Critical training to better protect, support, and heal vulnerable children



series: emotional wellbeing of children by Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD, Richard P. Brown, MD
& Somiari Demm, MA/M.Div, CYT, CTS


It's very important for children to know that wherever they may be, they have a way to calm themselves down. Because we're not always there to help them do it, so we like to give them something that they always have with them and for that we use the flower candle, and especially young children, but even some of the middle aged children, like to use the flower candle. It's a great way to teach them coherent breathing.

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So they have a magic finger and of course their fingers always with them and they can take out their magic finger. We have them first imagine that it's a beautiful flower and we say smell your flower, but smell it very softly and gently, and then we have them breathe out. It turns into a candle. Blow out the candle, but again, very softly and gently and so by slowly breathing in and gently breathing out, we teach them coherent or resonant breathing and we explained to them that whenever they're feeling worried or afraid, they always have their magic flower candle to help them.

So Haley let's take our magic finger. We'll put it right near the nose. then first your magic finger is a beautiful flower, and what you want to do is very slowly and very gently smell your flower. Good. And when you get ready to breathe out, it turns into a candle. And so you're going to very slowly and gently blow out your candle. We're not going to go [...]. no, we want to really gently, even more softly because it's a magic candle. We have to blow it out very gently.

So let's do that together. Smell your flower. Blow out your candle. Smell your flower. Blow out your candle. Gently smell your flower softly blow out your candle.

Smell your flower. Blow out your candle. gently. Smell your flower, blow out your candle. Gently smell. Softly blow out your candle. Gently smell your flower. Blow out the candle. Magic flower. And as you do it even slower and softer, breathe it gently. Blow it softly. Breathe it gently. Blow it softly.

Now you can put your magic flower away and when ever you need it, you will have it with you no matter what. Thank you.

So how was that? How did that feel? Good. It felt good? Yeah,

like I felt when I was breathing, I was breathing out all the toxins and like bad things. My body like out. So you must feel really good because you breathed that a lot of things and breathing in the sweet scent of that flower is fresh and natural. Breathing in nature and healthy things. Okay, so try out your magic finger and see how it works for you.


Dr. Patricia Gerbarg

Patricia L. Gerbarg, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor in Psychiatry, New York Medical College. Dr. Gerbarg has lectured and taught about a wide range of topics in psychiatry, psychoanalysis, women’s issues, trauma, neurobiology, natural treatments (herbs, nutrients), and the integration...

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of mind-body practices in psychotherapy for the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Meetings and many other conferences, academic centers, and community organizations.She serves on the APA Caucus on Complementary and Integrative Psychiatry and is a board member of the American Botanical Council.

Dr. Gerbarg practices Integrative Psychiatry, combining standard and complementary treatments. Her research focuses on mind-body practices for reducing the effects of stress and trauma, particularly in survivors of mass disasters, including the Southeast Asia Tsunami, 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, war in Sudan, Gulf Horizon Oil Spill, veterans, and stress-related medical illnesses.


Dr. Richard P. Brown

Dr. Richard P. Brown is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons where he obtained his medical degree 1977. The recipient of numerous awards, he has authored over 100 scientific articles,...

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books, and book chapters on pharmacological treatments, clinical studies, and complementary and integrative treatments in psychiatry.

Dr. Brown developed a comprehensive neurophysiological theory of the effects of breathing exercises on the mind and body, particularly its benefits in anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Dr. Brown gives over 100 lectures and courses every year. Since 1998, he has taught full-day courses on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as well as Mind-Body trainings for the American Psychiatric Association, other national and international conferences, veterans, and community service programs.


Somiari Demm, MA/M.Div, CYT, CTS

Somiari is a certified trauma specialist, a certified yoga teacher, and a certified breath body and mind teacher. Her areas of concentration include children and adolescents, trauma, mindfulness, and spirituality. She is a passionate scholar-practitioner in the...

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field of clinical psychology who has divided her time betweenclinical practice, training, workshops, and consulting. As a mental health practitioner, she uses mindfulness cognitive behavioral therapy (MCBT) and other evidence-based practices to help adolescent and adult clients with a wide range of emotional, and behavioral issues.

Somiari has received extensive training in the treatment of addiction, mental illnesses, affect regulation, and trauma. In her consulting work, she has provided bullying, violence, and trauma training for elementary and residential schools. In addition to clinical practice, for 3 years she worked as a consultant counseling Chibok girls that escaped Boko Haram.Somiari has been interviewed by 60-Minutes, CNN, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, BBC, and Aljareeza.

As a trauma thriver, her life experiences have fostered her love of, and dedication to the mental health field. Following the words of Gandhi, she believes that “purity of life is the highest and truest art.” Somiari also believes she is here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. Through her work, she is enriching the world through love, healing, and peace


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