And many childhood mental health problems are linked to trauma. We understand that it’s often hard to know what to do when our children are in long-term distress. Read on to learn about the symptoms and diagnosis of child trauma, and how to get treatment.
To begin with, it’s important to define what trauma is. In short, trauma happens when a person goes through painful or unsettling life events. These can be one-off major incidents, such as being in an accident or losing a family member. Trauma may be due to an event occurring now or one that took place in the past. Or there can also be smaller or prolonged events that build up to cause distress in children and young people. For example, a parent leaves to work away from home for an extended period, followed by a pet dying and a change of school. These smaller events in isolation may not cause a traumatic response. But when they come together in quick succession it becomes overwhelming. Often, children cannot express their problems. This makes it difficult to distinguish when something is affecting them. This means that, as parents, you should look out for the signs below.
Flashbacks (reliving distressing images or sensations)
Phobias or avoidance of things and situations relating to the distressing event(s)
Physical signs such as pain, sweating, stomach problems or trembling
Re-enacting an upsetting event repeatedly through play
General anxiety or depression
Sleep difficulties (insomnia)
Behavioural difficulties (irritability, aggression, eating less or more than usual)
Emotional numbing (being withdrawn and trying not to feel anything)
Self-harming or other destructive behaviour (such as substance abuse)
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
Difficulties with relationships
At Kove, we specialise in assessment and intervention for children and their families. We can provide personalised options for young people experiencing trauma and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Our child psychologist gets their first impression of a child’s mental well-being using a questionnaire. We ask the child and their caregivers to complete this evaluation. This enables us to investigate further to determine your needs. We also interview the young person face-to-face and, in a separate interview, their parent(s) or guardian(s). Trauma affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. It is something everyone can relate to, but most find it very hard to talk about. This is why we take the time to get to know you and your child. And we create the space to develop a trusting relationship with your family. If necessary we can also observe the child to diagnose any behavioural issues.
To prevent short-term childhood trauma from becoming a long-term adult mental disorder, it’s what you do next that matters. We provide a comprehensive, evidence-based child trauma treatment programme. The choice of treatment varies according to the age, type of trauma and symptoms of the young person.
Evidence supports cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as a treatment for childhood trauma. CBT is a talking therapy that we can adapt to suit the needs of the young person. Trauma-focussed cognitive behavioural therapy offers a way to: Express feelings, Break negative thinking patterns, Stop self-destructive reactions. Your child will learn ways to reframe unhelpful thoughts and improve their behaviour and feelings. When trauma affects the bond between a young child and their primary caregiver, we call this attachment-based trauma. These could be experiences such as family breakdown, an illness or death in the family. In these cases, we may use specific attachment-based therapies. They help someone (of any age) to cope with the consequences of previous traumas.
For treating PTSD symptoms, EMDR therapy is gaining increasing support. EMDR stands for eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing. Through EMDR, patients learn to address experiences that overwhelmed their coping mechanisms. The therapy helps individuals to ‘reprocess’ painful memories until they become less disruptive.
GET IN TOUCH
If your child is showing signs of ongoing distress, get in touch. We are happy to answer any queries regarding childhood trauma and our trauma therapy services. Arrange an initial consultation to explore ways to support you and your child.
Join us now to discuss how to enhance your relationship with your children and effectively manage their behavioral difficulties with less stress. Let's work together towards a happier and healthier family dynamic.
If you are concerned about your child's anxiety, don't hesitate to reach out to us. As trusted anxiety specialists based in London, we are here to help. Let's work together to address your child's concerns and find effective solutions. Contact us today.
Therapy sessions can be conducted either face-to-face or virtually, depending on your personal preference. You can opt to begin your sessions online but may choose to have an occasional in-person session or vice versa.
Regardless of your preference, our priority is to accommodate your needs and preferences.
Website by DESK.™
Website by DESK.™