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a group of teens embrace take a group photo in a therapy program for teen trauma

Can IOP Help My Teen’s Trauma?

Adolescence is a time of growth and transition. As teens naturally seek more autonomy and independence, they become exposed to the world on a larger scale. Greater exposure opens their world to new and exciting experiences, but it can also increase the risk for trauma. Unfortunately, teen trauma is not rare. Nearly 61% of teens aged 13–17 have exposure to at least one traumatic event. The good news is that teen trauma is treatable. Individual and group therapy, including those in an intensive outpatient program, can play tremendous roles in healing teen trauma.

Beyond Healthcare provides holistic outpatient mental healthcare to adolescents, teens, and families. Trauma can have severe and lasting impacts if left untreated. If your teen is suffering from trauma, seeking help as soon as possible enables them to process the traumatic event for optimal healing. Call Beyond Healthcare at 833.698.0453 to learn about the benefits of therapy for trauma.

Learn to Recognize the Signs of Teen Trauma

Teen trauma can take on many forms. Common examples include being in or witnessing an accident, the death of a peer or family member, bullying, physical or sexual assault, divorce, and abuse or neglect.

Teen trauma treatment begins by understanding the symptoms of trauma. Signs and symptoms of trauma look different for adolescents of different ages. For example, younger adolescents whose language is still developing will have more behavioral outbursts or tantrums. Adolescents between ages eight and 11 might demonstrate regressive behaviors. Teens can become moodier and more isolative.

Some signs of trauma are common across the board. These include:

  • Avoidance – Staying away from people, places, and things that are reminders of the trauma.
  • Fear and trepidation – Persistent fear that something terrible will happen again.
  • Angry outbursts or uncontrollable rage – Demonstrating aggressive, angry behavior, including threats of physical violence.
  • Shame and guilt – Traumatized teens often blame themselves, leading to embarrassment, guilt, and shame that can become overwhelming.
  • Prolonged bouts of grief and depression – A prolonged period of grief can develop into major depression.
  • Emotional numbness – Traumatized teens can become monotone, withdrawn, and isolated, going numb to avoid the pain of trauma.
  • Disrupted sleep patterns – Nightmares, wanting to sleep all the time, and periods of insomnia are typical.

Teens who have experienced severe or life-threatening trauma, including natural disasters, school shootings, physical or sexual assaults, are more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Teens with PTSD are at higher risk of developing co-occurring disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, depression, and substance use disorders.

Evidence-Based Therapy for Teen Trauma

When teens experience trauma, you might think they want to talk about it. However, the opposite is often true. Many teens struggle to acknowledge the reality of what happened and want to escape or ignore it. Because teens are more inclined to talk with friends or peers about their experiences, group therapy is beneficial for treating teen trauma. Participating in group therapy can help teens be more comfortable and open during individual treatment. A combination of both is often best.

At Beyond Healthcare, we utilize the following evidence-based therapies in both individual and group therapy sessions:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT) – CBT identifies negative emotions and self-defeating thoughts that influence behavior. Teens learn to replace maladaptive thinking and behavior with healthier ones.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) – DBT provides specific skills such as mindfulness and emotional regulation.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) – EMDR uses specific eye movements and focuses on traumatic memories to spark changes in brain circuitry that support effective processing and integration of trauma.
  • Experiential therapies – Recreational therapies like art therapy and music therapy help teens explore and process their emotions through creative expression and are particularly helpful when teens do not want to talk.

At Beyond Healthcare, we understand that the way each person’s trauma experience is unique, so we create personalized treatment plans to address your teen’s specific needs.

Reach Out to Beyond Healthcare for Help with Teen Trauma

At Beyond Healthcare, we provide treatment that supports your adolescent and enables them to overcome the resulting challenges they face after trauma so that they may heal and grow. We know that trauma does not happen in a bubble, making the impacts far-reaching, so we also provide comprehensive family therapy. Reach out to our team today at 833.698.0453 to begin receiving the care your teen and family deserve.