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Understanding the Impact of Childhood Trauma on Teens

adult therapist talking to teenage girl for understanding the impact of childhood trauma on teens

Childhood trauma can have a lasting effect, and some teens struggle more than others with the impacts of trauma. Teen trauma therapy can offer the tools a teen needs to overcome trauma and achieve a sense of healing.

Imagine Boise is a teen mental health treatment center that helps teen patients overcome the impact of trauma. Give us a call today at 888.597.2807 to learn more about how we can help your teen heal.

Impact of Childhood Trauma on Teens

Trauma refers to how a person processes and copes with a frightening or dangerous situation. It’s common for trauma to spring from serious events like sexual abuse or a car accident.

However, situations like feeling emotionally neglected or school bullying can also create trauma, especially if a child doesn’t have the support they need to cope with feelings of fear and disempowerment.

Untreated trauma is a serious mental health concern and can lead to lifelong effects. The long-term effects of childhood trauma include:

  • Difficulty with work and higher education
  • Substance use disorders
  • Mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and eating disorders
  • Chronic health challenges

The best way parents can support a teen struggling with the impacts of trauma is to watch for the warning signs and connect a teen to professional mental health services when those signs appear.

Signs a Teen Is Struggling with Trauma

Although the scenarios that lead to trauma can differ, the impact of childhood trauma on a teen often looks the same. Teens struggling to cope with the impact of trauma often show emotional and behavioral signs that include:

  • Isolation and withdrawal
  • Conflict with parents
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Cognitive issues, such as trouble with memory or concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Flashbacks or nightmares
  • Problems with school attendance and performance
  • Substance use
  • High-risk sexual behaviors
  • Self-harm

All of these signs indicate that a teen’s mental or emotional health is suffering.

How Teen Trauma Therapy Can Help

A trauma treatment program is designed to help a teen process the traumatic events that happened so they can move forward and heal. During teen trauma therapy, a teen works with a mental health professional to gain insight into their emotions and reactions and increase self-awareness about their current methods of coping.

Over time, teens can learn how childhood trauma impacts them and develop healthier coping methods and communication skills. A trauma therapy program helps a teen:

  • Understand the impact of trauma
  • Re-process the traumatizing experience
  • Identify when they’re triggered
  • Learn tools to cope with triggers
  • Develop communication skills
  • Rely on family for support

Trauma therapy permanently changes a teen’s life. When trauma is experienced, it can be deeply confusing and overwhelming. In many ways, trauma makes a person “stuck.” The feelings experienced during the traumatizing event are often never processed, making them difficult to heal from. Childhood trauma, in particular, often leaves a lasting mark because children have a more limited capacity for identifying their feelings and understanding the reason behind them.

Undergoing trauma treatment in the teenage years can provide the tools needed to heal and move forward before the effects of trauma worsen into adulthood.

Imagine Boise Treats Teen Trauma

Imagine Boise is an outpatient teen mental health treatment center in Boise, Idaho. We work with teen patients 12-17 years old and their family members, providing trauma-informed care to teens who need support with overcoming the impacts of childhood trauma.

Untreated childhood trauma can significantly impact the trajectory of a teen’s entire life. When parents recognize that a teen is struggling with trauma, they can help by connecting them with the professional support needed to thrive.

For more information on how you can help your teen, call 888.597.2807 and ask about the teen trauma therapy programs available at Imagine Boise.