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Child/Adolescent Survivors of Trauma/Loss

Trauma and stress has unfortunately become a familiar experience who for many young people and their families. Children and adolescents may experience extreme stress as a result of the following kinds of experiences:

  • Separation from a parent (i.e. entry into foster care)
  • Accidental or purposeful death of a loved one
  • Exposure to physical/domestic violence
  • Adoption
  • Divorce/family disruption

Behavioral reactions to traumatic stress are often demonstrated by children and adolescents in the following ways:

  • Irritability/depression
  • Aggression
  • Provoking fights
  • Anxiety/social withdrawal
  • Hyperactivity/poor concentration
  • Academic struggles

How Can Trauma-Focused Treatment Help?

Children and adolescents who experience trauma demonstrate physiological, emotional, social and behavioral reactions. Trauma counseling provides a safe way for them to process and successfully manage their distress in a comfortable and supportive environment. The primary goal of trauma treatment is to regain hope, confidence and control. Trauma-focused treatment is designed to help build resiliency for the future.

Treatment Modalities for Children/Adolescent Impacted by Trauma:

The goal of trauma treatment, in general, is to move people affected by trauma from a view of themselves as "a victim," to a perception of themselves as "a survivor." When children impacted by trauma do not receive appropriate services, they often grow to adulthood with perceptions and feelings that make it very difficult for them to achieve healthy functioning.  

The Clinical Staff of NEOBH are proficient in more than one trauma-focused treatment method. Therefore, the age of the child, his\her developmental needs, the availability of caregiver support, and other factors are considered prior to the selection of the appropriate trauma-focused treatment method. All of the trauma treatment methods utilized at NEOBH are Evidence-Based practices whose utility has been successfully demostrated via clinical trials and treatment outcome research.  

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (TF-CBT) provides a carefully-planned sequence of skill-building that includes parent education, training and relaxation skills, assistance with management of disruptive emotions, recognition and correction of cognitive distortions related to trauma, etc.  These structured treament phases can be modified according to the needs of the child/adolescent and caregiver.  Indeed, some children/adolescent may require significantly more hlep with a particular coping skill (such as the management of intense emotions) while others may demonstrate reactions that are connected to cognitive distortions, (such as self-blame), connected with traumatic events. TF-CBT provides skill-building that will assist with coping, so that trauma processing can occur.

Sensory-Integration Treatment for Children Adolescence and Parents (SITCAP) is a treatment modality that spans a wide range of age groups, and includes attention to parents/caregivers who may be impacted by the trauma that the child/adolescent has experienced.  SITCAP provides a wide variety of clinical activities that permits clients to express their traumatic feelings and experiences in both verbal and non-verbal ways.  

Assistance for Caregivers:

Caregivers are often puzzled and distressed by the reactions demonstrated by young trauma victims. Many adult caregivers may be victims of past or recent traumas.  Trauma-treatment educates and supports caregivers, so that they can more effectively assist the healing process and learn to manage behavioral reactions.


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