Trauma impacts the brain and the body. When a child is hurt, her body, her brain, and her soul are hurt. Trauma impacts relationships, and early relationships impact a child's resilience related to trauma. To provide best care for kids who have experienced trauma, we must be mindful of our kids’ heart, mind, soul, and strength. Parents must model the sacrificial love of Christ even in the really difficult moments. When parents do this task well, children learn safety and trust. We were created in the image of the Triune God who existed in community before He ever created the world. We are not isolated beings, and neither are our kids. We need fellowship and relationships with others, and our kids from “hard places” desperately need safe, healthy, consistent relationships with parents and caregivers. Parents must strive to provide this love, safety, and connection with their kids and model healthy relationships in other areas of their lives. Our goal in parenting kids who have experienced trauma should be to model Christ’s love and to help create a base from which each child’s identity is firmly grounded in Christ Jesus. We must remember there are no quick fixes with traumatic loss and attachment problems, and merely changing behaviors will not heal deep wounds. The common grace given to us through research and experienced, well-trained clinicians is an essential component to healing traumatic loss and deep wounds. Our goal must be nothing less than healing for the whole child – and ultimate healing by grace through faith in Christ alone. By combining trauma informed care-giving with safe, consistent, loving parents, we can give children the gift of real hope, as we teach them about and direct them toward the source of everlasting hope in Jesus Christ. Join Dr. Karen Hutcheson as she speaks about trauma, the brain, attachment, and the Bible.
Dr. Karen Hutcheson is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. She specializes in the assessment and treatment of kids from "hard places." Her work focuses on helping children and adolescents from foster care, international adoption, domestic adoption and their forever families. Dr. Karen was a missionary in Uganda and is an adoptive mother and an orphan care advocate. She speaks regularly at national adoption conferences, provides clinical consultation and training in orphan care settings domestically and internationally, and provides global missionary member care. She is professionally trained in Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI)®, Theraplay®, and EMDR. Dr. Karen is also the Director of Discipleship and Training at Scarlet Hope in Louisville, Kentucky.