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Brief Therapy After Trauma Helps Children

April 7, 2012
Plain English Version

Children are often the victims of trauma, such as sexual or physical abuse. They often witness traumatic events at home. And they can be part of trauma through natural disasters, criminal activities, fires or car accidents.

The effects of trauma can be devastating for children and families. Children are at risk of becoming alcoholics, drug abusers and becoming depressed or anxious as adults.

A new study brings good news. Structured talk therapy sessions are shown to reduce the impact of trauma on young people.

Four to six sessions with trained clinicians can help. It begins with:

  • one session with the parent or caregiver
  • one session with the child
  • two sessions with them together

The counselor helps healing through reassurance and support.

They use tests to measure its effectiveness. If necessary, the child or caregiver may be referred for further therapy.

Other studies show those who got the therapy were much less likely to suffer later from symptoms such as sleep-disorders, depression and anxiety.

A researcher said, “It makes an immediate difference in the daily lives of children who have suffered even the worst forms of abuse.”

The new program is called Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention.

The New York Times


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