Trauma

How can I help my child be okay again?

Your teenager is struggling. They seem irritable and moody a lot. They have trouble going to sleep or sleep a lot more than they used to. They may have experienced a terrible accident, or perhaps they’re being bullied. Whatever the situation was, your son or daughter has changed in the aftermath.

You know something is wrong. You’re seeing these changes, and you’re concerned for your child’s well-being.

You've tried to talk with them, to help them feel better and return to the way they used to be, but no conversation feels like it's enough. You may have asked for other people in their life to talk to them too—coaches, mentors, teachers, or religious leaders—but nothing is helping.

Trauma impacts the brain and requires intentional care for healing.

Counseling can help your child process their traumatic experiences and move into a healthier and rejuvenated approach to life. 
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Through counseling, your traumatized teen will learn how to:

  • find a way back to happiness and healthy relationships  

  • be able to understand and explain what's happening to them  

  • re-process the events that brought on their trauma

  • create coping strategies to manage their reactions

  • be able to talk about their experiences without being burdened by them

Your child will benefit most from counseling for trauma if:

  • they are at least 12 years old 

  • they are not abusing substances

  • they're willing to talk about what happened to them

  • they want to feel better about their life

The counseling process:

Therapy will help your son or daughter identify the areas of their past that is triggering traumatic reactions. The therapist will help them with coping skills and lead them through practices that reprocess their trauma and heal their brain.

 

Each therapy session is 50 minutes long. For best results in treating trauma, we recommend at least eight consecutive weeks of therapy. This timeframe helps the child and therapist move beyond surface conversations and develop a relationship that focuses on deep healing. Once the relationship has been established, sessions can be moved to biweekly or, if the child has resolved his or her significant struggles, can begin to move toward termination.

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wHAT TO EXPECT

wEEK 1:

The first week is the intake session. Colorado’s laws allow for teenagers to be in charge of their own information; the therapist will discuss with teenagers the value of including their parents and/or families in counseling. The intake session also involves beginning to establish a warm and welcoming relationship between therapist and client, so your child feels comfortable opening up and working on their issues in subsequent sessions.

Week 2 and THE FOLLOWING weeks:

The early weeks of therapy will involve building rapport. This is crucial; young people will be more willing to open up and will have greater success addressing their struggles if they trust their therapist. The therapist will evaluate the child’s needs and use a combination of therapies determined to be the best fit for the unique needs of your son or daughter. Your child will also receive homework to be practiced at home. Ongoing and consistent application of skills and tools is necessary for growth.

 

Intermountain Counseling is committed to creating a safe, warm, and welcoming environment for teens and preteens so they feel empowered and equipped to overcome the obstacles in their life.

Termination:

Termination is the agreed-upon ending of the therapeutic relationship once goals are achieved and takes 1 to 3 sessions, depending on your child's needs. The therapist will coordinate with the client to determine what is appropriate. Therapy should be a springboard into life; it’s vital that the relationship not be ended prematurely, which would undermine everything your child has work toward. If termination is deemed appropriate, the therapist will work with your child to establish a plan moving forward so that change remains consistent.