Trauma & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Treatment for Children
Has your child been through or seen something scary, confusing or really stressful?
Does your son or daughter seem depressed or is just acting different?
Are you looking for a way to support your child and help them recover from a traumatic experience?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are in the right place. Childhood traumatic stress isn’t always obvious and it can be hard to tell how much of an impact it’s had on your child at first. But research is consistently telling us that even very young children are significantly impacted by witnessing or experiencing something scary. Your child could likely use the support of a trained child therapist to find healing and make sense of their experience. Your child may even have PTSD.
You are worried about your child’s recovery and healing from trauma.
Your child does not seem like themselves, but it is hard to put your finger on what is behind their change in behavior. You wonder if it has to do with something your child witnessed or experienced. Or maybe some recent big changes in their life. A death of a loved one. Witnessing domestic violence. A victim of physical &/or sexual abuse. Parents recently divorced. A recent car accident. Moving to a new city. Medical trauma. Trauma can take many, many different forms.
All children respond differently to the experiences they go through in life. Some children are able to recover without therapy and others need the support of a specialized child trauma therapist to guide them towards healing.
At Brittani Persha Counseling, we have several therapists trained in varies evidence-based trauma treatment modalities, and really specialize in helping children as young as two all the way through adult recover from trauma. Your child can heal. We aim to find the right treatment approach and therapist to meet your child and family’s needs. We feel privileged to support children in the Houston and Katy, TX area towards healing.
Your child is NOT alone. Nearly half of all children and adolescents have experienced some type of traumatic stress.
Symptoms of PTSD & Trauma in Children
In the past, there was this idea that “Children are resilient. No matter what they experience, they can overcome.” While there is truth to a child’s resiliency there is also great danger in “sweeping it under the rug.” Children who have had a traumatic experience or who have suffered a loss may appear as though everything is okay. They may tell you they are fine, and they may avoid any discussion of the topic. In reality, there is often a lot going on under the surface.
The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) is a longitudinal study, looking at the impact of traumatic stress. Results show a connection between adverse childhood experiences and the following long-term effects:
The Younger the Child, The Greater the Impact of Trauma
People often incorrectly assume that young children aren’t as harmed by trauma and aren’t as impacted by loss. In the past, professionals ignored the baby that was “sleeping” in another room while a domestic violence incident occurred in another room. Professionals also assumed that children who experienced something scary would simply “grow out of it.”
Mental health professionals now know, the opposite is true. We know from brain research that the younger a child is, the greater that child will be impacted by traumatic stress. Furthermore, small trauma add up over time. The more stressful situations a child has been through, the more likely they are to be impacted or even show signs of PTSD. Young children are incredibly resilient and with a supportive environment and the guidance of a child therapist can fully recover.
Counseling Can Help Heal Children Impacted by Trauma
There is Hope. There is Help. Children do recover.
Fortunately, children do have the ability to adapt and heal. While we do not want to assume children will do this on their own, treatment builds upon their resiliency and can allow for healthy healing to occur. Children can grow up to be healthy, functioning members of society even after experiencing the most horrific traumas as children. For more in depth information about childhood trauma and a helpful guide for parents check out our blog, Tackling Childhood Trauma: How Should Parents Respond?
At BPC, we use a blend of Play Therapy, Mindfulness Techniques, Theraplay, Sand Tray, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and EMDR and Family Therapy Integrative Model (described below). These child counseling techniques are evidenced-based and research has proven them helpful in treating children and teens with trauma. Our counselors value your child and family, so we use treatments that work. Typically, after beginning treatment children begin to feel a difference in a matter of months. Learn more about our child counseling process and what the therapy process looks like at Brittani Persha Counseling. Over years of experience, we have fine tuned a counseling process that involves and supports the whole family to promote lasting change for your child’s mental health.
What is EMDR Therapy and why is it Our Often Recommended Treatment Method for Trauma?
One of the most powerful and well-researched therapies used to treat trauma and its lasting effects is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – also known as EMDR. EMDR dramatically reduces PTSD symptoms and often in ways that transitional therapy methods do not. You may have heard heard that severe emotional pain (trauma memories, anxiety, depression, etc) requires a long time to heal. This is a common belief people have about PTSD, and it’s true that we haven’t always had treatment approaches, particularly for children.
However, research suggests that EMDR therapy may be ablate soothe the aftereffects of a unexpected tragedy, witnessing a violent act, traumatic changes in ones life and persistent anxiety in much less time the other trauma treatment modalities. Here is a short video further explaining EMDR. If you are interested in learning more about EMDR check out EMDR Therapy.
EMDR Therapy With Children
EMDR looks a little different when working with children. At BPC, we have child trauma therapists who are trained specifically in how to tailor EMDR to be effective in working with children. Because of this special training, our child therapists can be more effective treating childhood PTSD symptoms than many other therapists. Our family therapists use this treatment approach called EMDR and Family Therapy Integrative Model.
The integrative family therapy and EMDR therapy model provides an effective and efficient method for treating children with severe behaviors and a history of attachment disruptions and/or other traumatic events. Notably, Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and family therapy are integrated through specific steps. Because you are an important part of the healing process, parents or caregivers are included in the majority of the therapy sessions during this unique approach to trauma therapy for children
EMDR and Integrative Family Therapy Will:
- Help parents learn to respond with effective trauma-informed strategies
- Strengthen the security of the parent-child attachment relationship
- Improves children’s behaviors and emotional regulation
- Decrease reactivity related to traumatic memories and current triggers
To learn more about this approach and better understand the benefits of EMDR & Integrative Family therapy in treating childhood PTSD, please visit The Attachment and Trauma Center of Nebraska.
Your Child Will Benefit from Trauma Therapy Services at Brittani Persha Counseling If They:
- Experienced abuse or neglect
- Witnessed violence
- Experienced traumatic accident (car crash)
- Loss of loved one
- Parent separation and/or divorce
- A sudden move
- Loss of a home to a fire
- Involved in a natural disaster
- Victim of bullying, criticism and rejection by family or peers
Families not ready for our counseling services include:
- Parents that do not want to be part of the therapy process
- Looking for solution-focused, short-term counseling
- Goal is to change the behavior, instead of healing the underlying causes
Beginning Child Counseling Services for Trauma is the FIRST Step Towards Your Family’s Healing and Happiness
Parenting a child who has unresolved trauma is beyond challenging and even confusing. As a result, well meaning adults often misunderstand or become frustrated with traumatized children. For instance, the depressed, anxious or traumatized child may act out and that behavior misinterpreted. It’s common the adults in their life don’t fully understand the effect of stressful situations on a child’s developing brain.
First of all, our child counselors help parents view behaviors through a trauma lens. As mental health professionals, we work with children and families to learn the tools to understand & cope with strong, scary emotions. Next, your therapist works with you and your child to resolve the pain that has been weighing them down.
Your child can heal and you can develop the relationship with your child you have been yearning for. If you want to take the first step towards healing your child’s trauma and live in the Katy and Houston Area we can help! Contact Brittani Persha Counseling today and get connected with one of our skilled child trauma therapists. Through counseling, you can start finding the healing your family deserves.
Still Unsure if it’s Time for Counseling?
If you still have some questions and are not 100% we are the right fit for your family’s needs schedule a free phone consultation today. You will have the opportunity speak directly with one of our trained child therapists, learn more about our practice and ask any questions that you have.
As a result of our own experience as child mental health experts, here at Brittani Persha Counseling, we believe that children are resilient. Whether your child is 2 or 12, counseling can help them overcome attachment disruptions, big moves, parent divorce or a number of other stressful situations. While it’s scary for you as a parent to watch your child suffer, our staff have seen countless children find healing and move forward. Because of our training and experience, we believe your child can heal. And we are passionate about providing effective, supportive counseling and have developed a counseling process to fully support your child’s mental wellbeing. Please contact Brittani Persha Counseling today so your family can begin to reap the benefits of EMDR in a way that is very child & family centered!