Covid-19 update: OFFERING ONLINE THERAPY SERVICES
Covid-19 update: OFFERING ONLINE THERAPY SERVICES
Some of the events that can overwhelm a child’s or adolescent’s ability to cope, include:
* Witnessing or experiencing domestic violence
* Terrorism, natural disasters, exposure to violence at school/home/community
* Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect
* Commercial sexual exploitation
* War and refugee experiences
* Military family-related stressors (ex. parental loss, deployment, or injury)
* Accidents, life-threatening illness
* Sudden or violent loss of a loved one
* Other chronic stressors or repeated traumatic events.
It is important to distinguish that, what could not be considered traumatic for one person, it could deeply affect another one.
Each child's ability to manage stress and express emotional pain is different.
Younger children may lack language to express how they feel or what they went through, but they may display acting-out behaviors instead.
Sometimes, the symptoms of trauma can start to interfere with a child's ability to function in the everyday and relationships.
Some of the signs that could be observed in a child/teen that have experienced trauma include:
* Nightmares and sleeping problems
* Irritability or angry outbursts
* Fear, anxiety, or being easily startled or scared
* Reliving the traumatic event over and over in their mind or in play
* Doing to toys or others what they have experienced in the traumatic event
* Not remembering or denying what happened to them
* Becoming upset when something triggers a memory of the traumatic event.
* Avoiding places or people associated with the event
*Difficulty to concentrate
* Enuresis (urinating)
* Changes in appetite and eating patterns
* Acting withdrawn, hopeless, or helpless
* Fearing separation from parents or caregivers
* Feelings of guiltiness or shame
* Feeling depressed/sad, crying
* Isolation or feelings of loneliness
* Self-harm behaviors (self-injury)
* Starting to use alcohol or drugs
* Becoming sexually active or displaying sexualized behaviors.
Remain calm; this will help your child feel contained.
Not all children who have experienced a traumatic event will develop symptoms of trauma or struggle to fulfill their daily activities in the future.
Some children are able to naturally recover and continue with their lives.
Receiving emotional support from their loved ones and caregivers can make a big difference.
Always make sure that your child is and feel safe at home and other frequented places. Avoid for him/her to be re-exposed to an abuser or traumatic episode.
If your child/teen has been sexually/emotionally/physically abused or neglected, report it to the authorities (by calling your local Police Department or Child Protective Services). If you live in Los Angeles county, you can call the Child Protection Hotline at: (800) 540-4000
Take measures (an inform your child/teen) about the measures you are taking to secure their safety).
In many occasions, children are afraid to report the abuse because the perpetrator/abuser has threatened them. Provide safety and reassurance to your child/teen.
If your child has been physically injured or sexually assaulted, take her to receive medical attention.
Don't blame your child/teen and remind him/her that he/she is not responsible for what happened.
Children many times blame themselves, even when what happened to them was completely out of their control.
Teenagers may keep from their parents that they have been raped because the event happened when they were under the influence of drugs/alcohol or at a place/party that their parents were not aware of. It may take a lot of courage for them to share what happened and it is very important for them not to be blamed.
You can involve your child's school to implement a supportive plan.
Look for the help of a mental health professional.
I am trained to use different modalities of treatment to help children/adolescents and families who have experienced trauma.
I customize my treatments according to what type of trauma a child/teen has been exposed to, their response, and their age.
The treatments I implement are considered Evidence-based practices (EBP), which means that they have been proven to be successful by scientific evidence and research.
In oder to help children (ages 3 to 18 years old), I implement Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral therapy (TF-CBT).
TF-CBT is a structured model of therapy and is considered a short-term treatment (usually lasting between 8 to 25 sessions).
In order to help infants (0 to 6 years old), I implement a treatment called Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP).
CPP is another Evidence-based practice (EBP) that helps children while supporting and strengthening primary attachment relationships between children and their parents or caregivers.
To learn more about this two trauma-specialized treatments, please read the following sections, or contact me.
TF-CBT has been evaluated and refined during the past 25 years to help children and adolescents recover after trauma and also helps the participating parent/caregiver reduce personal distress about the child’s traumatic experience, learn effective parenting skills, and increase supportive interactions with the child.
This treatment has different components, which help children/teens and parents/caregivers recover from trauma.
During the weekly sessions, the family receives psychoeducation about trauma and the types of symptoms that a person could experience in response to a traumatic event. Participating parents (or caregivers), are helped to learn effective strategies to communicate and manage their child's behavioral problems.
Other important components of treatment assist the child/teen to learn relaxation skills, managing his/her emotions, and identifying and replacing maladaptive thoughts.
Once a better emotional regulation has been achieved, children are engaged in creating a trauma narrative (through writing, drawing, play, or other symbolic elements) in order to process the traumatic event/s.
Through the exercises, children are gradually exposed to the trauma reminders and learn how to handle their fears/emotions and reduce avoidant behaviors.
Parents/caregivers participate in the process and are helped to support their children through separate and conjoin parent-child sessions.
The family is provided with information and participates in discussions related to maintaining the gains in the recovery process and how to stay safe in the future.
If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.
My role as a therapist consists in meeting with you and your child on a weekly basis to help you and your child resolve trauma related symptoms and re-build trust.
We will initially complete an initial assessment and create therapy goals together. Once we have identified our treatment plan, we will have interactive and play sessions with you and your child.
During the course of the treatment, I may have individual sessions just with you (the parent or caregiver), without your infant being present.
The length of sessions could be between 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the age of your child and engagement.
This treatment will support the normal development and will help you and your child develop a strong and loving relationship. Having a trusting relationship with you is the most important protective factor for your young child.
In our work together, you will learn how to help your child manage his/her emotions and control his/her behaviors.
Help is just a phone call away. You don't have to face this alone.