Earlier this summer, Drs. Cassandra Kisiel and Tracy Fehrenbach, at the Center for Child Trauma Assessment, Services and Interventions (CCTASI) at Northwestern University, a partner in the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), launched a public awareness campaign and short film entitled “Remembering Trauma: Connecting the Dots Between Complex Trauma and Misdiagnosis in Youth.” This 16-minute film highlights the story of a traumatized youth from early childhood to older adolescence, illustrating a wide range of complex trauma reactions as well as interactions with providers working in multiple service settings.

We are excited to announce the official launch of “Remembering Trauma, Part 2: Expert Commentary,” which is now available for viewing on our website, Part 2 of the film includes poignant trauma-informed commentary from real world professionals while incorporating scenes from the narrative Part 1 film. Interviews include professionals who work across child-serving settings, including school, juvenile justice and mental health.  We hope this version of the film will be a useful resource in training and education, in your work with both family members and providers across a range of service settings.

DISCLAIMER: This film is inspired by a true story. This story shows the various ways that trauma can impact youth. It contains adult language and includes scenes with family violence and sexual assault, which may be upsetting to watch. It is strongly recommended that you view this film in the presence of a trusted adult that can offer support as needed.

“Remembering Trauma Part 2” incorporates scenes from the narrative Part 1 film, with poignant commentary from real world professionals who work across child-serving settings, including school, juvenile justice and mental health.

Visit for additional stats and resources.

For questions about this post and to find out how you can get involved, contact the CCTASI team at,

One Response

  1. Thank you so much for this publication! I can’t tell you the countless laments I have heard throughout my life from adolescents and adults who have experienced complex childhood trauma and claimed that they were misdiagnosed and undertreated by professional clinicians as well as mistreated by the broader communities who do not understand. Less is known about the iatrogenic effects of being misdiagnosed as a child and/or an adult, and what is more is when complex trauma goes untreated and unrecognized in childhood, which can lead to a range of problems that could have been prevented had the trauma been recognized early on. Not only is there a lack of understanding in the broader community (e.g., educational settings, neighborhood settings, family settings, religious settings, after-school settings, juvenile settings, law enforcement settings, homeless settings, child welfare settings, court settings, etc.) when complex childhood trauma goes unrecognized, but there is also a lack of injustice (e.g., lack of reporting, lack of prosecuting abusive caregivers), prevention (e.g., lack of proper diagnosis and proper treatment when not identifying childhood complex trauma early on), and treatment (e.g., lack of treatment for childhood trauma due to lack of proper diagnosis and/or lack of identifying and stopping/preventing complex childhood trauma). Certainly, more needs to be done for youth, for adults with unrecognized complex childhood traumatic experiences, for parents and families who have experienced transgenerational traumatic experiences (i.e., unrecognized complex childhood trauma transmitted onto children, which continues the cycle of trauma across generations and time), and for broader community members who continue to have symptoms, behavioral problems, and interpersonal relationship problems. Further, less is known about the latency of complex childhood traumatic symptoms that may not manifest until adolescence or early adulthood for certain types of complex trauma compilations. Indeed, prevention begins with children and families, but hope remains for untreated adults as well. I’m really excited about the direction that research and clinical practice have adopted, that trauma-informed practices can help the most vulnerable populations in our society.

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