Trauma is an unfortunate reality that many children across the world experience. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including abuse, neglect, natural disasters, and accidents. Traumatic experiences can have a significant impact on a child’s mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Fortunately, trauma therapists for children are available to help young people process and heal from their traumatic experiences. These professionals are trained to provide evidence-based therapy to help children and their families cope with the aftermath of trauma.
In this article, we will explore the role of a trauma therapist for children, the benefits of seeking professional help for children who have experienced trauma, as well as list some of the best trauma therapists for children.
Who are trauma therapists?
Trauma therapists for children are mental health professionals who specialize in working with young people who have experienced trauma.
They have specialized training and experience in helping children and families cope with the impact of traumatic experiences. These professionals may work in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, and private practice.
Role of a trauma therapist
The primary goal of a trauma therapist for children is to help their young clients process their experiences, develop coping strategies, and move toward healing. They use a range of evidence-based therapies to achieve these goals, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), play therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
- CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on changing negative patterns of thought and behavior. It is often used to help children with anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
- Play therapy, on the other hand, is a form of therapy that uses play to help children express their thoughts and feelings in a safe and supportive environment.
- EMDR is a specialized form of therapy that uses eye movements to help children process traumatic memories and reduce their emotional impact.
In addition to therapy, trauma therapists for children may also provide education and support to parents and caregivers. They may work with families to develop coping strategies and help them understand how to support their child’s healing process. They may also provide referrals to other professionals, such as psychiatrists, who can provide medication management for children with mental health conditions.
Benefits of seeking therapy for trauma
The benefits of seeking professional help for children who have experienced trauma are numerous. Children who receive therapy from a trauma therapist are more likely to experience a reduction in symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
They may also experience improved relationships with family members, better academic performance, and an overall improved quality of life.
Trauma therapists for children
Following are some trauma therapists that you can check out for your child.
1. Creative Tween Counseling – Katie Lear
Katie Lear is a child therapist at Creative Tween Counseling, who specializes in assisting elementary to middle school children struggling with anxiety and difficult life experiences. Using child-friendly therapy techniques, Katie helps children learn to manage their emotions and develop coping strategies to overcome their fears, adapt to changes and navigate difficult times in their lives.
Katie is committed to supporting children and their families through tough times, and she works with families of all backgrounds and beliefs. She offers specialized services in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) and child-parent psychotherapy (CPP), which have been proven to be effective in treating trauma symptoms. Her services are available in her office located in Davidson, North Carolina, and she also provides online therapy to children throughout North Carolina, New York, and Florida.
Katie’s approach to counseling is to help children heal from trauma, learn new skills, and provide support to the family unit so they can focus on having fun together. Parents who are interested in learning more about her services or would like to schedule an appointment can reach out to her via email.
2. Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital
The Child Study Center at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital in NYU Langone provides psychotherapy to manage traumatic stress in children and adolescents. They use a specialized treatment model called Trauma Systems Therapy, which focuses on understanding the situations that make a child feel unsafe and overwhelmed.
The therapy is not limited to children only, as parents, family members, teachers, and other adults in the child’s life are also involved in the treatment. By teaching children how to better manage their emotions and reactions, and by training the adults in their lives on how to support them, the child’s well-being can be improved.
Their psychologists and psychiatrists strive to create a supportive and safe environment where children and families can work together to overcome traumatic experiences.
3. Trauma Institute & Child Trauma Institute
Dr. Ricky Greenwald is a clinical psychologist with extensive experience working with individuals and families of all ages since 1985. He is the founder, executive director, and chair of faculty at the Trauma Institute & Child Trauma Institute. The institute offers therapy, training, consultation, information, and resources for individuals and professionals working with individuals who have experienced trauma. Their research focuses on trauma assessment, treatment, and training programs.
Their therapy program uses intensive trauma therapy that has been proven effective in helping individuals heal from trauma, loss, and related symptoms. The institute offers cutting-edge trauma therapy training programs that feature EMDR, PC, Intensives, and Flash techniques.
Additionally, they provide special programs, including no-cost intensive trauma therapy for eligible individuals with Victim’s Compensation cases, victims of clergy abuse, and survivors of auto accidents. By providing these services, they aim to ensure that children who have experienced trauma have access to the support and care they need to heal and recover.
4. The Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress – Kennedy Krieger Institute
The Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress at the Kennedy Krieger Institute is dedicated to supporting families in coping with the effects of trauma and stress. The expert team consists of licensed social workers, psychiatrists, nurses, and mental health counselors, who provide evidence-based treatments to help children and their families recover from the impact of traumatic events.
Moreover, the Center’s extensive research efforts aim to discover policies and practices that best support children and families. The Center offers a range of resources to address fears and feelings from prior losses, helping children cope with the impending death of a loved one, and mourning the death of a loved one. In addition, the Center provides other resources, including guidance on how to help a child after the death of a sibling from substance use or overdose, and how to help a child after a parent or caregiver dies.
The Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress is committed to helping families find answers and providing them with the tools they need to move forward and heal.
BetterHelp is an online therapy platform that provides users with the opportunity to connect with licensed therapists from the convenience of their own homes. The platform offers online counseling for both adults and teenagers, with TeenCounseling as their sister site dedicated to serving children between the ages of 13 and 19.
BetterHelp and TeenCounseling provide a variety of therapy options, including phone, video, and live chat sessions with licensed therapists. For parents looking for additional support with their parenting concerns or seeking therapy for their teenager, BetterHelp offers an accessible and convenient option to pursue therapy without needing to coordinate separate trips to an office.
If parents cannot find a particular type of children’s therapist in their country or community, they may benefit from exploring online therapy options like BetterHelp or TeenCounseling.
A: Children who have experienced trauma may exhibit a range of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, nightmares, changes in behavior, and difficulty concentrating. If a child has experienced a traumatic event or is displaying concerning symptoms, it may be helpful to seek the advice of a mental health professional.
A: Trauma therapists for children are trained to work with children who have experienced a range of traumatic events, including abuse, neglect, natural disasters, and accidents. They can help children process and heal from the emotional impact of these experiences.
A: The length of therapy will vary depending on the child’s individual needs and the severity of their trauma. Some children may only need a few sessions, while others may benefit from ongoing therapy for several months or even years.
A: Yes, parents or caregivers are often involved in their child’s therapy sessions with a trauma therapist. This can help parents understand their child’s experiences and learn strategies to support their healing process.
A: Trauma therapists for children can work with young people of all ages, from infants to adolescents. Depending on the child’s age, the therapist may use different types of therapy, such as play therapy for younger children or talk therapy for older children.
A: While therapy with a trauma therapist can help children process their experiences and develop coping strategies, it may not completely erase the effects of trauma. However, it can significantly improve a child’s mental health and quality of life. The goal of therapy is to help children manage their symptoms and move towards healing, rather than erase the impact of trauma entirely.
In conclusion, trauma therapists for children play a crucial role in helping young people heal from traumatic experiences. They provide evidence-based therapy to help children process their experiences, develop coping strategies, and move toward healing.
The benefits of seeking professional help for children who have experienced trauma are numerous, and it is essential that families and caregivers prioritize their child’s mental health and well-being.