Therapy for Children and Pre-teens
Children ages 5-10
Shame, guilt, sadness, hopelessness, anger, mistrust, bad, ugly, unsafe, unloved, unworthy, and nasty are just some of the ways your child may describe how they feel about themselves. On the other hand for children who are younger or who experienced the abuse before they were verbal, they may not have the language to express what happened to them or how it made them feel. Children speak through their behavior. Part of the healing process will be to help your child to come to terms with their overwhelming feelings, and begin to understand how these events have re-wired their brain in a way that their behavior is a reflection of constantly being in fight-flight-freeze mode. I will help your child self regulate and for you and your child to co-regulate, to decrease emotional reactivity. Here are some important facts about Trauma and it's presentation:
The world of a pre-teen is tough for most girls if not all. The combination of hormones, discovering who they are and what they want to be, pressure from school and peers, is an endless cycle of ups and downs. For these young girls who are victims of assault they face the task of trying to find ways to cope with their assault. They may not have the words to talk about. They may be plagued with nightmares and thought intrusions that remind them of their trauma. They may blame themselves, especially if they know the perpetrator, which makes them want to shrink away and hide. Parents want to help them but find your teen only pushes you away. You want to help them but your at a loss as to how. Getting help in the form of therapy will help her learn the skills necessary to cope with her assault, express herself and feelings appropriately, and find peace and joy.
How Trauma Presents Itself in children & teens
- Depression (in children and adolescents this looks more like irritability than sadness, but sadness and feelings of worthlessness are often present)
- Low Self-Esteem/Self-Worth/Self-Value
- Fears, Worries, and/or Phobias
- Sleep Challenges (such as: insomnia, restless/interrupted sleep, and nightmares/night terrors, difficulty falling asleep)
- Enuresis (day time and/or night time wetting after being potty trained)/Encopresis (difficulty controlling bowels/involuntary defecation)
- Regression (loss of previously mastered skills such as potty training, weening, wanting to sleep with parents, etc)
- And finally many of these children, particularly when the event happened at a younger age (interutero, infancy, and/or toddler hood) or if the trauma happened reputedly, have persisting physiological hyper-reactivity which results in a faster resting heart rate and/or borderline high blood pressure, metabolic challenges (not gaining weight despite how much they eat, overeating, or not eating, and/or a high or low body temperature.
- Remember not all children who have experienced trauma will develop PTSD and/or other trauma related symptoms.
How To Take The Next Step
I offer a free 15 minute consultation, which is a time for us to get to know each other a little bit better to see if we are a good fit together. Reach out at +1-415-496-6792 or via email at [email protected], I’m here for you.