'You Just Have to Be Cheerful Really': Children's Accounts of Ordinariness in Trauma Recovery Talk

Joyce Lamerichs, Eva Alisic, Marca Shasfoort

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter investigates children’s accounts of ordinariness when they talk about trauma and trauma recovery. We were struck by the fact that children when they were invited to talk about their experience with trauma would say things like ‘It was just a coincidence’ or ‘I just started to forget it’. Our first thoughts were that the particle ‘just’ seemed so ‘ill-fitted’ to the description of these serious, painful events, as they seemed to construct what happened as‘nothing out of the ordinary’ . Why would children describe potentially life-altering occurrences like losing a sibling or a parent in ways that suggested it had only had a minor impact on their lives? It is these initial questions that prompted us to explore what these mentions of ‘just’ do in children’s tellings of trauma and trauma recovery.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Child Mental Health
Subtitle of host publicationDiscourse and Conversation Studies
EditorsMichelle O'Reilly, Jessica Nina Lester
Place of PublicationBasingstoke Hampshire UK
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781137428318
ISBN (Print)9781349576951
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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