What is Trauma?
Reasons for Trauma
Kids and Trauma
What is Treatment?
Mystery Questions

What does trauma mean?

Trauma is a scary or upsetting event where you feel you, your life or other's lives are in danger. 


What is an abuser and who can be an abuser?

Abuser is someone who causes trauma. It can be anyone - a stranger, family member, parent or caregiver, sibling, etc . Abuser's are more often someone we know personally than a stranger. 


Why do some kids go through trauma and some don't?

There is no reason that some kids go through trauma and other's do not aside from whoever they are exposed to that commits the abuse. Nothing about the child makes them a victim. There is no "type of victim" anyone can go through trauma. 


Do kids that have PTSD have it for life?

Nope! PTSD is totally treatable. Most kids make a full recovery and feel much better after therapy. It will always be part of their history and will always impact them but they can move on to live happy, healthy, full lives. 

What is physical abuse?

Physical abuse is when an adult hits/hurts a child and it leaves a mark, bruise or is too painful to touch/sit on. 


What is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)?

PTSD is a reaction to trauma where your ability to function gets difficult. You might have flashbacks, nightmares, difficult emotions or feel numb. 


Who's fault is it that trauma happens?

The abuser! It is never the victim's fault no matter what 


Once a child has gone through trauma, everyone knows it when they meet them. True or False?

False! Trauma doesn't create a sign on their forehead that they have been through trauma. They choose who to tell their story to and who not to. You likely have people in your own class who have gone through trauma and you have no clue. 


What is a therapist?

A therapist is someone who helps kids talk about what happened, understand what happened to them, and find ways to cope better. 


True or false: only humans experience traumatic stress



What types of trauma are there? Name at least 2. 

Physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, car accidents, natural disasters, war, community violence, dog bites, medical procedures, significant injuries, domestic violence, family overdose, etc 


Why do people abuse others?

There can be many reasons. The person may have been abused themselves and are repeating the actions they know (they may even mistake those actions as showing love). They may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol leading to making bad decisions. They may have a mental illness meaning they need help to change their way of thinking. These are not excuses however and do not make their actions ok!


True or Fasle? Trauma is very rare. Most kids do not go through what I have been through. 

False! Trauma is actually, sadly, very common. More than two thirds of children reported at least 1 traumatic event by age 16. 1 in 4 high school students was in at least 1 physical fight. 1 in 5 high school students was bullied at school; 1 in 6 experienced cyberbullying.


What is a child's role in therapy?

Your role is to be open and honest, put in the hard work to make changes and try new things. Just do your best!


What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is when two adults fight with their words very loudly and in a very scary manner or when adults fight physically with each other in the household. 


Does everyone who goes through trauma get PTSD? Why or why not?

No, some people end up coping after trauma and find all of their symptoms go away after a short period of time or that they have no symptoms at all. We do not know the exact reason for this but everyone has different resilience levels 


Scenario: Johnny is always getting in trouble. He yells, throw things, refuses to do what his parents say, etc. Johnny's dad starts to hit him and leave a mark on his face when he "acts up". 

What type of abuse is this? Who's fault is it that it happened?

This is physical abuse. It is Johnny's father's fault. No matter how Johnny acts, his father is the adult and needs to find other appropriate ways to discipline. It is never ok to hit a child in this way


Why do some kids not tell anyone when they have gone through a trauma? 

Kids may be scared to tell someone thinking they will be in trouble. The abuser may have threatened them if they tell. They may not know what they are going through is trauma to be able to tell an adult. They may feel ashamed or embarrassed. 

What does confidentiality mean?

Confidentiality means that what you and your therapist talk about stays between you and your therapist. This is your safe space to share whatever you need and trust that your therapist will not tell anyone else unless it is a safety concern. 


What should a child do if they experience or witness abuse of any kind?

Tell an adult they trust. 


What is resilience?

Resilience is your body/mind's ability to bounce back or move past something.  

Test your knowledge: When is abuse appropriate? When is it the child's fault?
It is NEVER appropriate. It is NEVER a child's fault. 
How did kids that have gone through trauma react? What might they feel?

Everyone reacts in different ways. Some may want to talk about it, some may want to avoid talking or thinking about it. Some may get sad and cry. Others might get angry, yell or even do unsafe things like drinking or running away. Some may feel numb all over or feel no emotions. 


Sharing question! Before starting your therapy, what did you think about therapy? Has this opinion changed?

Thanks for sharing!


What should a child do if they tell an adult they trust that they are witnessing or experience abuse and that adult doesn't believe them or doesn't listen to them?

Keep telling adults they trust until someone listens!

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