Attachment Center of Kansas

Helping Families Build Stronger Connections

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2005, Child Protection Services substantiated 267,479 victims of abuse and/or neglect who were 3 years old or under and 212,383 that were between the ages of 4 and 7.  Of these children, 251,847 were reported as abused or neglected again within a 5-year period.  The Third National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect reports that three times as many children are maltreated as are reported to CPS agencies. 

Trauma

Psychological trauma is extreme stress that overpowers the person’s ability to cope.  It is caused by an unexpected event that the person was unprepared for and did not have the ability to prevent.  Traumatic experiences that result in the most serious mental health problems are prolonged and repeated.  

The younger the age of the child when the maltreatment began the more extensive the negative impact on neurological, social, cognitive and sensory development.  These problems do not resolve with age but continue throughout the life span unless effective treatment is provided.  In other words, the body and mind do not “forget” the traumas nor can the child or adult talk themselves into “getting over it” and time does not “heal all wounds”.

Trauma Treatment at the Center

Often the focus of the interventions provided are on the behaviors instead of addressing the core issues that are the cause of the behaviors.  Just as with a physical illness, if the symptoms are treated without also addressing the cause of the symptom/s the person will not heal.  Appropriate treatment involves assessing what domains have been impacted by the trauma and the purposes of the behaviors or what they accomplish or are attempting to accomplish.  It also addresses the various areas that have been disrupted or damaged by the trauma and works to repair and strengthen these areas.

Multiply domains are addressed in treatment including emotional, physical, sensory, social and neurological.  Treatment is individualized, based on the client’s needs, strengths, abilities, age, etc.  The pace of treatment is provided in accordance to the tolerance of the client and has no time limits. I always refer clients to their doctor for a complete physical and address nutrition, physical activity, support systems and other self-care areas.

Trauma treatment involves 3 phrases:

1) Safety and emotional regulation – Evaluating the safety of the person and then assisting the child or adult to learn to “feel” and “think” safe.  Education about trauma and it’s effects,
awareness of feelings, tolerance of feelings and thoughts, awareness of body sensations, the causes of behaviors and moods and cognitive restructuring of false or inaccurate beliefs are addressed.

2)
Directly address and resolve the traumatic memories.  Although trauma memories are introduced in the first stage of treatment and continues to be dealt with throughout the therapeutic process, it is in this stage that the core trauma-processing work is explicitly addressed.  This is primarily done through writing, drawings and verbalizations.

3)
Helping the child or adult use what s/he has learned and further develop and solidify the skills and strengths needed to live a healthy and productive life.  Life skills, social skills, communication techniques, problem solving techniques, developing boundaries and values are some of the common tasks addressed in this stage of treatment.

Call 316-688-9850 for a free consultation and to schedule an appointment.