Growing pains affect all teenagers, and those growing pains become that much more difficult for teenagers who have gone through significant trauma. Luckily, more teenagers feel comfortable with the idea of therapy today compared to previous generations. However, there are numerous approaches to treating teenagers through psychotherapy. Learn more about the different approaches to psychotherapy trauma treatment for teens to pick the right therapist for you.
Behavioral therapy emphasizes behaviors. Therapists will aim to discourage undesirable behaviors and encourage desirable behaviors using external reinforcements.
Classical conditioning, first introduced by Pavlov, generates results using associative learning. Pavlov's famous experiment involved dogs, food bowls, and a bell. Dogs naturally drool in the presence of food. When a bell rings every time the dog sees food, soon the dog will drool at the bell.
Operant therapy, on the other hand, uses a system of rewards and punishments to change behavior.
Cognitive therapy emphasizes thoughts and the patient's cognitive processes. Therapists will attempt to change the teen's thoughts in order to change behavior.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) attempts to change behavior by identifying triggers and creating new associations with those triggers.
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy eliminates the trauma reactions in the brain caused by certain triggers by combining the trigger with normal cognitive functions, such as following a pencil with the eyes.
Humanistic therapy emphasizes the power and beauty of the human experience as the teen experiences it. It shifts power away from science and the therapist and into the hands of the patient. Humanistic therapy works well for teens, as it gives them autonomy and helps them take control over their own mental health — a lesson they can take with them into adulthood.
Gestalt therapy encourages patients to practice mindfulness. The patient becomes more aware and more present. Existential therapy tackles larger questions in a philosophical way.
Psychoanalysis taps into a patient's subconscious to discover the cause of certain feelings and behaviors. Therapists may uncover repressed memories through hypnosis or simple talk therapy. Once the therapist and patient make a breakthrough, they can apply that information to present relationships.
Sigmund Freud first introduced this theory in the 1890s, and it is still the basis of many treatment methods today.
If a child experiences trauma, it can impact their development. You want to give your child the tools they need to handle past trauma and any future trauma using trauma treatment.