While trauma is prevalent across cultures, trauma symptoms may manifest differently depending on the culture. Culture may also influence how individuals view trauma and how they talk about it. In addition, it may impact who is involved in the child’s treatment. Culture provides context for a child’s trauma experiences and reactions.
When working with children with trauma, the therapist should have a good understanding of both their own culture and the child’s. The therapist should also be aware of their own “blind spots,” biases, and stereotypes. It is recommended that the therapist do research about the child’s culture and community, and seek consultation if needed. It’s important to note that there may be variations within a specific culture. Treatment should be tailored to provide examples that are relevant to the child’s own culture.
We highly recommend reading resources from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN).