Child Stress and Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Counsellors

Child Stress and Trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder that usually starts within the three months of a traumatic incident. It has been reported that in rare cases, PTSD symptoms may only occur after a number of years.

Three groups of symptoms are present in people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Increased anxiety / emotional arousal includes anger or irritability, overwhelming shame or guilt, sleeplessness and self-destructive behaviour. The second group of symptoms, known as intrusive memories, causes flashbacks to the traumatic event and upsetting dreams. The third group of symptoms that a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder patient may experience, includes emotional numbing or avoidance. This group of symptoms includes memory problems, poor concentration, feeling emotionally numb, a sense of hopelessness, and an avoidance of activities that the person used to find enjoyable.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms may be present for a while, disappear and then return again. General stress may increase the symptoms, as can reminders of the traumatic incident.

Therapists who address  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder generally use one, or a combination of trauma therapies to treat it. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is commonly used and can help a person to change their reactions to traumatic memories.

Exposure therapy can help a person reduce the amount of fear related to the feelings and thoughts associated with past traumatic events. Cognitive therapy helps a person to change the way he or she thinks about the event and the aftermath of a traumatic incident. It will help a person to identify thoughts that cause fear and anger, and learn ways to replace those thoughts with less stressful and more empowering thoughts.

If you are looking for a counsellor or psychologist who offers Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and related issues you may want to search the directory to find a professional whose approach will suit you best.

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Jill Parker

M.Ed., RSW
***Due to the Covid-19 circumstances I will be doing telephone and video counselling only.  I will resume in-person sessions when the situation settles down.  Thanks for your understanding.  Warm regards... Read more