Every year, an estimated 3.8 million teenage Americans experience some form of trauma, ranging from physical abuse to the loss of a loved one. Unfortunately, the number of teens who experience trauma is on the rise; in 2020, the American Psychological Association reported a 20% increase in teen trauma cases compared to previous years. This increase can be attributed to both external and internal factors, including the rise in teen suicide rates and the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The effects of trauma on teenage individuals can be debilitating; teens may suffer from depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Therefore, when parenting a teen who has experienced trauma, parents need to know what resources are available, including mental health treatment.
Sources of Trauma in Teenagers
Traumatic experiences can occur at any time to anyone of any age. Many people imagine trauma as something soldiers develop in wartime or perhaps as the survivor of a serious natural disaster. While those are definitely sources of trauma, many other scenarios qualify for teens who experience trauma.
Some experiences that could lead to trauma in teenagers include the following:
- Domestic abuse or violence in the home
- Sexual assault or harassment
- Loss of a loved one
- Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse from someone close to them
- Natural disaster/violence in their community
Parenting a teen who has experienced trauma can be difficult and very emotional for both parents and the teen. Parents need to know that they are not alone and many resources are available to help their teens cope with their traumatic experiences.
How to Help a Teen Who Experienced Trauma
Therapy is often the best way to help teens who experienced trauma. Imagine Nampa offers the following therapies that can help patients process memories related to traumatic events.
Group therapy is an excellent way for teen trauma patients to talk about their experiences with peers. It can also help them develop coping strategies and work through difficult emotions in a supportive environment.
Individual therapy is a form of treatment designed to help teen trauma patients process their emotions and gain insight into the root cause of their traumatic experiences. Therapists may also provide teen trauma patients with education and guidance on managing their symptoms in daily life.
Family therapy is a type of treatment designed to help teen trauma patients and their families work through any issues they may have related to the teen’s traumatic experience. In family therapy, teen trauma patients can learn to express their emotions and gain insight into how the trauma has impacted their family relationships.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that helps teen trauma patients change their thoughts and behaviors. It identifies negative thoughts or underlying mental health issues and replaces them with healthier coping techniques. CBT works by helping teen trauma patients learn how to recognize and modify their thought patterns and develop more effective strategies to manage their emotions.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is designed to help teen trauma patients build skills that reduce emotional distress, increase personal awareness and regulate their emotions more effectively. It focuses on teaching teen trauma patients how to identify and problem-solve deeply entrenched patterns of behavior that can contribute to difficulty in relationships or other areas of life. DBT often includes techniques such as mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation in order to help teen trauma patients better manage the intense feelings triggered by their traumatic experiences. In addition, DBT provides teen trauma patients with a robust support system so they can feel understood and empowered throughout their recovery process.
Trauma therapy is a type of treatment designed to help teen trauma patients process and make sense of their traumatic experiences. Trauma therapy often includes a combination of individual, group, and family therapy. Teen trauma patients must understand that they are not alone in their recovery process.
Contact Imagine Nampa Today
At Imagine Nampa, we understand the complexity of teen trauma and are here to help. Our experienced team of professionals provides evidence-based therapies designed to help teen trauma patients process their traumatic experiences in a safe and supportive environment. Call us today at 208.203.8574 or reach out online to learn how we can help your teen cope with their traumatic experience.