Words from Dr. Bruce Perry, Developmental Psychiatric Traumatologist

Updated: Apr 27





This video includes about 40 minutes of Dr. Bruce Perry providing basic information about the Neurosequential Model, then moving into how the uncertainty associated with what we are facing with Covid-19 impacts us. He goes on to explain how we can act as leaders in this time of uncertainty by taking control of what we can. Specifically, he suggests that families keep a familiar routine and structure, have a family meal together, and insert intentional exercise into the day (throughout the day). He makes suggestions for maintaining relational regulation during this time when we are practicing social (better described as physical) discipline in order to keep our emotional connections.

  1. Dr. Perry is having "open office hours" on March 23, 25 and 27 at 2 PM EST. Information will be posted on the COVID 19 section of Neurosequential Network Web page. https://www.neurosequential.com/covid-19-resources You will also find additional resources there.


Nerosequential Model Application to COVID19, Dr. Bruce Perry, MD PhD


Dr. Bruce Perry’s Recommendations from 3/21/2020

How we can use the Neurosequential Model in the COVID19 Crisis


The thing we are gonna have to do go make it through this, we’re gonna need everyone to stop acting and behaving in self interest. The more we do that, the more resilient we become. If we can convince the corporate sector to do this we can become stronger.”

- Dr Bruce Perry


Dr. Bruce Perry is a well known psychiatrist specializing in developmental trauma. He has worked with the Branch Dividían child survivors, children who survived the Oklahoma City Bombing, 9/11 and other major trauma crisis in this country. He is the foremost leader in trauma when it comes to developmental trauma impacting children. He suggests the following for helping kids through this time so that it will not create secondary trauma.


  • Keep doing your daily routines.

  • Be Physically distant, but emotionally close.

  • Use structured exercise in 15 minute blocks.

  • Eat together.

  • Use pattern-- repetitive activity helps regulate and stabilize.

  • Do things together to increase connection. Trauma is healed in relationship

  • Make the media a thing you can control -set time limits and times when you will watch. Don't do it before bed.

  • Have a structure to when you have breaks and take breaks.


The more sensory complete the interaction is with another person, the more rewarding it is.

If you can't be present physically, be present in text, online, video, phone calls.

You can actually use this to become a stronger person, a stronger family, a stronger community.


If you know anyone in your sphere who is vulnerable, intentionally connect with them. Talk with them through the window. Call them. Make sure they have food.


If you do something for someone else, you are shifting the stress pattern and it will increase the probability that you will do well through this and so will the other person.


It is imperative that we engage with the most vulnerable and those who are becoming complacent because of media over exposure. If we do not, DNA changes associated with the traumatic experience we are living through will impact generations to come.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Examples of repetitive pattern activities:

  • Zentangles

  • Doodles

  • Coloring

  • Sewing

  • Crocheting

  • Repetitive Dance Moves

  • Playing arpeggios in instruments or a song over and over.

  • Creating loops

  • Movement patterns


Below is a video that explain the neurobiology of the brain and how it responds during stress and crisis. It also speaks to the importance of calm, regulated adults to help in healing.


The Repair of Early Trauma


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