Sep 18, 2018

Trauma-Informed Engagement

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Happy Monday, OOTers. I just wanted give the community a quick post on Trauma-Informed Care for children and teens today. This is the population that I primarily work with and for a very long time, therapists have been missing the diagnosis of trauma in this population (I am guilty of this as well). Often times the child will get the diagnosis of ADHD or Depression because the symptoms very closely resembled the cluster of symptoms that make up those diagnosis or the therapist just didn't know what else to diagnose. Research has shown us that the symptoms of trauma can look a lot like a lot those that often make up other diagnosis. Practicing Trauma-Informed Care means that we no longer place labels on these children without looking at the whole picture first.

 

Trauma informed care requires service providers, therapists, parents and other involved adults to be willing to take the time to get the child/teen's story and perspective and explore what the underlying need is that is driving their specific behavior. Building trust and providing a space of unconditional acceptance can go a long way in helping to bring healing to a child/teen.

 

Engaging Children/Teens

- Find out what is important to them:

-Learn their likes/dislikes, what their coping skills are, and their strengths.

 

-Take time to listen to their story and identify trauma triggers.

 

-Build goals around what they want to focus on in treatment.

-Ask what it is the child/teen wants to focus on; don't just assume you know.

 

-Explain the purpose of interventions/assessments/questions at the developmental level of the child/teen.

 

-Constantly ask yourself what the underlying need is that is driving the behavior and address the behavior based on the underlying need that has been identified.

 

-Give three options when giving a request (i.e. complete therapeutic homework alone, together or not at all) .

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