It is our experiences in life that shape who we are and how we see the world. Everything that we believe about ourselves, about others, and about the world in general is learned through our personal experiences. It is therefore not surprising that experiencing chronic trauma during childhood leaves deep marks. The effects of chronic trauma on a child’s body and brain build on each other. They reveal themselves in acting-out behaviors, school difficulties, somatic complaints, eating disorders, self-harming and withdrawal. This results in issues including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and substance abuse. Though the behavioral and psychological effects of trauma have long been known, more recently, researchers have begun to discover what happens in the brain following this kind of trauma.
Childhood is when the brain develops and becomes organized. When the people who should be protecting, loving, and guiding young children expose them to trauma instead of care, children’s brain development can get derailed. Children affected by recurrent traumatic experiences may suffer serious symptoms that interfere with normal emotional, cognitive or social development. It has been noted that the neural connections in the area of the brain associated with regulation of emotion, attention and various other cognitive processes are critically impaired in adults who went through severe abuse as children. Traumatized children often feel hopeless, confused, unlovable, unsafe, and are afraid to trust others or their environment.
The good news is that children and adolescents can learn new ways of thinking. In fact, the cortex, the highest part of the brain, continues to develop throughout adolescents and into adulthood. By providing new, positive experiences we can reshape early patterns and help traumatized children and adolescents to build new neural pathways to bypass old ones.
Specialized Therapy Associates provides a wide range of Trauma Recovery therapeutic treatment and services for Children, Adolescents and Adults. If you would like to find out more, please call the intake department at 201-488-6678, or visit our website at https://www.specializedtherapy.com