Children are frequently exposed to trauma in life, with about half experiencing at least one such event. This could be a disaster, violence, abuse, loss, terrorism, a death, and more. Unfortunately, many children don’t experience just one such event, but several, and they live with chronic trauma. Even if they were very young when it happened, children still remember going through this sort of event (or even if they have forgotten, the event has left a traumatic mark).
It’s very important for any child that has been through this type of event to receive child counselling for what they have been through. If a child is to recover from what they have been through, they will need an outlet and a way to make sense of what they have experienced. Going to counselling can help children heal from these events. Exposure to a traumatic life event can cause acute distress immediately during and after the exposure to the event. While most children may return to normal functioning over the course of time with loving adults by their side, even if children seem fine it is in their best interests to seek counselling after such an event.
Read on to find out more about what you should know about children, trauma, and how counselling can help.
Child Counselling for Trauma: What You Need to Know
Children need help when they have been exposed to a damaging event. Some children may develop symptoms of ongoing distress that require clinical attention, although how kids react to the trauma may depend on their age level, their maturity level, how much they have been exposed to the trauma and what type it was. Kids who have been exposed to pervasive damaging experiences over and over may be even more vulnerable to trauma down the line.
It’s not just children who are affected; the parents of these kids are affected by what happens and the members of the family might react differently to the event and also be affected. Child counselling can help children to not fall behind with developmental milestones and not take that trauma into the rest of their lives.
It’s important to realize that there are many kids with high levels of distress that never receive treatment for what they have been through. Children need a place to express their feelings and regain a sense of control after a painful or scary event. Without proper treatment, many children never fully heal or recover from the events. Unfortunately, many children who truly need and would benefit from counselling never get it. If you can afford it and have the time to take your child, counselling should be your next step.
Counselors will work with your child and listen to them and the family too. They will be a source of support that will work to understand your experience and help you get through it. They are trained to recognize signs of distress and reactions to having been through a damaging event and will realize that not every child is going to react to an event in the same way. Allowing children to take back control and be free to speak to you and have someone who will listen is key.