Counseling for Trauma
Terrible, unforgivable things sometimes happen to children. Physical, sexual and emotional abuse are all more common that we as a society would like to admit. In these situations children do what they need to to survive. Sometimes this includes blaming themselves, disconnecting from their emotions, exploding with uncontrolled anger, or developing strong anxieties or fears among many others. These responses to trauma usually make sense as the child's way to deal with what was happening at the time. The trouble is that when these children become teenagers they keep the strategies that helped them deal with what was happening in the past and continue to use them in the present. Blaming oneself for sexual abuse could have been the only way a child could continue to have a positive image of an abuser that they are completely dependent on. But when that same child turns into a teenager always blaming themselves for bad things that happen becomes a serious problem in itself.
Coping with Trauma
Sometimes teenagers can unconsciously put themselves in situations where they re-experience versions of what happened to them as a child as a way to attempt to gain some level of control over what happened to them. The classic example is the teenager who chooses abusive romantic partners as a way to "fix" the abuse in her own past. Often times unconscious thoughts like "If I can just make him happy he won't hurt me" govern most of their actions in abusive relationships.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Trauma can also take the shape of the death of loved ones or natural disasters. Horrible negative things that happen to children that are no one's fault. If children are not helped to deal with the emotional consequences of what happened they may become teenagers who think that feelings are useless and just get in the way of everything. Sometimes teenagers can experience flashbacks or depression and anxiety related to traumatic experiences, including symptoms of PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These teenagers need help to understand their normal reactions to terrible and hurtful events.
If your teenager suffered trauma as a child or recently and you are worried about how it is affecting them call Miguel Brown at 786-664-7426 or request a Consultation by filling out the form to your right.
By Miguel Brown