Child Stress and Trauma Animal Assisted Therapy

Child Stress and Trauma

Children today are exposed to much more trauma than we were twenty or thirty years ago, and that's why child trauma counselling is such an important tool to help them cope. Once off events, such as sexual abuse, domestic violence, bullying, life-threatening illnesses, natural disasters, or war can leave a child scarred for life.

Long-term exposure to poverty, verbal abuse or milder types of abuse are traumatic too, in fact that can be as devastating to a child as a single catastrophic event.

As with adults, every child has a different way of dealing with similar circumstances or events. Not every person who experiences the same event will become traumatized, but exposure to trauma can result in a variety of symptoms including nightmares, bedwetting, anxiety, depression, disdain for authority, poor grades, moodswings, substance abuse, and self-harm.

Both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and a range of other therapies can be helpful in treating children who have been exposed to short term trauma. Therapists will usually work with the child on a one-on-one basis to help the child restructure negative thought patterns and self esteem (in the case of abuse, etc.) before calling in the family for family counselling. Family counselling is a great way for the family to find common ground, build problem-solving skills and to help the parents to re-establish themselves as the authority figures in the home.

If you are looking for a counsellor or psychologist with specialized traing in trauma counselling for children you may want to search the directory to find a professional whose approach will suit you best.

Animal Assisted Therapy, Critical Incident Stress Management

Animal-assisted therapy uses animals, and dogs in particular, to improve cognitive and emotional functioning. Animals help to build a report between the therapist and the patient, and can include domesticated pets and farm animals.

During the first stages of animal-assisted therapy, the therapist will assess the client's needs without animals present. The animal is only introduced once the therapist has developed a treatment plan.

The next stage involves a bond being developed between the client and the animal through motor skills. The animals are used to motivate the client, and to create positive interactions that can be translated into human interaction.

The therapist will monitor improvement and once a positive interaction is established between the client and the animal, the client is given independence in making choices for their partner in Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) therapy.

If you are looking for a counsellor who offers Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) therapy, please browse our list of practitioners below..

Dawn Holt

M.A., RCC
With 15 years of experience, education and expertise in the mental health field, I have helped clients access their own strengths, gain insight and build skills to improve their lives. Helping people Feel Better, Do... Read more