Coping with Medical Traumatic Stress

What do mental health professionals need to know about pediatric medical traumatic stress? How can mental health professionals improve their collaboration with medical providers around pediatric medical traumatic stress? What resources and tools are available for professionals working with children and families who have experienced pediatric medical traumatic stress? This resource guide is one source that can support mental health professionals with these questions and more.


This resource guide is designed to help psychosocial professionals who are working with children and families impacted by illness or injury.

 Therapist Resource Guide to Medical Traumatic Stress



Trauma can be both a medical and psychological event in the eyes of children and families experiencing serious illnesses, injuries, or painful procedures. By enhancing patient centered care with trauma informed care, health care providers can reduce the impact of difficult or frightening medical events, and help children and families cope with emotional reactions to illness and injury.

How Doctors and Nurses Make a Difference with Trauma Informed Care

Healthcare providers are experts in treating illness and saving lives. After attending to the basics of physical health (A-B-C: Airway, Breathing, Circulation), you can promote psychosocial recovery by paying attention to the D-E-F (Distress, Emotional Support, Family).

What is Trauma Informed Care?

Trauma-informed care shares many principles with patient centered care. However, trauma informed care incorporates an awareness of the impact of traumatic stress on ill or injured children and families as a part of treating the medical aspects of the trauma.

Last Updated (Tuesday, November 3, 2015)



Building Resilience In Spite of Adverse Childhood Experiences

By now, you know ACE is an acronym for more than brand of bandages and toxic stress has nothing to do with chemicals. Maybe you also know that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) often leave a lasting negative impact on a child's mental and physical health. What can be done to change course?

Read more ...
Addressing the Problems You Can't Fix

The road to implementing trauma informed care in a hospital is paved with obstacles. There's never enough time. Patient's emotions, especially during times of high stress, can be difficult or uncomfortable. Emotions are not reimbursable by insurance. Inability to fix or help solve a patient's problem. 

Read more ...
Improving Medical Care for Autistic Patients and Families

What does the experience of a doctor visit or ER visit look like to a child with Autism?   How can we make those visits less stressful for the child the family?

Read more ...
Are Empathy, Family Centered, and Trauma Informed Care All the Same?

Maybe you've completed a course in empathy. Or follow your hospital's family centered care guidelines exactly, every time, with every patient encounter. So of course, without a doubt, you're practicing trauma informed care…right? 

Read more ...