Article provided by: Arlene Drake, PhD
It's amazing how long traumatic events from our childhood can stay with us. Indeed, childhood trauma lasts a lifetime, and overcoming childhood trauma can be a lifelong career. It's sad when you stop and think about it; a 40, 50, or even 60-year-old adult is still being tormented by something that happened when they were 5, 12, or 15-years-old – and this is happening all around the world!
When you get into the psychology of why people get locked in these traps and cycles of self-destructive, adverse behaviors and thought patterns, you really need to have specialized training and lots of experience to draw on to understand the problem and understand how to treat it.
Childhood trauma has been proven to have an adverse effect on brain development in children and adolescents. This can show its ugly face by interfering with success in education, personal relationships, employment, and even things like maintaining housing. It's not that people who have experienced childhood trauma are somehow dumb or brain damaged; in fact, many adults who were traumatized as children go on to live for healthy, successful lives. The problem with the brain of a traumatized person is that it gets wired in a certain way that shows a direct connection with the types of problem thinking and behaviors discussed previously.
The good news is that, just as the brain was wired out of whack, it can be rewired correctly. With certain types of treatments and exercises, over time, the brain can be rewired, which means that old thinking and behavioral patterns can be forgotten and replaced with new, healthier ones. However, without the assistance of a licensed and qualified therapist, the likelihood of this happening is next to none!
The Importance of Overcoming Childhood Trauma
Kids with adverse childhood experiences are 2.5 times more likely to have failing grades in school, 5 times more likely to struggle with addiction, and we see a severely elevated risk of homelessness, abuse of others, and problems with the criminal justice system for traumatized children. Indeed, adults who were traumatized as children are much more likely to develop critical individual and social problems; the scars and ramifications of which can last a lifetime. From that angle, we literally can say that getting treatment is a matter of life or death.
There's an old saying that goes, “Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and you'll feed him for life.” Yes, as mental health professionals, we want to help people who are homeless to get homes. We want to help people who are struggling with addiction to get off the drugs. But more importantly, we want to treat the underlying roots that are causing these conditions in an individual's life, as the problems are merely symptomatic of greater issues going on beneath the surface.
If you are interested in overcoming childhood trauma with the assistance of a psychotherapist who has been in practice for more than 30 years, contact Dr. Arlene Drake today. She can assist you in-person or via Skype. It's time to let go. It's time to overcome.