Childhood PTSD and Treatments

Sep 17, 2023
Child Therapy

Understanding Childhood PTSD

Childhood Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can develop in children who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. The effects of childhood PTSD can be long-lasting and may significantly impact a child's emotional wellbeing, relationships, and overall quality of life.

Signs and Symptoms

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of childhood PTSD is crucial for early intervention and treatment. Some common symptoms include:

  • Recurrent, distressing memories or nightmares related to the traumatic event
  • Avoidance of reminders or triggers associated with the trauma
  • Hyperarousal, such as exaggerated startle responses, difficulty concentrating, or sleep disturbances
  • Negative changes in mood and thinking patterns
  • Increased aggression or withdrawal from social activities

Causes of Childhood PTSD

Childhood PTSD can develop as a result of various traumatic experiences, including:

  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Car accidents or other serious accidents
  • Natural disasters
  • Witnessing violence or being a victim of bullying
  • Medical procedures or hospitalizations

Treatment Options

Effective treatments for childhood PTSD are available to help children recover and regain control over their lives. Some of the commonly used treatments include:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a widely recognized therapy approach that helps children identify and modify negative thoughts and behaviors related to their trauma. Through CBT, children learn healthy coping mechanisms and gradually reduce their anxiety and stress levels.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a therapeutic technique that focuses on stimulating the brain's natural healing processes. This therapy involves guided eye movements or other forms of bilateral stimulation to help children process and reframe traumatic memories linked to their PTSD.

Play Therapy

Play therapy provides children with a safe and supportive environment to express their emotions and work through their traumatic experiences. Trained therapists use various play-based interventions to help children process their trauma, build resilience, and develop healthy coping skills.


In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help manage specific symptoms of childhood PTSD, such as anxiety or depression. It is important to consult a qualified healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate medication and dosage for each child's unique needs.

Support and Resources

At Alison K Bowles, Ma, Lmhc, we understand the challenges children with PTSD and their families face. We provide a range of support services and resources to assist in the healing process, including:

Individual Counseling

Our qualified therapists offer individual counseling sessions tailored to each child's specific needs. Through a compassionate and evidence-based approach, we create a safe space for children to explore and heal from their trauma.

Family Therapy

We recognize the importance of involving the entire family in the healing process. Our family therapy sessions aim to improve communication, strengthen relationships, and help families develop strategies to support their child's recovery.

Support Groups

We facilitate support groups for both children and parents where they can connect with others who have gone through similar experiences. Sharing stories, insights, and coping strategies can be incredibly empowering and validating.

Educational Workshops

We organize educational workshops to raise awareness about childhood PTSD, its symptoms, and available treatments. These workshops provide valuable information and resources for parents, caregivers, and professionals working with traumatized children.

Contact Us

If you need assistance, have questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, please reach out to us at Alison K Bowles, Ma, Lmhc. We are here to support you and your child on the journey to healing and recovery.