Podcast Episode 071: Bushfires, Kids and Staying Safe Through Trauma with Psychologist Karen Young





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The one in which I share my family's brush with bushfires on New Years Eve 2019 and then explore the effects of calamity and catastrophe on children with psychologist and author Karen Young.

Welcome back to the Potential Psychology Podcast and our eighth season of the show. It's great to be back.

We've had a turbulent start to 2020 in Australia. We're no strangers to bushfire but as of as of 14 January 2020, fires this season have burnt an estimated 186,000 square kilometres (72,000 square miles), destroyed 2,779 homes) and killed at least 34 people. It's estimated that anywhere up to one billion animals have also died as a result of the fires.

News coverage of the disaster was global with graphic images of fire ravaged communities broadcast on every conceivable platform. It was all we could talk about. For weeks eastern parts of the country were swathed in smoke and for many communities lives have been turned upside down.

After our own escape from the fire affected NSW South Coast early in January I was keen to talk to an expert on the impact of these events on kids in particular. Karen Young, psychologist, author and expert on kids and anxiety joined me on the show and during our conversation I asked:

  • How should we talk to kids about catastrophic events?

  • What's a 'normal' reaction to trauma in kids - and what's not?

  • What happens in kids' minds when exposed to catastrophe or news of catastrophe?

  • Does age make a difference to the impact and how we talk to them about these events?

  • How can we as parents and carers help?

  • When should we worry?

  • And if we're worried - what should we do?

Karen shares her wisdom, knowledge and tips for parents and carers. She reminds us that kids are resilient and that our role is make them feel safe, even in the moments when we're not feeling so safe ourselves.

Join me as we kick off a new season and a new year with a personal conversation about fires, fear and the role of a parent.

Thanks to our partner for this episode PAFOW20 Sydney. Join me at PAFOW20 Sydney on March 3 & 4 2020 to Honour the Human Experience in the Age of AI & Perpetual Change.


This podcast is brought to you by:

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