Psychologists recommend talking about traumatic situations

Posted at 9:18 PM, Jul 21, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-21 21:18:57-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – It’s a tragedy that hit us all.

“You have to be vigilante. But you don’t have to be hysterical,” said Patricia Bahen.

A 24-year-old man opens fire inside this Colorado movie theater…killing more than a dozen people and injuring dozens more.

“He was probably depressed. And by that happening, people do things that they don’t normally do,” said Brenda Wright.

And while Colorado's shooting rampage lasted for a short time, experts say the violent images could play out much longer...especially in the mind of a child.

"I don't understand why they would do that,” said Tristan Mowry. “I felt a little scared.”

"If you're going to let them watch these kind of images. Talk about it. Take it apart. Pick the pieces apart. Be honest. Be open. Tell stories about your own life. And how you made it out,” said Dr. Micah McCreary.

VCU Clinical Psychologist Dr. Micah McCreary says when talking with your child about any traumatic situation, always end the conversation on a positive note.

"What worries a lot of times if somebody else is already going through some things. And they see something like this and it triggers them or someone who has a copy cat kind of ideology, I want to talk to them."

Dr. McCreary tells us that's key to dealing with your feelings, and not keeping it inside.

"What's going on in your mind? How are your feeling about this and to really go after that. And not be afraid of it,” said Dr. McCreary.

And for this family, it's advice they will not take lightly.

"You just pray something like that doesn't happen to us,” said Nigel Dean.

"It's really hard. It's really hard because this is such a travesty,” Aisha Troublefield.

Dr. McCreary tells, who is also a local pastor, tells CBS 6 that adults are vulnerable too. He recommends that if you’re worried or anxious about the Colorado shootings to talk to someone you trust and not let those feelings build up.