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Child Counselling for Trauma in Edmonton

As a parent or caregiver, you want to protect your child from anything that causes serious and long-term harm. But you can't protect your child from everything, and unfortunately childhood trauma can happen.

Thankfully, there is hope through child counselling. Edmonton children and families can turn to offices like Gary J. Meiers, Ph.D., JoAnn Hammond-Meiers, Ph.D. and Associates Ltd. for help.

What Causes Childhood Trauma?
Violent, frightening, and life-threatening incidents can all lead to trauma. Our Edmonton clients seek solace after abuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, terrorist events, loss of a parent through death or divorce, hospitalization, natural disasters, or any other incident that causes extreme distress.

You might worry that you can't recognize when your child suffers from trauma. However, most children change their behaviour as a response to traumatic events.

What Behaviours Indicate Childhood Trauma?
Young children struggle to communicate their feelings clearly. They might simply lack the verbal ability to communicate or lack the experience to fully explain a diverse range of emotions. A child could experience complex feelings like frustration, anxiety, pain, and heartbreak but might not understand what those feelings mean.

And as a parent, you might not know how to recognize if your child has experienced a trauma. After a traumatic event, your child may exhibit some of the following symptoms:

  • Withdraw or dissociate
  • Uncontrolled temper
  • Sadness
  • Nervousness and concern for safety for self and others
  • Nausea and trouble sleeping
  • Flashbacks and/or feeling as if they are in the trauma all over again
  • Retelling their story again and again
  • Cling for emotional support

What Can You Do?
Children often turn to the people they are closest to after a traumatic incident. As you listen to their story, you want to empathize with their emotional experience. This creates safety allowing your child to tell and perhaps retell their story of a traumatic event. You can also create a safe haven for your child as you:

  • Establish daily routines for meals, school, play and sleep
  • Answer his or her questions
  • Express that you are in control and will protect him or her
  • Work through behavioural issues with him or her
  • Offer a safe place by keeping him or her close to you

These actions, in addition to any necessary professional help, allow the child to feel comfortable and safe in different situations and environments.

If you need child counselling in Edmonton, call our office at 780-433-2269 to talk with our staff or schedule an appointment.