Does Your Child Have PTSD?

An Interview with Jolene Philo

In the Civil War, it was called a “soldier’s heart.” During the Industrial Revolution, it was “compensation neurosis.” During World War I, it was labeled “shell shock.” In World War II, it was defined as “battle fatigue or combat exhaustion.” During the Korean and Vietnam Wars, experts called it “stress response syndrome.”

Finally, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders got it right: POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD).

Current research reveals that PTSD is not limited to survivors of war. PTSD can affect any person who has survived a traumatizing, overwhelming, terrifying event, such as rape, physical and mental abuse, school shootings, divorce, loss of a loved one or parent, physical illness, prolonged exposure to anything that overwhelms our bodies and affects how the brain functions.

Jolene Philo is an expert in the study and treatment of PTSD. Her son was born with life-threatening problems resulting in numerous surgeries—invasive procedures performed without pain medication . . . because, after all, “children don’t remember pain.” Current research shouts against such ignorance; our minds and bodies do remember trauma. If PTSD is left unattended to, those affected exist in a compromised state. In this interview, Jolene discusses the most current research on PTSD as well as healing treatments.

Watch the Interview

Interview Questions

  1. How did you learn that your son, Allen, had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
  2. How can we distinguish between “trauma” and “PTSD”?
  3. What is involved in diagnosing a child with PTSD?
  4. Why is bullying such a dangerous problem, and how does it cause clinical trauma?
  5. What are the categories of trauma and its various symptoms?
  6. What treatments are available to help children suffering with PTSD?
  7. What are some problems that might occur if trauma is left untreated?
  8. Why should parents of children who struggle with trauma release themselves from feeling guilty?
  9. How does Jesus’ suffering remind us that God understands us completely?
  10. What encouragement do you have for those who care for children suffering with trauma or PTSD?

Let Me Hear from You

No one understands our pain like Jesus Christ. He endured every form of mistreatment to the point of death; therefore, He understands our pain and sorrow. He also calls us to care for one another in love—to listen, help, and provide support for healing. There is so much help available; what are you waiting for? If you or a loved one need care, please reach out to Insight for Living Ministries or to Jolene Philo, perhaps starting with her book Does My Child Have PTSD?: What to Do When Your Child Is Hurting from the Inside Out.

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About Jolene Philo

Jolene Philo has been a lifetime caregiver. Before she began writing, speaking, and leading a host of online community support groups, Jolene was a teacher for 25 years. Author of several books, Jolene’s work is practical, simple, and grounded in spiritual truth. Jolene is the mother of two grown children and currently resides with her husband in Boone, Iowa.

Jolene Philo Resources

You can find all of Jolene’s resources, books, blog posts, speaking engagements, and online communities at

Links and Specialists:


  • Peter A. Levine, Ph.D., Trauma and Memory: Brain and Body in a Search for the Living Past—A Practical Guide for Understanding and Working with Traumatic Memory
  • Peter A. Levine, Ph.D. and Maggie Kline, Trauma-Proofing Your Kids: A Parents’ Guide for Instilling Confidence, Joy and Resilience
  • Claudia Zayfert, Ph.D. and Jason C. DeViva, Ph.D., When Someone You Love Suffers from Posttraumatic Stress: What to Expect and What You Can Do
  • John B. Arden, Ph.D., Brain Based Therapy for Anxiety: Workbook for Clinicians and Clients