Maine Behavioral Healthcare
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Trauma Counseling and Treatment

Trauma is an overwhelming experience that can interfere with the demands and joys of daily living. For children, trauma can affect the way they grow, learn and behave. Some traumatic events are obvious such as a sudden loss of a parent, experiencing violence, witnessing abuse or having a serious illness or medical procedure. Others may be less clear. At Maine Behavioral Healthcare, trained clinicians are here to help support children and adults who have experienced trauma. Services include:

Trauma Therapy for Adults

Maine Behavioral Healthcare offers adult counseling and therapy services for trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Our expert counselors are here to help at many convenient locations across the state.

Trauma Therapy for Children and Adolescents

The effects of exposure to violence and other types of trauma can be diminished with appropriate supports and interventions. Early support for children and families can prevent long lasting problems. The following evidence–based trauma therapies are available at Maine Behavioral Healthcare.

For children up to age 6 who have experienced trauma

Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) is an evidence-based therapy that strengthens the relationship between a parent and child so that both can heal from trauma and violence. CPP can help infants, toddlers, and those in pre-school, as well as their caretakers, cope with the negative effects of trauma and violence.

The focus of CPP is to help children and their caregivers reconnect and heal following traumatic events. This healing can lead to decreased anxiety, as well as more confident and trusting relationships for both caregiver and child. This is achieved through helping children and their caregivers learn new ways to cope with challenges and build healthy relationships.

What should you expect?

Average treatment can last up to one year. Most sessions will include both the child and the caregiver.

Participation in the sessions by the caregiver is essential to the healing process. It helps the child heal from the effects of trauma and violence, while helping the caregiver develop new skills. This is done through:

  • Managing the caregiver’s own feeling about the traumatic event.
  • Understanding and managing the child’s behavior.
  • Improving communication.
  • Incorporating play into each stage of treatment.

In cases where the caregiver has experienced his or her own trauma, the therapist will support the caregiver around how trauma may impact his or her relationship with the child.

If a child is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. Otherwise, call our access call center at 844-292-0111 to learn more and set up an appointment at one of our locations.

For children ages 7-18 who have recently experienced or disclosed a trauma

What is Child & Family Traumatic Stress Intervention?

Child & Family Traumatic Stress Intervention is a brief evidenced-based treatment for children and their caregivers designed to be delivered immediately following a potentially traumatic event or disclosure of past physical or sexual abuse. CFTSI can help children who have been exposed to many different types of potentially traumatic events including sexual abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence, community violence, or accidents.

CFTSI increases family support for children exposed to a potentially traumatic event and helps improve communication about the child’s reactions to the event. It also teaches family members skills to manage the child’s reactions. CFTSI has been shown to decrease post-traumatic stress reactions and protect against the onset of Port Traumatic Stress Disorder in children.

What Should You Expect?

Average treatment is between 4-8 sessions. There are individual sessions with the child and caregiver and session with the child and caregiver together.

When delivered within 45 days of a traumatic event or a disclosure of a past traumatic event, CFTSI can:

  • Reduce negative reactions or symptoms related to the traumatic event.
  • Strengthen communication between caregiver and child.
  • Help families learn and practice skills to help reduce trauma reactions.
  • Help families address practical needs such as safety, legal issues, or medical care.
  • Assess whether the child needs longer-term treatment.

If a child is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. Otherwise, call our access call center at 844-292-0111 to learn more and set up an appointment at one of our locations.

For children ages 3-18 who have experienced trauma

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is short-term treatment to help children and their caregivers overcome the painful effects of experiencing traumatic life events such as domestic, school, or community violence; the unexpected death of a loved one; sexual violence or abuse; and exposure to disasters, terrorist attacks or war trauma.

The program is provided by trained mental health professionals who address issues commonly experienced by children exposed to trauma such as poor self-esteem, difficulty trusting others, mood instability and self-injurious behaviors, including substance use.

What should you expect?

Children participate in a series of 12 to 16 therapy sessions to help them talk directly about their traumatic experiences in a supportive environment where they can learn effective coping and relaxation strategies to:

  • Help reduce stress.
  • Reduce anxiety when thinking or talking about the event.
  • Improve behavior and feel happier, more trusting and more confident.

This treatment model teaches children how to examine their thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and how to change these in order to feel better. It also provides children with tools such as relaxation and deep-breathing techniques, problem solving and safety education to help them manage situations in the future.

Involving a parent or caregiver is an integral part of this treatment model. Parents/caregivers are aware of the content covered with the child and are prepared to reinforce or discuss this material with the child between treatment sessions and after treatment has ended. By working together, TF-CBT enhances caregiver support and improves family functioning.

If a child is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. Otherwise, call our access call center at 844-292-0111 to learn more and set up an appointment at one of our locations.

Adverse Childhood Experiences

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are stressful or traumatic experiences that happen during the first 18 years of life. One in four Maine children experience two or more ACEs in their home, community or school.

Get Help Now

Call 844-292-0111 to make an appointment for your child, yourself or a loved one.