Parent Centered Treatment Impacting Children’s Trauma

During the semester, we have studied many interesting facets about trauma and specifically methods aimed towards treating trauma in children and adults. For example, in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, and EMDR, a therapist works directly with the victim-survivor to help reduce their symptoms and triggers that may be affecting their behaviors and day-to-day living. For the most part, these treatments targeted the afflicted individual and did not explore treatments with a wider scope that included family members and, perhaps, members of the community. A few of the materials we looked at did suggest a wider-scope approach.

As part of the documentary film review assignment, I watched a documentary titled “Trauma & Dissociation in Children I: Behavioral Impacts” by Fran Waters. This film touched on the difficulties trauma-survivors face and suggested an even better form of treatment for young victim-survivors is to work with their parents. I learned how treating parents and other guardians may be a more effective approach than working with children directly to reduce their symptoms. What was not explored in the materials we looked at, however, was the willingness of parents and other guardians as well as others who are trying to help them, such as social workers, to actually undergo these forms of treatment. One of the interesting questions raised surrounding this topic is how practical these solutions are. Would the majority of parents be willing to undergo this treatment for the sake of their children’s well-being? Alternatively, if such treatment was imposed upon them by either the court system or some other administrator, could this form of therapy still be as beneficial given the resistance it would likely face? It would be interesting to further explore these more practical aspects of the treatment.

Waters, F. (n.d.). Trauma & Dissociation in Children I: Behavioral Impacts. Kanopy. Retrieved from 

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One comment

  1. I think this is a very interesting approach to try in treatment. If we restore parent/child communication as well as relationship, it may contribute to completing the gaps that existed in childhood. Interaction is effective because it helps open up and speak through some aspects that were silent. Silence, vice versa, deteriorates the healing because it tends to accumulate negative emotions that may damage our brain and mind.

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