Childhood trauma occurs when a child (0-18 years of age) experiences an actual or threatened negative event, series of events, or set of circumstances that cause emotional pain and overwhelm the child’s ability to cope. This type of event(s) may also happen to someone a child knows, causing the child to be impacted as a result of seeing or hearing about the other person being hurt or injured (secondary trauma).
When these types of experiences happen, children become very overwhelmed, upset, and/or feel helpless. Traumatic experiences dramatically impact the child’s life and changes the way they perceive the world. A traumatic event can be life-threatening or can deeply affect his sense of safety. These types of experiences can happen to anyone at any time and at any age; however, not all overwhelming or life-threatening experiences have a negative impact nor are considered traumatic. Generally, children’s reactions to trauma differ based on the nature of the trauma; the child’s individual, family, and neighborhood characteristics; and the overall balance of risk and protective factors in their lives. It also depends on their age and developmental stage. A life experience that is traumatic for one child might not be traumatic for another.
In an ideal world, there would be no children experiencing trauma since potentially traumatic experiences would be prevented. Unfortunately, children and adolescents will experience things that they are not emotionally or psychologically equipped to handle. These experiences can disrupt their natural emotional and cognitive development if left untreated.
There is a range of traumatic events or trauma types to which children and adolescents can be exposed to. They include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:
Our Child Trauma Counseling in San Antonio is helping children, adolescents, and families overcome traumatic experiences through trauma focused counseling services. Call our experienced therapists today at 210-418-2546. We can help.