Overcoming Trauma and Fear

This is a case history of a 7 year old child, who was trying to deal with trauma and fear. Names have been changed to protect confidentiality. My sincere thanks are offered to the parents for allowing us to share their very personal journey.

Young B was a normally happy and very active little fellow. During a 6 month period his grand mother was diagnosed with cancer and as a result his mum spent a lot of time away from the family home. Obviously the physical changes in B’s most precious Nan were quite confronting for him. Also at this time the devastating effects both financially and emotionally of the drought were starting to become evident. Bushfires were only kilometers away and we where blanketed by the smoke during the day for weeks and could see the flames by night. On New Year ’s Eve during a massive storm, lightning hit a tree in our paddocks and started a fire. With this came the immediate trauma of fire engines, panic and mayhem.

The issues:

  • B would not sleep in his room on his own, he would wake screaming and become violent both verbally and physically when trying to put him back to bed.
  • During the day he wouldn’t go anywhere (inside or outside) without being able to see me and was very argumentative with all family members.
  • B was very disruptive in the classroom, couldn’t stay still or take instructions and actually fell asleep in class. He didn’t respond to any form of teaching.

The results:

  • February, I discovered the Goulding SleepTalk for Children process and began using the foundation process.
  • By mid March B was starting to go to sleep, but still with me sitting on his bed. He would at least sleep in his own bed all night and the teachers were reporting improvement in his behaviour at school.
  • By the end of March Bs daytime ‘tantrums’ were becoming much less frequent and he was going to sleep on his own and sleeping all night.
  • April: B continues to sleep well, and if he does wake in the night, he’s happy to go back to sleep in his own bed. He is moving around on his own a lot better and he is responding the teachers a lot more readily.
  • May: Introduced 2 ‘specifics’ with help from Joane. “You are confident, positive and calm; learning is good, interesting and fun”.
  • June: End of school term and his parent/teacher interview was amazing. The teachers told us he’d improved 1000 percent!
  • July: B continues to improve in all areas. He moves around, inside and outside, quite freely and independently and his general happiness is fantastic.
  • Added to siblings statements “B loves you”.
  • October: Bs behavior is consistent, his cooperation with the family is fantastic and he adds valuable contributions to conversation and play.
  • December: I have changed B’s suggestion to ‘you’re safe, secure, confident, positive and calm. N loves you, you treat others as you would be treated’.
  • Feb-May: I stopped SleepTalk for these months and by May started to notice signs of regression in B’s behavior and sense of self. So I resumed SleepTalk with almost immediate results just with the ‘Foundation’ process. The immediate results are nothing short of fantastic, with improvement continuing. No, I wasn’t really surprised, but excited to enhance my experiences with sleep talk and so easily make an effective difference for my little man!
  • Now I continue with SleepTalk, only adding N loves you to the ‘Foundation’ process at this point. I am pleased with the feedback but will stick with this suggestion for a little longer, my next idea will be to reuse, ‘you treat others as you would be treated.

Comments: Simply, where would my family be without the Goulding SleepTalk process? Given the enormity of the primary reason for starting – the answer is “On the scrapheap with a mentally ill mother and similarly affected children.”