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  • What is Children’s Accelerated Trauma Treatment (CATT)?
    This is a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) technique which uses a play therapy approach to explore and shift Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) type symptoms displayed by children in response to a situational event, for example: a car crash, one-off attack, or witnessing a burglary. After being part of events like these affected children may begin to manifest disorganized or agitated behavior, which may reflect recurrent, intrusive and distressing recollections of the event. The child may struggle to focus in class, be tearful or suffer recurrent nightmares. Re-enactment of the event can be triggered by small things -- even a colour -- that remind the child of the original trauma. If this happens the child may begin to diminish its participation with peers, suffer a sense of detachment, show a sense of a bleak future or exhibit an exaggerated startle response.

    Like a computer, if a traumatic life event, challenge or setback happens to an individual, their brain (like a hard drive) can get ‘stuck’ thinking about it. This can take place on a subconscious level so sufferers aren’t even aware where the problem comes from. The brain will re-read it or misplace it causing sufferers to feel troubled without apparent cause. Neurologically, such events sometimes get stuck in the deeper ‘reptilian’ part of our brain rather than being processed and stored by the higher ‘mammalian’ brain. This can leave a person feeling too defeated, anxious, overwhelmed or too full of feelings to think clearly. This is the state we can work through in a therapeutic setting. It is like restarting a computer and clearing the hard drive and reformatting the machine. The brain then begins to work more smoothly and functions improve. Counseling enables those who are counselled to more easily come to terms with unpleasant experiences.