Why the Teddy Bear Helps

The need to be soothed is a basic, biological drive and the teddy bear serves well as a comforter especially for children. The teddy bear symbolizes the solacing gestational and early childhood mother. Studies have shown that 98% of children, adolescents and adults describe some attachment to a solacer such as the teddy bear and in the majority of cases, to more than one such object, activity or sound. The teddy bear is often a healing gateway.

–Paul Horton MD, child psychiatrist and author of "The Solace Paradigm"

Teddy Bear Rationale

"The Teddy Bear is more than a toy. It is a special friend that represents love and caring and connection. It provides a very important source of soothing and comfort that induces positive feelings in a child that is frightened, lonely and insecure. The Teddy Bear conveys an unconscious sense of the emotional support. As such, it is a special psychological tool that induces a sense of wellbeing regardless of the difficulties the child is experiencing. This strengthens the child emotionally and enables the child to better deal with the reality of his or her life. Thus the Teddy Bear is an antidote to the heightened anxiety of living with terrorism or exposure to an actual traumatic incident.

"The Teddy Bear is emergency medicine for psychological wounds resulting from living with the daily terror of potential violence. The Teddy Bear reduces the child’s level of anxiety. This is the first significant step in the healing process. Because the Teddy Bear is a constant companion under the child’s control, it helps the child feel less vulnerable, less helpless and less alone. 

"The Teddy Bear is also seen as a special friend with whom a shy or silent child can share worries, fears or upset. This enables adults to be able to communicate more effectively with an unreachable child. By asking indirectly about how the Teddy Bear feels, one can get a better sense of how the child is doing. The Teddy Bear is thus an aid to better communication and a closer relationship which in turn enables the child to better utilize the techniques and methods described throughout this manual."

Richard Lieberman, MD
Psychiatry, UCSF

Teddy Bear Trauma Reduction Program

We start with a gift of love that carries the message that someone cares. The Teddy Bear is more than a toy; it is a therapeutic tool that reduces the child’s anxiety and the symptoms of that anxiety such as bed-wetting, nightmares, and aggression. This is followed by various mental health curriculum experiences delivered by specially trained therapists and personnel from local institutions.