This blog has monthly updates regarding trauma exposure and recovery in young people and their families.
It includes news, practical tools, and key insights from research findings.
My interest in ‘children and trauma’ was born when I worked at the Childline, an anonymous Dutch telephone service. I was intrigued by children’s resilience and their perspectives on life.
After a ‘cum laude’ PhD at the Dutch National Psychotrauma Center for Children and Youth and Utrecht University, a combination of grant successes allowed me to establish the Trauma Recovery Lab at MUARC (Monash University, Australia).
In the Lab we use a variety of methods to unravel the mechanisms that underlie child and family responses to trauma.For example, with the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR; on iPods), we audio sample parent-child communication shortly after trauma. It allows us to understand the nature of family interactions and how these relate to children’s and parents’ wellbeing.
An important goal of our projects is to inform professional education and policy reform. We work with emergency professionals to understand and improve how they support children exposed to trauma. We work with child protection teams and policy makers on the topic of fatal domestic violence and its consequences for young people. Our team’s work has recently led to awards from the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and the World Economic Forum.
I am a member and past-Co-Chair of the Global Young Academy (GYA). The GYA provides a rallying point for early- and mid-career scientists from around the world to address topics of global importance. The GYA has 200 members, who serve a 5-year term. A recent GYA initiative is the More Open Access Pledge.