MEDIA — Psychotherapist and Trauma Consultant Beth Tyson will offer a free webinar, “Understanding Childhood Trauma, and How to Help Children and Teens Recover,” 1-2:30 pm Tuesday, March 29. The webinar will specifically highlight methods of identifying and helping children impacted in various ways by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Trauma is a common experience,” Tyson, a resident of Delaware County who specializes in childhood grief and trauma counseling, explained. “In fact, all children have experienced a potentially traumatizing event from the impact of the pandemic and Covid-19. Some have been affected more than others, based on the support system they have, their previous history of trauma, and whether or not they lost a loved one to the virus.”
The webinar, hosted by http://OperationParent.org, a non-profit that teaches parents/caregivers about children’s mental health, has over 800 people already signed up, including parents, foster, kinship, and adoptive caregivers, substance abuse prevention organizations , teachers, counselors, and law enforcement. Representatives of non-profit organizations serving children and families are also attending. A certificate of completion will be available to those who need a record of their attendance, such as foster parents and volunteers or employees who work with children.
“Right now we are in the middle of a children’s mental health crisis with the rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide attempts skyrocketing over the last two years due to trauma and loss of safety caused by the pandemic, and social unrest,” Tyson stated . “Adults need the information in this webinar if they want to help the children in their lives navigate these mental health challenges successfully.”
The webinar coincides with the release of Tyson’s latest book, “Where Social Work Can Lead You,” which came out Friday. Co-authored with social worker Jessica Hoeper, the book, published through Exalted Publishing House, is a compilation of real life stories by 24 authors, including Tyson, from around the country, from a variety of backgrounds, sharing an inside look at their social work career.
“In my chapter I wrote about my personal experiences with grief, loss, and trauma throughout my childhood and adulthood, and how these experiences led me to work in a helping profession tied closely to social work,” Tyson stated. “I share how in the beginning I didn’t feel capable of helping families who needed and deserved exceptional care, but through my mentors, training, and inner strength, I found the courage to keep going. I also share about what I learned from my time working as a partner with the child welfare system, and how it shifted my perspective on life and parenthood.”
Each contributing author shares about their upbringing, their educational journey, and their career in, around, and even out of social work. The book provides “pearls of wisdom” from each author at the end of each chapter to share with the readers something valuable they learned through their career experience.
“It’s the perfect book for career changers, students, and those interested in finding out what it’s really like to be a social worker,” Tyson explained.
The book’s proceeds will benefit the House of Providence, a non-profit organization that, according to Tyson, is leading the way in how children are cared for in residential foster care. House of Providence is a temporary home for youth who have experienced extensive childhood trauma from being part of the child welfare system. These children have bounced from foster family to foster family due to the trauma they experienced and require mental health support to help them move forward. House of Providence provides a caring environment and trauma therapy to aid in their recovery from loss and abuse, along with other life skills. Their goal is to support the child through their healing process so they can reintegrate with a loving family before they age out of foster care.
“Where Social Work Can Lead You” is Tyson’s third time that she shared her knowledge in the book world. She also wrote “A Grandfamily for Sullivan,” a children’s book for kinship families, and she was a contributing author in Carol Muleta’s “The Parenting Odyssey: Treasures, Trials, and Triumphs of Parenting Through a Pandemic.” Tyson’s chapter was titled “I’m Scared Too: How Our Vulnerability Can Empower Our Children.” Both of these previous books have reached best-seller status on Amazon.
Tyson has been in the mental health field for 11 years and working with children impacted by trauma for nine years. The trauma expert grew up in Casco, Maine and then moved to Washington Township, NJ. She graduated from Shippensburg University in 2001. Since 2015, Tyson has made her home in Media with her husband Andrew and daughter de ella.
Tyson says she was 26 years old and working in corporate America when her mother died suddenly in her sleep one night.
“My mother’s untimely death was a traumatic experience for me, and quickly made me recognize the finitude of our lives,” Tyson shared. “After two years of therapy working through my grief process, I developed an inner drive to turn the trauma I went through into something positive. I decided to become a counselor to help others. When I was 32-years-old I graduated from Eastern University with my Masters in Clinical Counseling.”
Tyson’s career took off and she never looked back. Following graduation, she was hired by Acenda Integrated Health as a family therapist for foster, kinship, and adoptive families. It was in this role that she gained expertise in counseling children with trauma.
“The loss of my mother at such a young age helped me deeply understand grief and loss and how hard it can be to move forward without a mother. That’s why I can relate so easily to children who are separated from their biological parents. I am familiar with this level of pain and because of that I can help other young people who are suffering.”
“When we take our adversity and turn it into something positive there’s a term for this, it’s called Post-Traumatic Growth,” Tyson added. “It doesn’t happen for everyone, but when it does, it’s a beautiful thing. Looking back, I see a purpose for my mother’s death of her, as it brought me to where I am today, and that comforts me.
In 2019, Tyson stepped back from her role as a therapist to stay home with her daughter. It was then that she wrote “A Grandfamily for Sullivan,” based on her work as a family therapist with kinship families. She geared the book toward children being raised by their grandparents or other relative. Grandfamilies now number 2.8 Million in the US
“The book is a therapeutic tool to help children cope with the trauma of being separated from their biological parents due to safety issues, and being raised by their grandparents,” Tyson explained.
Just as things were taking off with her new book, the pandemic hit. Tyson decided to take her from her knowledge and skills online and offer children’s mental health webinars and speaking events about the book. Using social media, she made connections with others interested in childhood trauma and soon Beth Tyson Trauma Consulting was born.
Tyson launched http://BethTyson.com as a vehicle to offer free webinars on childhood trauma, and loss about once a month. People can sign up for her newsletter from Ella to stay informed of upcoming events or read her blog from Ella. Anyone interested in scheduling training for their organization can contact Tyson at email@example.com. She provides webinars and in-person education on childhood trauma and loss, trauma-informed practices, and consulting on initiatives related to these topics. She also runs a private Facebook group for improving children’s emotional well-being called Emotiminds.
Tyson is currently working as a consultant and advisor for organizations who want to be trauma-responsive and healing-centered, and has been unwavering in her support for Grands Stepping Up (GSU), a local organization that assists and supports grandparents and kinship guardians in Delaware County who are raising their grandchildren primarily due to the opioid epidemic, incarceration, mental health issues, chronic illness or death.
“My work with Grands Stepping Up is challenging, yet rewarding,” Tyson said. “My heart aches for these families I understand mental health challenges from a firsthand experience. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression throughout my life. I am thrilled to be able to use the adversity I’ve lived through to help others. The people at Grands Stepping Up are an extended family to me.” My work with grandfamilies has been life changing. The messages I receive from grandparents who have read my book, or who have found my webinars helpful bring me to tears.”
She is also working with a non-profit called http://ConnectOurKids.org to create an animated video series called the Connections Matter Academy to teach adolescents, teens, and young adults aging out of foster care about childhood trauma, how it impacts the brain , how to cope with their symptoms, and how to create healthy relationships moving forward. This academy will be available for free and open for public use. She expects it to be available by 2023.
Tyson is a local volunteer with Delaware County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates. She legally represents two children currently in the foster care system and has worked as their advocate for over three years.
“Where Social Work Can Lead You” and Tyson’s other two books, “The Parenting Odyssey: Treasures, Trials, and Triumphs of Parenting Through a Pandemic” and “A Grandfamily for Sullivan,” are available through http://Amazon.com. To watch Tyson’s next webinar, “Understanding Childhood Trauma, and How to Help Children and Teens Recover,” visit http://OperationParent.org.
“Childhood trauma is common, and a natural response to overwhelming events, yet most people are unaware of what it is and how it shows up in the life of a child,” Tyson remarked. “If you are raising a child with big emotions, and nothing you do seems to help, this webinar is for you.”