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Apr 28, 2017 09:19 AM EDT

Supporting Students With Emotional Trauma [VIDEO]


Students who have undergone emotional trauma can be described as those whose attachment to an emotionally healthy caregiver have been severed during the early stages of their development. Another reason for the emotional disturbance could be a traumatic event in their lives when they were young which created a survival instinct in their brains causing them in a constant state of alarm.

Dr. Lori Desautels, an assistant professor at the College of Education at Butler University in Indianapolis and a private practice counselor, suggests three ideas to fellow educators in how to effectively deal with students suffering from emotional trauma.

Structured Emotional Support

Psychologist Raymond Wlodkowski developed a brain-aligned strategy called the 2X10 strategy where students can talk with their teachers about anything they are interested in for two minutes every day within a 10-day period. This conversation could either be in the form of a letter or face-to-face, whatever way is most comfortable with the student as long as the topic is G-rated.

According to Wlodkowski, they had seen an 85 percent improvement in the behavior of the most challenging students. More so, the general behavior of the whole class also improved.

Locked Journal For Their Personal Thoughts

A journal allows a person to pour out their emotions and thoughts without fear of discrimination. A locked journal gives students an added feeling of security knowing their private thoughts are locked safely. The journal becomes a trusted friend and can be an avenue to other creative forms of expressions.

Personalized Notes

For a student who is in a negative brain state start learning, educators need to regulate the student's behavior first. Desautels said that educators must be sensitive to the emotional temperature of students and let them know that they are always there when students needed them. The best way to do this, she added, is to create personalized notes for students that affirm or remind them. This way, the teacher maintains the connection with their students.

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