjective emotional experience of the event determines whether or not the event is traumatic. The more frightened and helpless the child feels, the more likely he or she is to be traumatized ("What is trauma?").
             The foundation of the neurobiology of trauma is really the neurobiology of fear. When a human being experiences a traumatic event, there are dramatic changes to the brain and how it functions. The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that gives people the ability to reason through things. Adolescents do not have full frontal lobe development. It is a part of the brain that is .
             sensitive and delicate. Trauma has a significant impact on the ability of the frontal lobe to do its job. When someone experiences a trauma the brain starts to trigger the prior traumatic experiences so their brain goes quickly into a terror mode. The frontal lobes degrade in their functioning much earlier and the amygdala, the part of the brain where fear stems from, is firing like crazy (Dr. David Lisak). When a child experiences a trauma he or she will regress to behaviors of earlier ages such as, baby talk, playing with younger toys, or silly behaviors.

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