Why Treatment For Trauma Is So Important For Children
Experiencing any type of trauma will inevitably leave a lasting impact on a person’s life. When children and adolescents experience a traumatic event, it can impact various stages of their development. Because of their young age and lack of life experience, children often do not possess the appropriate coping skills needed to deal with trauma in a healthy way. (3 Key Things to Prepare Children to Deal with Traumatic Events) For this reason, receiving treatment can be extremely beneficial in helping youth overcome the symptoms that may arise as a result of traumatic experiences. But the thought of seeking treatment for your child after he or she went through a traumatic experience can be intimidating because you know that he or she will inevitably have to talk about all of the things that happened to him or her. You may wonder if rehashing the events themselves will ultimately cause your child to feel more pain, leaving you to question whether or not it would be better to just let time heal the wounds.
Treatment Program: Lauren Hardy, MA, writes on behalf of Millcreek Behavioral Health, which is a behavioral health and substance abuse treatment program that offers children and adolescents a comprehensive continuum of care that includes residential treatment for psychiatric or developmental concerns, as well as therapeutic day school programming.
There is truth in recognizing that going through treatment for trauma or PTSD may bring about a new sense of emotional turmoil as your child comes to terms with what happened to him or her, but it is important to remember that the end result of treatment is healing, and your child may not experience that true sense of healing without first engaging in some type of treatment.
How Trauma Treatment Can Benefit Children and Adolescents
Any situation or experience that takes away from a child’s ability to feel a sense of safety or comfort can be considered a trauma. If your child has suffered through an event that has caused him or her to feel a loss of security or that has brought about feelings of inner emotional turmoil, seeking treatment for trauma can be the best thing that you do for him or her. By receiving trauma treatment, your son or daughter can confront the trauma in a safe, secure, and therapeutic setting, while also learning healthy coping skills and developing tools for how to manage future negative life experiences. In a treatment setting, there will also be options for you and other family members to engage in family therapy sessions with your child, so that you can work together on the healing process. Additionally, treatment providers can assist you in learning ways that you can help your child at home so that a renewed sense of safety and security can be discovered.
Why is Trauma Treatment the Right Decision?
Because the ultimate goal of mental health treatment is to find relief from symptoms of distress or emotional turmoil, hard-pressing issues must be confronted and dealt with. As a parent, it can be scary to think that your child is going to have to deal with this type of confrontation; it can be scary to know that your child is being placed in a situation where he or she will have to talk about what happened to him or her. Such apprehension is completely understandable, but there are some important things to keep in mind:
- Your child will be in a safe environment and will work with a therapist who will ensure that he or she feels safe and comfortable.
- Your child will be working with a therapist who has not only been trained in working with children who have experienced traumatic events, but who also has real-life experience in reading the body language of children and knowing when to push and when to sit back and wait.
- Your child will never be forced to say or talk about anything that he or she does not want to. A therapist will work at the pace your child sets. There may even be sessions where your child doesn’t talk about the trauma at all. The therapist will allow your child to guide the direction that the therapeutic route takes.
- You can be a part of your child’s treatment process. Your child’s therapist will want you included so that you can understand the progress that your child is making, while also learning how you can encourage your child’s healing at home.
If you are looking for a child therapist, a good place to start the search process is with a referral from your child's doctor.
Related Articles on Children and Trauma
- Effects of Combat PTSD on the Children of Veterans
- Children and Scary News Events
- Helping Your Child Overcome Fear of Terrorism
- Talking About Tragic Events With Your Child
You can also find Lauren Hardy on Google+.
MA, L. (2015, March 9). Why Treatment For Trauma Is So Important For Children, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/mentalhealthtreatmentcircle/2015/03/why-treatment-for-trauma-is-so-important-for-children