As parents, we all want to keep our children safe and set them up to live healthy and successful lives. But according to a 2011 study, nearly 35 million children in the United States have experienced one or more types of childhood trauma. This statistic shows us that while concerning, childhood trauma is not uncommon. So although we protect our children to the best of our ability, it is important to understand how trauma can affect children and what kinds of treatment may help.
What is Trauma?
The term trauma can be used to describe a variety of distressing experiences. For some children, a life event like their parents’ divorce can be a source of trauma. Others may have experienced physical abuse or a severe accident. Trauma covers a large spectrum and these events often result in levels of emotional dysregulation that exceed their peers in both frequency and intensity.
The impact of childhood trauma can last long into adulthood. It can manifest in learning problems, including lower graders, more suspensions, and expulsions. These children may also struggle with long term health problems, and behavioral health and substance use disorders. Even if the trauma occurred many years in the past, if childhood trauma is not resolved, a sense of fear and helplessness can carry over into adulthood.
Treatment for Childhood Trauma
While families play an important role in helping their child feel safe and supported after a traumatic event, it is crucial that children suffering from trauma receive professional help. And while there is no one size fits all treatment plan, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapies can help kids build healthy coping skills while working through traumatic events. Children with post-traumatic stress disorder may be “triggered” by people or events that recall the initial traumatic incident. This can lead to flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, disturbing thoughts and feelings, and depression. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy can help reduce these symptoms and over time, through the course of treatment, the child develops a trauma narrative that helps them tell their story in a safe, supportive setting.
A residential treatment program can provide the support and clinical guidance needed to heal from childhood trauma. These programs create a safe environment for young people to address these traumatic experiences and provide a personalized treatment plan, which may include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, somatic experiencing, and other mindfulness-based techniques.
Red Mountain Colorado Can Help
Red Mountain Colorado was founded to help struggling teens work through behavioral and emotional challenges. We specialize in the treatment of trauma-related mental health challenges. Throughout programming, we empower teens to build healthy coping skills and habits that they can use to work through the challenges they face.
When a teen struggles with emotional and behavioral issues like depression or anxiety and has at least one other mental health condition present, we call this a dual diagnosis disorder (also known as a co-occurring condition). Our program is structured to treat issues like trauma and depression as well as dual diagnosis disorders. When your teen arrives at our treatment facility, our staff will assess if there are any underlying mental health symptoms. With these learnings, we take an integrated approach to create a path to psychosocial wellness. For more information please call (877) 302-5022.