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Child Trauma Therapy: Types of Trauma That Children Experience

 Female girl holding a teddy bear while in therapy

According to Raising Canada, "One-third of children in Canada do not enjoy a safe and healthy childhood, and one in three Canadians report experiencing abuse before the age of 15." By age 15, if there was nobody to help intervene or assist, the trauma sets in and is much harder to recover from. We will break down some common traumas for children and how to help with child trauma therapy. Keep reading to learn what you need to know.

Psychological Abuse

Psychological abuse can occur anywhere. This type of abuse can be hidden, sometimes forever, since there are no physical symptoms that go with it. Psychological abuse is usually verbal or non-physical behaviour that is intended to manipulate or harm someone.

An excellent therapy experience for processing trauma is EMDR therapy in Edmonton. This method is a form of accelerated information processing as it uses bilateral eye movements to help the clients work through trauma.

Community or School Violence

This type of violence happens in a community or school setting and is usually found in the form of teasing or bullying. This type of violence is quick to be dismissed unless it becomes extremely physical. Since it is so quick to be dismissed, the person receiving this type of violence will go through life thinking it is okay and normal to be treated in such ways.

The best type of therapy for this could be psychotherapy so that the child can express their emotions and feelings. If this doesn't work, or your child doesn't want to speak, you may also consider cognitive processing therapy.

Refugee/War Experience

This is a massive type of trauma that is experienced when one needs to flee their home country because of war or politics. This form of trauma can have life-lasting effects.

Therapies that are beneficial for this type of trauma would be trauma systems therapy for refugees or TST-R. According to, " TST-R encompasses three levels of practice (individual/family, community, and systems), aiming to address individual behaviour and social or structural factors, or both, that contribute to distress."


Loss is a type of trauma we all go through at least once in life, and no matter the age, it isn't easy. The loss could be from a friend moving away to the actual passing of a pet or loved one. Whatever the loss, it is still traumatic.

The best way to process loss is through acceptance and commitment therapy. Group therapy for loss is also a great option, so the individual doesn't feel like they are alone. There is even online therapy; try online therapy in Edmonton to start.

Child Trauma Therapy: Things to Remember

If you are helping a child through a traumatic event or experience, make sure you learn to actively listen to your child so they realize it isn't their fault. Children will usually try to blame themselves. Be patient and “active listen” to help your child discover it is not their fault and feel safe. Last but not least, seek professional help to help your child and help yourself learn new tools to help your child work though their trauma.

If this article was helpful, check out more of our articles. If you or someone you know is experiencing child trauma, reach out for help.

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