Trauma Counselling for Kids & Teens

There’s something that’s happened to your child; their world has been turned upside down and and now they are filled with intense emotions. You don’t fully understand what is happening to them.


You can tell they are overwhelmed when their feelings come to the surface while they are awake or startle them out of sleep with nightmares.


You’re afraid for their future and you can’t help but wonder what will happen if things keep going like this or gets worse.


And it doesn’t impact only your child; it feels like your whole family has been shattered and you’re still reeling trying to help them pick up the pieces.


You know that you and your child weren’t always this easily overwhelmed. If something difficult happened to your child, you knew how to help and you could both move through it. You used to feel like your family has gotten through challenges quite well.


But now, your family is walking around with invisible wounds that the rest of the world is unable to see. You wonder if things will ever be the same and you are worried your family is never going to bounce back from the tragedy.


 You’re looking for a counsellor who will be able to recognizes the pain you and your teen are going through, and help you both feel heard and understood.


What is trauma?

Trauma is an intensely distressing and alarming event that overwhelms a person’s ability to cope or deal with it. A traumatic event can lead to strong emotional and physical reactions that can keep going long after the disturbing event. Or for some people, their symptoms do not show up for many weeks or months after the traumatic events. *

Although adults and caregivers try hard to protect kids from danger, unfortunately situations still happen. At least 1 in 3 people under the age of 18 have been exposed to or witnessed a potentially traumatic event. *
Examples of potentially traumatic events*
  • Bullying
  • Child abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Terrible car accident
  • Family violence
  • Sudden or complicated loss – or Traumatic Grief
Traumatic grief – is when a child/youth shows signs of both trauma and grief after the loss/death of someone close to them due to a traumatic event or the persons’ perception of the death as traumatic *
Everyone perceives events differently, and not everyone who has been exposed to a traumatic event will have PTSD symptoms (post-traumatic stress disorder). Although most of us experience traumatic events throughout the course or our lives, not everyone who has experienced trauma needs counselling or therapy. Factors such as age when the trauma happened, frequency of events, sensitivity, positive coping skills and relationships can all effect the impact of trauma and the need for counselling.


When trauma happens, it impacts parents too.

Knowing that such a terrible thing happened to your child can be overwhelming for any caregivers/parent. Your ability to recover from what has happened and manage your reaction to the big feelings and challenging behaviours that may be showing up in your teen or child will have a huge impact on their ability to cope and heal.

For this reason, parents benefit from support to get through this family crisis. Trauma focused child and teen counselling include a parent component so that everyone touched by this negative life event can heal.



How do I know if my kid/teen may need trauma counselling?

After a potentially traumatic event happened – here are a few things you can look for that may be signs

  • Distressing nightmares and/or trouble sleeping
  • Having bigger reactions or feelings that would be expected for a situation especially those connected to the past trauma
  • Avoidance of potential trauma reminders and not wanting to talk about what happened
  • Stressful memories of what happened
  • Hard to stop thoughts about the trauma
  • Headaches, stomach aches, or general aches and pains unrelated to medical problems
  • Feeling likes it’s their fault for what happened, Being more negative about themselves
  • Seeming very unhappy, worried, guilty, grief, fearful, irritable, sad, or angry
  • Changes in school performance
  • Showing less interest in or withdrawing from sports, games or other activities that they normally enjoy
  • Seeming quieter than usual, less energetic or wanting to be alone often
  • Falling back to less mature behaviours
  • Trouble getting along with family and/or friends


Benefits of Trauma Counselling for Children and Teens

  • Better understanding of the frequency and intensity of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) symptoms
  • Learn about ways trauma influences – so know they are not “crazy”, there are others who have experienced trauma and its not their fault
  • Learning ways to manage stress and other difficult emotions
  • Learning ways to manage trauma reminders.
  • Identifying negative thoughts and how to cope with them
  • Talking about the trauma in a way that helps the brain feel less destressed when what happened comes to mind
  • Helping your child/teen see that the trauma is only a small part of their life story, it is not who they are are.
  • Equipping them for Future Challenges


Benefits of Trauma Counselling for Parents/Caregivers

  • Coached with skills to help your loved one with their intense emotions and reactions
  • Know how best to respond when the trauma is brought up
  • Understanding the impact of trauma, and why some kids may wait to tell about what happened
  • Have safe space to discuss your own feelings and thoughts about your child’s traumatic experience such as fear, anger, self-blame, guilt, grief
  • Learn trauma informed parenting techniques
  • Opportunities for better family communication


Trauma counselling is intended to help your child/teen address the past so they can live their future more fully.


Trauma counselling with Bedford Family and Couples Therapy is not a good fit if you are:
  • Needing a formal assessment or a formal diagnosis such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD
  • Needing a report and/or letter for court or other purposes
  • In the middle of a custody or access conflict
  • Your primary concern is addictions
  • Your loved one is Struggling with Border line personality disorder, Bi-polar or Obsessive compulsive disorder

Therapists Who Offer This Service

Lois Ells MSW, RSW

Lois Ells MSW, RSW

Clinical Social Worker

How Do I Get Started?

Book Appointment

Use our awesome online booking system or send an email to schedule your free consultation call.

Phone Chat

We’ll call you at the number you left for us and have a chat about what you’d like to get out of therapy and how we can help. If we’re a fit, we’ll book your first session.

1st Session!

Come to your first session! It’s normal that you might feel nervous or unsure what to expect. But taking this big step is so important. You can do it!