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PTSD Therapy & Treatment for Kids

PTSD Therapy & Treatment for Kids

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that occurs when a person experiences trauma. When someone exhibits severe stress symptoms that continue to occur long after a traumatic event, they may be diagnosed with PTSD.

If your child is diagnosed with PTSD due to violence, neglect, a natural disaster, the loss of a loved one, or another traumatic event, healing is possible. Our experts at Family of Kidz are prepared to assist you and your children with PTSD.

Understanding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children

Everyone will experience traumatic events at some point in their lifetime. Just because someone has endured a traumatic experience does not mean they will develop PTSD.

While this is true, it's normal for kids exposed to trauma to show signs of distress that can last for an extended period of time after, such as negative feelings or memories of the event. In most cases, finding support from friends and family is enough for them to cope and move forward with their lives. When a child cannot learn coping skills on their own or needs additional support to move forward, though, a professional at Family of Kidz may diagnose the child with PTSD.

What is Childhood Trauma?

Childhood trauma can be categorized as any event that threatens their physical well-being. This event could be a one-time occurrence for some kids or a continuous string of traumatic events for others. Some forms of childhood trauma include:

  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Natural disasters, such as a hurricane or fire
  • Homelessness
  • School violence
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Racism

How Childhood Trauma May Affect a Child

Family of Kidz understands the effects of childhood trauma can vary from person to person. While this is true, there are some signs and symptoms that trauma can cause in young and older children.

Kids of elementary age and younger may exhibit the following signs:

  • Have changes in eating patterns
  • Exhibit separation anxiety
  • Have trouble sleeping or nightmares
  • Be irritable
  • Show signs of anxiety or fear
  • Have anger outbursts
  • Get in trouble more often at home or school

While teenagers may exhibit the following:

  • Feel depressed or hopeless
  • Have difficulty concentrating
  • Develop an eating disorder
  • Lose interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • Participate in risky behaviors, such as drug use or sexual activity

What Treatment is Available to Help Recover from Childhood Trauma?

When a child experiences trauma, the negative effects can occur immediately and unfold over time. With the help of treatment at Family of Kidz, a child with PTSD can recognize triggers, manage their symptoms, and learn coping skills. Common treatments that can help address childhood trauma include:

  • Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This approach incorporates cognitive behavioral techniques, family support, and humanistic principles with trauma-sensitive interventions over the course of 12-15 sessions.
  • Narrative exposure therapy (NET): This approach helps treat children who have endured more than one traumatic event. It involves an individual intervention to embed trauma exposure into a timeline the child can use after their short-term therapy sessions.
  • Play therapy: This approach is used on children between 3 and 12. By allowing the child to play, a therapist at Family of Kidz can guide them in working through trauma and learning coping mechanisms.
  • Art therapy: Different art mediums, such as drawing, painting, and sculpting, help the child with PTSD freely express themselves, encourage self-awareness, and strengthen emotional resilience.

What's the Outlook for Children with PTSD?

Childhood trauma is a serious mental health condition that should be taken seriously. If left untreated, it is common for children with PTSD to experience other mental health problems, including depression and substance abuse. Fortunately, Family of Kidz can help children with PTSD learn effective coping skills, manage their symptoms, and find healing.

Family Of Kidz is Here to Help You and Your Children with PTSD

Every child deserves to live a healthy, happy life. Regardless of what traumatic event they may have been exposed to, healing is possible. If your child has experienced trauma and is exhibiting long-term signs of distress, PTSD therapy may help them learn effective ways to identify triggers, manage symptoms, and improve their quality of life.

At Family of Kiz, our experienced team can guide your family through the healing process with evidence-based PSTD treatment strategies. Visit us online today to learn more.

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