Childhood Trauma

Childhood Trauma

Childhood Trauma

The Foundation’s primary objective is to look at “Childhood Trauma” predominantly in the context of its links to “Hearing Voices” and “Paranoia”.

A history of Trauma is evident in 85% of young people who hear voices.

Statistics also show that a “high percentage” of people who are extremely disabled with distressing voices, regularly experience episodes of paranoia.

How do we define Trauma?

  • An injury or wound violently produced; or
  • An emotional experience or shock that has a lasting psychic effect.

Types of Trauma 1

        1. Single Blow Trauma – natural disasters, technological disasters, acts of terrorism, violent crime.
        2. Repeated Trauma – Combat trauma, political or other imprisonment, some forms of emotional, physical or sexual abuse.

Types of Trauma 2

        1. Natural Trauma – Unintentional injury, accident, act of God. Sometimes described as trauma of “facility”.
        2. Man Made Trauma – More likely to be prolonged and is harder to bear. Trauma dealt by a person. Sometimes described as trauma of “agency”.

Types of Trauma 3

        1. If someone falls and breaks a leg, that is “facility”. If someone intentionally breaks another person’s leg, that is “agency”.
        2. The most extreme trauma entails an attitude of malevolent intent on the part of the perpetrator.

General Population

        • 10% of women and 5% of men are likely to suffer PTSD.
        • 33.3% will have symptoms lasting several months.
        • Those most vulnerable – those with inadequate social support, survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

There have been many studies done on the issue of Trauma:

The four big studies (2003-2006) are:

        • Janssen et al
        • Bebbington et al
        • Spataro et al
        • Whitefield et al

The effects of Childhood Trauma on the developing brain

        • Overactivity of hypothalamic – pituitary – adrenal (HPA) axis
        • Abnormalities in neurotransmitter systems (especially dopamine)
        • Hippocampal damage
        • Cerebral atrophy
        • Reverse cerebral asymmetry


When working with someone who has experienced trauma:

Three important questions should be asked:

        1. How have you got here? (what happened?)
        2. Who are you?
        3. What’s your biggest fear?

Three main points to remember before engagement

        1. Truth
        2. Trust
        3. Consent

More important points when working with a person’s fear and trauma

        1. The person must want help
        2. Trust – professionals assume trust but you cannot do that.
        3. Aspects of trust – Show the person that you are not frightened of their fear.
        4. Infantism – they continue to use infantile emotions and strategies.
        5. Security – Provide security in later life that wasn’t present through trauma.
        6. Rational thought – Fear stops rational thought.
        7. Fogging – A person will use fogging as they see it as too dangerous when they are focussing on the most fearful.
        8. Lots of boxes – Go through the layers with their consent at the rate they wish to go through them, from least problematic to the most difficult.
        9. Avoidance – The person they won’t talk about or identify is the person they most fear.
        10. Changing power – If the abuser is still bigger, change the infantism, they are still addressing a child’s fear.
        11. Abandoned – Children abused by a third party are often confused as to where the parent role was.

Where/How can I learn more?

The Foundation runs training workshops on Childhood Trauma. Go to Training Courses, for more details of available programs and courses.

Also, go to Resources for details of publications and links to other websites

We are constantly updating our resources and information, so join our mailing list so we can keep you up to date.


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