‘Storybook’ and ‘game’ proposal for earthquake trauma

Specialized psychologist Burçak Eritmen Yeşiltaş said that after the earthquake that shook Turkey, children in particular were very impressed by the images of the wreckage. Explaining that children should not be constantly exposed to images of rubble, Yeşiltaş said, “We cannot live as if nothing happens. Children also need to know and learn things. He will know that his anxiety level will be a little bit lighter. Therefore, we can giving our children detailed, age-appropriate information about the earthquake.” Those who know best are their parents. It is important to explain this with a detailed answer to answer his question,” he said.


Yeşiltaş stated that children have a greater need for close contact during these periods and said: “Let’s go back to routine. Because returning to routine is not like ‘Let’s forget this, it’s over’. Both children and we need a message about the continuity of life. It will be good for children. School is the place that offers this best. Together with teachers and friends, they can deal with it in a healthier way. One of the most important things that are good for children is play . Let them play a lot. It doesn’t matter what they play with. They can play with the same thing over and over again. Let them play. The healing process starts with play. It is important to be with the parents, but there is no need for guidance Children initiate the healing processes themselves,” he said.


Drawing attention to the parents’ feelings, Yeşiltaş said, “The emotional state of parents is also very important. Instead of not talking or repressing them, let’s say what we feel so that we make space for children.” We are all very sad. Mirror them as much as possible and embrace them with compassion,” he said. Yeşiltaş stated that children who have experienced this disaster in earthquake areas need long-term psychotherapy, saying, “We are all going through a difficult time. Psychological first aid is given to them there. But psychotherapy will continue for a longer period of time. “Basic needs must be met first. After he is released, therapy begins at the first step,” he said.


Yeşiltaş stated that the most basic need of both adults and children is to feel safe, stating that they should not try to divert children’s attention, emphasizing that on the contrary, it is good for them to avoid this trauma process.

Yeşiltaş asked parents to encourage children to ask questions and said:

“Parents today can perceive a state of being closer to their children and clinging to their children. Perhaps sleep problems, an increase in aggressive behavior or total withdrawal can be observed. These are not reactions that we consider very abnormal in this process. But if these persist after these weeks they become anxious. If their condition persists, they should need expert support. At such times, storybooks are very functional. We want the story and the game to process and process this trauma. Don’t let it be ignored or “Parents, making sure kids learn what they’re curious about from an adult they trust makes this process healthier. It can help them get through it.”

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