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TRAUMA (ADOLESCENTS & TEENS)

Trauma that occurs during childhood or adolescence can have a significant impact on the emotional and mental development of the adolescent. Events such as bullying, sexual abuse, domestic violence, life-threatening illnesses, or sudden life changes can leave children feeling ill-supported and alone.  With trauma becoming more prevalent, it is important to note that children and/or adolescents are not “young adults;” therefore, therapy must be developmentally appropriate and designed to address the unique needs of each child. If left untreated, adolescents who suffer from untreated trauma are more likely to engage in unsafe behaviour, such as substance abuse, promiscuity, or running away. 


Influences of Trauma


  • Adjustment difficulties; 

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); 

  • Physical abuse;

  • Personal injury;

  • Sexual abuse or assault; 

  • Emotional abuse; 

  • Neglect; 

  • Domestic violence; 

  • Community violence;

  • Bullying; 

  • Racism or discrimination;

  • Natural disasters;

  • War; and/or,

  • Refugee trauma. 

 

Common Symptoms


  • Anxiety;

  • Bedwetting;

  • Depression;

  • Nightmares;

  • Resisting attending school; 

  • Poor performance or attendance in school; 

  • Increase mood swings;

  • Substance use; and/or,

  • Self-harming behaviours.


Is it Time to Make a Change?


As a parent, it can be challenging to understand your children’s behaviours and emotional reactions. It is normal to feel frustrated or confused about how to proceed. Often children communicate through their behaviours, and it is often a matter of finding the right tools to truly listen, support, and understand your child. If you are feeling worried or overwhelmed by your child’s behaviour or if you notice that your reactions to your child’s behaviour may not be helping, then it may be time for a change. Through a combination of child counselling and play therapy, children can learn to reengage with their lives and gain control again, providing an opportunity for healthier emotional and mental development. If you are interested in learning more, please reach out to our team.

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