Trauma-Informed Therapy for Adolescents

Trauma-informed therapy considers the multifaceted effects of trauma on a teen’s health and how it affects their coping mechanisms. In contrast to conventional therapy, trauma-informed treatment prioritizes patient safety by incorporating trauma knowledge into all care aspects.

In the United States, 61% of men and 51% of women report having experienced at least one traumatic incident. This data comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Since trauma is so widespread, survivors’ trauma experiences must be considered in therapeutic settings.

Trauma can potentially have a physical and emotional impact on the teen struggling. Loved ones need to be knowledgeable about trauma when helping their adolescent get support. Through trauma-informed therapy, adolescents can find security and emotional safety and learn healthy coping skills.

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What Is Trauma-Informed Therapy?

Teen trauma treatment can significantly improve adolescents’ psychological health in various situations. This includes working through prior trauma, dealing with trauma symptoms, and living with the aftermath of a traumatic incident. Mental health professionals providing trauma-informed therapy interact with their patients to facilitate successful treatment without retraumatizing them.

Care for trauma survivors necessitates an awareness of how previous trauma may affect present functioning. When dealing with a young adult who has experienced something traumatic, it’s essential to use a trauma-informed approach. This means always keeping in mind the guiding principles that guarantee they’re aware of and sensitive to trauma-related difficulties.

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Different Forms of Trauma-Informed Therapy

Trauma-informed therapists use various forms of trauma-informed therapy to assist patients in recovering from traumatic experiences. Some have been around for decades, while others are very new. Those in need of these treatments may find that they are not a good fit. However, most patients have been shown to help cope with stressful experiences.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

The field of behavior therapy includes cognitive-behavioral treatment. Medical professionals assist patients in recognizing unhelpful patterns of thought and conduct. Afterward, the patient should try to replace negative beliefs with more constructive ones. Patients often make regular use of their acquired knowledge and abilities.


A trusting relationship between doctor and patient facilitates communication. Doctors regularly spend time talking with patients to assist them with their issues. In psychotherapy, the patient can open up about their traumatic experience and begin the process of mending.

Cognitive Processing Therapy

Through cognitive processing therapy, patients can learn new, healthier coping mechanisms for dealing with thoughts and feelings. Patients learn how to effectively manage their emotions stemming from their traumatic experiences.

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How Exactly Does Trauma-Informed Therapy Function?

Even if a teen is unaware that they have experienced trauma, whether it be recent trauma or childhood trauma, therapy may help them realize it in a safe environment. Trauma can be caused by various stressful experiences, some of which are more obvious than others.

Some individuals may deny that they have suffered trauma, yet the effects of trauma can be seen in maladaptive coping techniques. Treatment for trauma raises awareness of the impact of trauma and provides a supportive environment to work through emotional distress.

Trauma therapy examines how traumatic events have altered one’s present and future interactions. The goal of trauma therapy is to assist the patient in recognizing how traumatic experiences have affected their present functioning. Trauma therapy provides a more comprehensive approach to treatment. This therapy looks at the root causes of the teen’s current behaviors rather than just the behaviors themselves.

Establishing a therapeutic connection is crucial to the effectiveness of trauma therapy. When a patient and therapist develop a working relationship, it can have a lasting impact on the patient’s mental health, according to the American Psychological Association. Finding a reliable trauma counselor may seem impossible, but a patient must take their time.

What Conditions Are Treated by Trauma-Informed Therapy?

A survivor’s ability to recover and comprehend the impact of trauma on their lives may be significantly enhanced through therapeutic interventions. A person’s mental health may be improved in the long run with the aid of trauma-informed treatment. The therapy provides a safe environment, empathy, and encouragement.

Numerous individuals, not just those with PTSD, can benefit from trauma therapy. Trauma focused CBT can be very helpful for individuals who exhibit symptoms of traumatic stress. Trauma treatment is not restricted to those who have experienced severe forms of trauma, such as physical or sexual abuse. All past trauma is worthy of being treated. The way in which the body and mind respond to trauma can differ from person to person. Those who have experienced various mental and behavioral health conditions can also benefit from this type of treatment.


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What Benefits Are Linked to Adolescent Trauma Therapy?

When it comes to adolescents’ mental health, depression is by far the most prevalent condition. At least three million adolescents (12-17) experience severe depression, according to Pew Research Center. Both anxiety and sadness are common among adolescents.

Trauma-informed therapy could be a complete game-changer for adolescents who have been coping with their trauma on their own. Professionals and their clients can achieve more positive outcomes when they fully grasp trauma’s impact on adolescents’ life.

Emotions are felt more intensely by adolescents than by adults. Depending on the circumstances, teens may be more prone to symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions.

Adolescents and their families can benefit from trauma-focused therapy. In therapy, they have a safe place to talk about their experiences. With the help of a professional, they gain insight into the range of reactions to traumatic events. Adolescents can better understand the motivations behind their emotions, ideas, and actions due to this sort of investigation and education.

Trauma therapy helps teens with PTSD and trauma make sense of their experiences by explaining and providing context. At the same time, patients are supported by realizing they are not alone.

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Trauma-Informed Therapy at MCAW - Near Boston, MA

Teens in Massachusetts can benefit from trauma-focused therapy by increasing their understanding of their condition and learning new coping strategies. In addition, they start discovering new ways to live with the trauma they have experienced.

Treatment for mental and behavioral health issues at the Massachusetts Center for Adolescent Wellness (MCAW) is multifaceted with our various therapies. Our experts ensure that each patient’s treatment plan is tailored to their needs. The treatment team will consult with patients and their loved ones throughout the process. We aim to restore bonds within families that have been strained due to mental health issues.

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Clinically Reviewed by:

Dr. Melanie Carbonneau PhD, LMHC, MT-BC

Dr. Melanie Carbonneau PhD, LMHC, MT-BC

Melanie Carbonneau is the Clinical Director at Massachusetts Center for Adolescent Wellness and is a licensed counselor and certified music therapist with a Ph.D. from Lesley University. She leads MCAW with a focus on holistic care, emphasizing the importance of family and community involvement in the healing process.