Thanks to the UT School of Social Work in Austin , I had the pleasure of spending a day with Peter Levine, Ph.D and learning about his innovative approach to mental health treatment called Somatic Experiencing (SE). He has several books about how we store trauma in the body and how to release it, however, in our practice we use most of the techniques describe in “Trauma Proofing Your Kids” A Parents Guide by Peter A. Levine and Maggie Kline.

One of the many issues we see in children is grief, it’s amazing to me how often unresolved grief and trauma lead to clients coming to see us at Houston Therapy for Girls. One of the most common events in a child’s life is a pet dying. This short video by Maggie Kline describes the difference between grief and trauma. All grief is not traumatic, however, whenever there is trauma, there is grief states Maggie Kline.

Chapter VII of this book is extremely helpful if your child has had a loss or parents who are separating and/or divorcing. One part of the grieving process that is often left out and can keep kids stuck is the guilt they feel about the loss. Guilt is usually about a behavior they did to either cause the event or behaviors they perceive to have had an impact on the death.

I can remember my favorite cats death, Baci, like it was yesterday. Feeling that I could have done something to prevent this death, also called “magical thinking”, had me stuck for years after his death. This type of thinking prevented me from fully experiencing the grief process. After coming to terms with the fact that I was not there for him, in that moment, I began to forgive myself and finally grieve. Baci’s death was traumatic and resolving the trauma was the key to fully grieving.

To learn more about some great parenting resources check out more of these helpful videos at