Under the shadow - Fostering children’s resilience and coping strategies in an ongoing crisis situation


The consistent findings on the adverse psychological effects of war and terror on children have led to a recognized need for suitable early intervention in the immediate, midterm and post term, of mass crisis situation. This presentation will try to overview the clinical and empirically supported interventions operating in the last two years in Israel, with children and families living in a constant threat of bombardment and shelling of populated areas on both sides. This presentation will focus on the war related stress reactions of young Israeli children exposed to these experiences and present some creative interventions done to foster resilience and coping, as well as the treatment of PTSD reactions. It was estimated that during this war, 4,000 Katyusha rockets and missiles hit the northern parts of Israel. More then 1 million people were at the danger zone for a potential direct hit. More then 500,000 Israelis relocated during the war to live in safer areas out of the range of the rockets. The children in the war zones experienced sounds of sirens' explosions and sound of artillery. They spent considerable time in bomb shelters and were exposed to sights (directly or through the media of damaged houses and casualties). This situation continues now in the southern part of the country along the Gaza Strip were children on both sides live under the daily reality of bombardment, casualties and death. Many programs and individual treatments were and are still operating as the professionals are trying to meet the needs of communities and individuals under this chronic ongoing stress situation. A community project is operating in the southern part of the country, where mothers and toddlers as well as the staff members of the kindergartens, are being supported by dyadic trauma focused play therapy and enrolled in stress managements programs. Findings on the interrelation between the degree of the parent's PTSD on the child's aversive symptomology,and the follow up of dyadic treatment data, will be presented. Another program the "Huggy Puppy", exemplifies the implementation of a developmental appropriate intervention with children in the midst of the crisis, and the effects of building a sense of self efficacy and relatedness. This will be illustrated in the study done by Prof. Avi Sadhe from Tel Aviv University on the effects of the "Huggy Puppy". The use of the modified EMDR Group Protocol for children during the war and the efficacy of the EMDR individual treatment in the post war situation as compared to CBT and SE FAR will be examined in the research done by Dr. Moshe Farchi of the Tel Chai College. These diverse interventions and treatments represent the wide range of theoretical and practical thinking which are necessary in order to create a comprehensive holistic model which will serve as a guideline for interventions with children in crisis.






Ester Bar-Sade

Original Work Citation

Bar-Sade, E. (2008, June). Under the shadow - Fostering children's resilience and coping strategies in an ongoing crisis situation. Keynote presented at the 9th EMDR Europe Association Conference, London, England



“Under the shadow - Fostering children’s resilience and coping strategies in an ongoing crisis situation,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 28, 2020, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/17889.

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