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Announcing a New Resource on Stress and Trauma in Young Children

Chandra Ghosh Ippen Headshot

“Fear is a universal emotion. We all get scared sometimes. And when we’re scared, we all need help and support, especially when what we’ve been through causes overwhelming fear.” —Chandra Ghosh Ippen (Ghosh Ippen, 2018)

Early childhood professionals often feel unprepared to offer effective help and support to young children who have experienced stress and trauma. New resources from Dr. Chandra Ghosh Ippen can help fill that need.

When We Are Scared is a 48-minute webinar that uses the characters in Dr. Ghosh Ippen’s children’s story, Once I Was Very Very Scared, to describe and promote understanding about common responses of young children who have experienced stressful or traumatic circumstances.

The Children’s Book

Dr. Ghosh Ippen wrote Once I Was Very Very Scared to help children and their important adults understand how stress can affect children and to advise adults on how to help these children. In the story, a little squirrel announces that he was once very, very scared and finds out that he is not alone. He learns that many of his animal friends have been through scary experiences, too, but they react in different ways. Turtle hides and gets a tummy ache, monkey clings, dog barks, and elephant doesn’t like to talk about it. They need help, and they get help from grown-ups who help them feel safe and learn ways to cope with difficult feelings.

Find the book and more here:

  • a free downloadable PDF of the book, also available in Arabic, Spanish, and Turkish (coming soon: versions in German, Japanese, Norwegian, and Swedish)
  • information on how to purchase hard copies
  • related resources and tools

“This wonderful book is unique in its sensitive portrayal of how we respond to fear and how supportive relationships can help. Children of all ages will relate to the beautiful words and expressive pictures. The compelling story offers children and the adults who care for them the perfect medium to explore the universal feeling of being afraid and the gift of creating safety together.”

—Alicia F. Lieberman, PhD, ZERO TO THREE board member, professor and Irving B. Harris Endowed Chair of Infant Mental Health, University of California–San Francisco Department of Psychiatry

The Webinar

In her webinar, Dr. Ghosh Ippen expands on each character’s stress response, helping the listener to understand in depth about what is happening in a child’s mind, body, and emotions when he or she responds in that particular way. She answers questions early childhood professionals often ask:

  • Will infants, toddlers, or preschoolers really remember their traumatic experience?
  • Will experiencing trauma and stress affect them, even though they are so young?
  • If so, how can we work together to create healing spaces and support recovery?

In her 26 years as a researcher, clinician, and therapist, Dr. Ghosh Ippen has worked with well over 700 families who have experienced traumatic stress. It is Dr. Ghosh Ippen’s hope that their voices are heard in the characters of the story and in the information she shares during the webinar. Watch the webinar on YouTube.

Chandra Ghosh Ippen, PhD

Chandra is currently the associate director of the Child Trauma Research Program at University of California at San Francisco, and the director of dissemination and implementation for Child–Parent Psychotherapy (CPP). She is a member of the board of directors of ZERO TO THREE and specializes in working with young children who have experienced trauma. She has co-authored more than 20 publications related to trauma and diversity-informed practice including the book Don’t Hit My Mommy!, which is the manual for CPP.


The development of the webinar was funded in part through the author’s work with the Early Trauma Treatment Network (ETTN), a site of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). ETTN and NCTSN are funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.

The webinar was developed with the support of Dr. Ghosh Ippen’s colleagues at the UCSF Child Trauma Research Program and in partnership with ZERO TO THREE and the Irving Harris Professional Development Network.


Gosh Ippen, C. (2018). When We Are Scared [Video file]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcAPbDpgoso.


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