Therapy to Combat PTSD in Children
PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. All human beings somehow develop PTSD even children. Children and teens could have PTSD if they have lived through an event that was severely traumatic. For instance, children could have PTSD due to an event that caused them or someone else to be killed or badly hurt. Events like this usually are sexual or physical abuse or other violent crimes. Other things like disasters; floods, school shootings, car crashes, or fires may cause PTSD in children. Other PTSD triggers are war, a friend’s suicide, or seeing violence in the area they live.
The symptoms of PTSD in children vary. It differs slightly from the symptoms of PTSD in adults. For instance children with PTSD may not have flashbacks and they may have problems remembering parts of the trauma they experienced. Children who have PTSD though, if they can remember will put events of the trauma in the wrong order, or think there were signs that trauma was going to happen. Children with PTSD who are young might repeat the trauma again and again in the way they play. These games don’t make their worry or stress go away. A perfect example is a child may want to play shooting games after seeing a school shooting. That’s the way a child often shows symptoms of PTSD.
So since it is quite apparent that PTSD is in children just as it is in adults how do you combat it? Usually different therapies are used to combat PTSD in children although for many children, PTSD symptoms will just go away on their own after a few months. For those that have PTSD symptoms for years there are different therapies available. For instance,
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to combat PTSD in children
This is one type of therapy to combat PTSD in children. Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT is the most well-known and most effective approach for combating PTSD in children. There is a type of CBT called Trauma-Focused CBT. This kind of therapy to combat PTSD in children allows the child to talk about his or her memory of the trauma. Therapy to combat PTSD in children, such as trauma-focused CBT also uses techniques to reduce worry and stress. Not only that, but a child can learn how to assert him or herself. Through TF-CBT the child can learn how to change thoughts and beliefs about the trauma that are not correct or are untrue.
EMDR or Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy to combat PTSD in children
EMDR combines both cognitive-therapies with directed eye movements. EMDR is effective in treating PTSD in children although it is said eye movements aren’t needed to make it work.
Play therapy to combat PTSD in children
Play therapy is used to combat PTSD in very young children who may not be able to deal with the trauma in a direct way. The therapist will use games, drawings, and other methods to help the child process their traumatic memories without taking them head on.
The effects of PTSD in children can be significant. Luckily there are multiple therapies to combat PTSD in children today. There are even special treatments for children who show extreme symptoms of PTSD. PTSD does not have to be lived with but can be dealt with due to the right therapy.