Child Trauma Therapy
What is trauma?
Child trauma describes an incident during which a child experiences intense threat to his/her physical or emotional well-being. This incident could involve child abuse, neglect, witnessing domestic or community violence, or a natural disaster. For a young child, this could also include unexpected loss of a primary caregiver, due to death or divorce/separation.
Too Young to be affected?
It is unbearable to think that your child has been affected by something traumatic that occurred in his/her life, particularly when they are very young. One thing in the research is clear- that children respond differently to traumatic events depending on their individual temperament and stage of development. Because young babies do not have the capacity for language, much of the trauma is held within their bodies, without an understanding of what is happening. Many of these babies come to see me later on when they are toddlers and having problems with aggression, or other behavioral concerns.
I utilize Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) when working with young children (birth-6) and their caregivers, following a traumatic incident. It is a very effective, evidenced-based therapeutic method that assists young children (0-6years) and their parent/caregiver process the traumatic incident together and build a strong communication platform from which to go forward. This process involves thorough intake and history gathering sessions with the parent first and the administration of any necessary assessment measures to guide the treatment. As partners, I work with the caregiver to come up with a plan for how to speak with the child about the incident and leave room for the child to play through their experience. By helping parents to communicate through the child's play, it enables them to become the protective safe place the child needs to recover from the traumatic event. This thorough process helps to rebuild any damage done within the relationship and leaves room for feelings to be expressed openly and safely with one another.