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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), describes trauma as “an event, or series of events, that causes moderate to severe stress reactions…[that are] characterized by a sense of horror, helplessness, serious injury, or the threat of serious injury or death.” Treating trauma is the most significant way to help adolescents heal from their experiences. Experiencing trauma affects everyone differently, and each teen will recover from a traumatic ordeal distinctly. There are a variety of treatment options available for teenage trauma survivors, such as:

  1. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR utilizes guided eye movement techniques to help process one’s memories, thoughts, and emotional associations. EMDR shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.
  2. Art therapy: Art therapy encourages teenagers to explore self-expression, navigate emotions, and hone problem-solve skills using various art media rather than relying on verbal articulation. It is a technique rooted in the notion that creative expression can foster healing and mental well-being.
  3. Somatic therapy: This is a body-centered approach that looks at the connection of mind and body and relies on strategies (e.g., breathwork, dance, meditation, etc.) to heal trauma, stress, and other mental health issues.
  4. Group therapy: Participating in group therapy sessions can help a young person learn from peers that are navigating thoughts and emotions related to trauma. 
  5. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is an evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents impacted by trauma and their parents or caregivers. Through a cognitive behavioral therapy model, TF-CBT aims to resolve a variety of emotional and behavioral challenges resulting from the trauma. TF-CBT emphasizes a gradual exposure component, where the teenager’s trauma experience is discussed over the course of treatment. Research has shown the more exposure is disseminated, is directly linked to reduced trauma symptoms, and improved mental health.

There is no universally effective method of treatment for trauma. Every teenager is different and will require a somewhat unique treatment plan when it comes to navigating the healing process from trauma. Guidance from a qualified mental health professional can help provide a teenage trauma survivor with the much-needed support in cultivating effective coping strategies and learning applicable skills to aid in the recovery process. 

For Information and Support

Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times. Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.


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