A person's experiences can stay with them for a lifetime, whether those experiences are positive or negative. Fortunately for people who have undergone trauma, traumatic memories don't need to define a person or shape their lives forever. Trauma treatment programs help people who have experienced medical trauma, sexual violence, assault, and bereavement to find peace and strength in themselves. These are some advantages of trauma treatment programs for youth:
1. Help teens recognize the short-term and long-term symptoms of PTSD.
Not everyone who experiences trauma will develop PTSD. However, the development of PTSD is not outside the realm of possibility, even for young people. Programs that teach teens to recognize the signs of PTSD can empower young people with a better understanding of themselves, their emotions, and their actions. Teens may find it comforting to know that fixating on a traumatic event immediately after it has occurred is a common symptom of trauma. Long-term symptoms of trauma can include feelings of depression and anxiety, as well as harmful behaviors like self-harm and substance abuse. When teens are aware of these risks, they may be more motivated to participate in therapy to help them deal with their issues. Furthermore, teens can learn not to blame themselves for their feelings and reactions following a traumatic event.
2. Give teens a safe place to recover from their trauma.
People who have experienced trauma may struggle to feel safe, even in places that should feel the most secure, such as their homes. These feelings of insecurity can promote hypervigilance, one of the symptoms of PTSD. Trauma treatment programs can give teenagers a safe place to discuss and heal from their trauma. Trauma-aware therapists are trained to provide compassionate care to teens suffering from a wide variety of issues. Trauma therapists will not push teens to talk about difficult subjects before they're ready. Instead, they will maintain open lines of communication while teaching teens valuable coping mechanisms that they can use to deal with troubling thoughts and emotions.
3. Address attachment issues.
Trauma can cause attachment issues in some people. These issues may be more pronounced in adolescents whose brains have not yet finished developing. Untreated trauma may make people more likely to fall into unhealthy relationships that can then perpetuate cycles of abuse and codependency. At a trauma treatment program for teens, teenagers can learn to create and enforce healthy boundaries when it comes to relationships. This can help people who have developed an anxious attachment style due to their trauma. Likewise, teens with an avoidant attachment style can slowly learn to trust others and form healthy relationships through ongoing trauma therapy.