Childhood trauma counselling and therapy can help children and young people process experiences of previous trauma and develop more adaptive coping strategies to support them.
What is childhood trauma or developmental trauma?
Van Der Kolk, a leading trauma psychologist, initially coined the term Developmental Trauma, seeking to expand the definition of trauma to include the impact of chronic experiences of neglect, psychological maltreatment, abuse, attachment separations and impaired caregiving systems that can occur in childhood. This early trauma is qualitatively different from single event traumas such as traffic incidents.
Exposure to adversity in childhood, such as adverse childhood experiences, within an attachment relationship, increases the risks for a number of adult health risks and negative outcomes, including depression, anxiety, substance use, obesity, smoking, and teenage pregnancy, amongst others. Chronic stress in childhood also leads to difficulties in managing emotions, impairments in interpersonal relationships, impaired systems of meaning about the self and others, health symptoms and somatic complaints, and fragmentation of memory and consciousness (Van der Kolk et al, 1994).
Developmental trauma affects psychological, social and emotional functioning and can affect neurological development leading to children who have experienced chronic stress in their attachment relationships experiencing higher states or arousal and an inability to move from a fight/flight state.
Developmental Trauma can develop from any of the following events:
- Physical, sexual and emotional abuse
- A child living in unsafe households including domestic abuse
- Multiple adverse childhood experiences
- Multiple placement breakdowns or moves
Counselling and therapy for childhood trauma can offer space for children and young people to:
- Open up about past abuse
- Validate personal emotions
- Overcoming self-blame and shame
- Manage feelings of anger
- Explore fear of abandonment
- Develop resilience
- Build self-esteem
- Building trust
- Reduce anxiety and depression
Therapy for childhood trauma
Here at Meadows Psychology Service, we have experienced therapists who can complete a psychological assessment and make recommendations about appropriate intervention and therapies Our practitioners are trained in the following approaches:
- Dydadic Developmental Psychotherapy
- Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Trauma
- Cognitive Analytic Therapy
- Therapeutic Life Story Work
- Creative Therapies (Art, Drama, Play)
- Dialectical Behavioural Therapy
What can occur if trauma is left untreated?
Childhood trauma can have long term effects throughout childhood into adulthood. The effects of trauma at a young age can cause mental health conditions such as:
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse
- Alcohol abuse
- Risk taking behaviour
- Sleep disruptions
If you know of an individual in need of childhood trauma counselling and therapy, seeking professional help is important. Therapy and Counselling for childhood trauma can help reduce the impacts of previous experiences and support the development of helpful coping strategies.
Addressing these issues earlier can also reduce the risk of developing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, addiction, and other chronic conditions. Contact Meadows Psychology Service today and one of our team will be in touch to answer any questions.