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The May Childhood Trauma Newsletter

What's on my mind?

Spring is in full swing where I live, and getting outside more is doing wonders for my nervous system. On the other hand, allergies!! I'm so tired that I feel like I need a nap every day. Since I don't have the time to do that, I've been taking 10-20 minutes to practice Non-Sleep Deep Relaxation (NSDR), which is a game-changer for my energy levels. Instead of waking up from a nap groggy and more tired, NSDR helps me get the mental rest I need to feel revived and energized for the rest of the day. Before practicing NSDR, it's essential to know that mindfulness practices can activate a trauma response. You can look at my previous newsletter about trauma-informed mindfulness for tips on feeling grounded during mindfulness practices.

Newsletter update

I’ve decided to send this newsletter bi-monthly, meaning you will receive it every other month. If you want my most current updates, stay tuned to Beth Tyson Trauma Consulting on Facebook and LinkedIn where I post frequently.

Nominations Needed

Do you know someone making a remarkable impact in creating trauma-responsive change in our world? I am currently taking nominations for a Trauma Champion to highlight in July. Please submit your recommendations to by June 1, 2023. This newsletter reaches over 10K people a month and is a great way to spread awareness about people doing the real work to help children.


May is National Trauma and Mental Health Awareness Month, and I’ve teamed up with and to bring you an incredible lineup of FREE virtual events.

I will host a FREE webinar on Thursday, May 18th, from 11 - 12 EST.

It’s called “Helping Children Cope with Ambiguous Loss,” and in it, you will learn:

1. The theory and symptoms of ambiguous loss

2. Why we must address it in children

3. How to implement loss awareness practices in your organization or family to prevent and heal this invisible type of trauma

Save your spot now and REGISTER HERE. and are volunteer coalitions to make every state in U.S. trauma-responsive and healing-centered. Check out the events taking place for FREE throughout May, and learn how you can get involved in creating safer communities where you live.

WeHealUS events this week:

MAY 2: Attend Resilience Through Trauma with Jennifer Ozgur at noon ET. REGISTER HERE.

MAY 3: Join Parenting From an Attachment Perspective with Collectively Rooted at 12 noon ET. REGISTER HERE.

MAY 4: Explore Therapeutic Instruments with Collectively Rooted at 2 pm ET. REGISTER HERE.

MAY 5: Join YouthMove PA IN PERSON in Harrisburg for their “Let’s Talk About Stigma” event from 9 am-3 pm ET. REGISTER HERE.

For more events, go to


Looking to connect with others and learn more about childhood trauma? You can join my private Facebook group, Emotiminds. It is like an online classroom and support group for people like you.


For children exposed to trauma, Mother's Day can resurface feelings of the ultimate rejection they experienced in early life. They may not remember the loss and abandonment with narrative memories, but they will likely experience it implicitly. Early separation from biological parents is traumatic for the child, and they may have deep-rooted shame from hidden thoughts like:

"If my mother doesn't love me, who possibly could?"

"If she could abandon me, who can I trust?"

"Without my mom here, who will take care of me?" and

"Without her, who am I?"

"Separation from our mothers is a life-and-death situation for a species that relies on caregivers for survival." - Beth Tyson

It is common to think we are at fault for the negative behavior of people who are supposed to love us unconditionally. As babies and young children, we believe we cause what happens to us. Especially vulnerable to these thoughts are young children who are unable to verbalize their emotions and fully comprehend trauma, substance abuse, and death.

This Mother's Day, I would like to pause for a moment and ask if there is a better way to approach this holiday that validates the experiences of those who have lost the relationship with the person who gave them life.


  • Acknowledge, with words and actions, that Mother's Day might be hard for someone you know. This validation can make a huge impact. When we understand a person's experience with empathy instead of judgment, we open the door to healing. Suddenly, someone who feels misunderstood and lost knows that someone else in their life "gets it." This can be incredibly powerful for those without mothers because we often feel isolated in the feelings we experience related to Mother's Day.

  • Instead of shying away from the topic of mom on Mother's Day, embrace it. Ask if they want to talk about her. Bring up happy memories while also validating the painful ones. Nobody is all bad or all good. Integrating our mothers' negative and positive aspects can prevent harmful binary thinking in future relationships. Grab an old photo album and head to your favorite spot with a friend or family member who is grieving.

  • You might offer activities on Mother's Day that respect missing mothers. Even if the mom abused or neglected her children, there is a likely chance they still love her. Mother's Day is as much for the child as it is for the mother. Help the child find something positive about their mom. For example: “I know your mom has problems, but she also made the best lasagna. Would you like me to teach you how to make lasagna for dinner tonight?" Follow the child's lead and don't offer if it doesn't seem like a good fit.

  • If a mother is no longer alive or in the child's life, you can participate in a hobby she loved or visit somewhere she enjoyed going. For those who never knew their mother and had no relationship with her, we can point out the qualities she passed down to them—the beautiful color of their hair, their kind heart, and their ability to climb and play.

  • Ask the child if they want to make a card or write a letter to the mom even though she will not receive it. Creating something for our moms can help us feel connected to her spirit. It helps us to know that we did something to acknowledge her existence instead of ignoring it. Despite the reasons behind our separation, I can't stress enough that most people will always long for the affection of their mothers. Being adopted at birth is NO exception. We have an instinctual longing for our biological mothers built into our psyche that exists beyond time and circumstances. Although it may be uncomfortable for you as a functioning parent to accept this, it could cause harm to deny these profound feelings. After many years of research, we know that children do better when they stay connected to their biological parents in some way, even if it's an indirect relationship like honoring their culture or heritage. The safety and wishes of the child always come first. Don't push anything on them if they seem uncomfortable.

  • Call a friend or family member without a mom on Mother's Day to say you are thinking of her. Share stories about their mom and let them know you miss her too. As someone without my mom, I am already sad, and bringing her up won't do more damage. Sometimes people shy away from talking about the deceased or missing out of fear that they will trigger grief or distress, but the opposite is frequently true. I find peace when I speak the names of my loved ones out loud. After the tears fall, a sense of relief and calm washes over me.

We can't expect to be able to stop the flooding pain of mother loss, but we can be a container for a loved one when it starts to overflow. Be willing to listen and be present with the feelings that come up when Mother's Day presses on the wound of the motherless.

I can't speak for everyone, and I realize that some people will not want to acknowledge their mother on Mother's Day. We must trust our intuition and do what is best for our family's well-being. A good rule of thumb is to follow the child's lead and never force anyone to participate in activities that don't feel right to them regarding their relationship with their biological family. To learn more about mother loss and how to help children cope with Mother's Day, read my full article HERE.


Hope Landrine, Ph.D

Bio copied from the American Psychological Association -

Hope Landrine, Ph.D., was the director of the Center for Health Disparities and a professor of psychology and public health at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. Her research focused on social and cultural factors in African-American disparities in chronic diseases and health behaviors. Specifically, she examined the role of residential segregation, community poverty, racial discrimination, and African-American acculturation in cancer and cardiovascular diseases and their associated health behaviors, including smoking, physical activity, diet, substance use, and cancer screening.

Dr. Hope Landrine was an expert in health psychology and public health. In 1992, she published "The Politics of Madness," which presented her research on societal inequities in diagnosing and categorizing psychiatric disorders. This was some of the first scientific data that showed that stereotypes of women, people living in poverty, and racial and ethnic minorities were likely affecting psychiatric diagnoses and helping to maintain the inequities already present in society. Dr. Landrine frequently applied a public health lens to psychology and psychiatry and argued that the field of psychology's focus on decontextualized individuals is insufficient for understanding overall health. Sadly, Dr. Landrine died in 2019, but her legacy will change the future of systemic and racial trauma.


Last week, I presented at the 6th Annual Trauma Prevention Conference on the impact of childhood trauma across the lifespan. I also delivered a 4-hour training to the Wichita Children’s Home on implementing ambiguous loss awareness across their 17 programs supporting children with trauma.

Next will be my free event, Helping Children Cope with Ambiguous Loss, on May 18th from 11-12 pm EST! Please share this link with friends and colleagues who want to learn how to support children's mental health.

I’ve teamed up with the courageous foster moms at to provide a digital course on childhood trauma for mentors of children aging out of the foster care system. Learn more about them on Instagram and LinkedIn.

I am wrapping up content creation on a brand new course on attachment and childhood trauma for I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

In July, I will travel to Mississippi alongside the National Center on Adoption and Permanency (NCAP) and Unbelievably Resilient to represent ConnectOurKids in the rollout of a new trauma-informed statewide child welfare program on how relationships heal/prevent trauma.

Phew! I need some NSDR just writing about it.

As a reminder, if you know a teen or young adult who wants to understand childhood trauma and loss from an engaging and entertaining perspective, check out ConnectOurKid’s animated All Connected Academy on YouTube. I am one of the content creators of the academy, and we are currently working on season two.

Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter today. I’m so honored that you spent the last few moments with me.

If you think my work is helpful, please forward this newsletter to a friend, colleague, or family member so it can reach those who need it most. If someone sent you this email, you can also receive it for free in your inbox by subscribing to

Keep showing up in authenticity for children, Trauma Champions, and remember the difference one person can make in the life of a child. Thank you for the irreplaceable and crucial work you do! I appreciate you.

Quote of the month:

"Your most frequent complaint about a loved one reveals your greatest emotional need, not their greatest flaw." - Dr. Brie from

With hope and grief,


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I've spent thousands of hours and thousands of dollars writing my blog (ad free) and advocating for children's mental health. I also donate my children's book, A Grandfamily to Sullivan, to grandfamilies and non-profit organizations without receiving funding. In order to continue to do this work I need your support. Please consider donating to me to keep my mission alive! No amount is too small. I am so grateful for all of you who inspire me and encourage me to keep fighting for children's mental health every day! 

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