To Play, Learn, and Think: Understanding and Mitigating the Effects of Exposure to Violent Events on the Cognitive Capacity of Children and Adolescents

The paper highlights the usefulness of psychodynamic approach in alleviating symptoms of trauma in children exposed to violent events through an example of a psychodynamic program in New York City. Research on the effects of exposure to real-life violent events point to resulting difficulties in cognitive capacity. This creates difficulties for schoolchildren in thinking and learning. Children who live in ongoing violence cannot wait until better times make it possible to reduce symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and ensure safety. Instead, psychodynamic programs can assist them to improve their capacity for symbol formation while they continue to live in an uncertain world.

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