WHEN CHILDREN ‘ACT OUT’, DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY
series: emotional wellbeing of children by Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD, Richard P. Brown, MD
& Somiari Demm, MA/M.Div, CYT, CTS
In terms of caregivers dealing with children or adults who have such problems, they may take these inappropriate or maladaptive behaviors as something personally meant to provoke them or bring them down from a position of authority or they may take it as this person needs me to rescue them from themselves or from other things. And that's not what's happening. It's not a personal thing.
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So one of the first things I try to explain to caretakers is: don't take it personally. Don't see an intention behind the mistakes this person is making. They're making it. They're making this mistake because they have no other way of releasing, or dealing with this very unpleasant feeling they have. And you need to exercise compassion to understand why they're doing this. And you may need to contain them within limits-- Not to hurt them or spank them or re-traumatize them, but to help them learn that there is a way of being centered and self soothing. So you need to practice these things so that you're in a much more centered place.
Everyone wants to feel more powerful and the problem is traumatized. People feel totally disempowered and helpless and vulnerable and many of their activities are an attempt to feel stronger and more powerful again, but it often backfires and hurts them.
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