Report: Even Brief Therapy Helps Kids After Trauma

Children who are abused, neglected, or witnesses to violence or trauma are almost 60 percent more likely to be arrested as juveniles, a new report by the victim assistance group Safe Horizon and the Childhood Violent Trauma Center at Yale University has found.  But going through even a short period of therapy can help both children and their parents or caregivers tremendously, the report also found–65 percent less likely to develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.  The New York Times reports:

[Yale psychiatry professor Steven R.] Marans reported that children who participated experienced a 54 percent reduction in trauma symptoms, and their caregivers benefited almost as much.

“When children are alone with and don’t have words to describe their traumatic reactions, symptoms and symptomatic behaviors are their only means of expression,” he said. “And caregivers are often unable to understand the connection between the traumatic event and their children’s symptoms and behaviors. To heal, children need recognition and understanding from their caregivers.”

He added: “This intervention inspires hope and confidence. It can make an immediate and palpable difference in the daily lives of children who have suffered even the worst forms of abuse.”

Well over 90 percent of caregivers who participated in the intervention said they had learned new skills and would recommend the program, which could be a boon to child treatment centers throughout the country.

Image: Mother and daughter in therapy, via Shutterstock.

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