Tips for Dealing with Trauma

By Talia Filippelli, LCSW

In the wake of the Hoboken train crash, I thought everyone might be in need of a quick refresher course on how to deal with the “tough stuff” that happens in life. Experiencing a traumatic incident either first-hand or through secondary means such as watching the news can be difficult to cope with. The symptoms are not always obvious initially – but can reveal themselves several days or weeks after the initial incident.

Here are a few things to keep an eye out for in yourselves and your children:
  • Increased fear associated with public transportation
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Frequent mood changes.
What can you do for yourself?
Understand the golden rule of emotions….How you cope with any changes, and your attitude toward them, will ultimately determine how the changes impact you.
Talking to kids:
  1. Listen to your child’s feelings rather than trying to control the conversation.
  2. Acknowledge and normalize your child’s statements by saying something like this: “It sounds like you are worried about mommy/daddy getting to work” or “It’s okay to feel that way.”
  3. Be neutral. Don’t judge, criticize, or minimize your child’s feelings. Make comments like: “That’s interesting” or “Tell me more about it” or “What do you mean by that?”
  4. Express your own feelings without alarming your child. Talk to an adult to vent your no-filter feelings.
When to seek professional help:
If symptoms are interfering with your or your child’s regular activities (going to school/work, spending time with friends), then you may need more help. Feel free to call us at 201-218-7431 or with questions and to discuss treatment options.