Title

Trauma and the Adolescent Brain

First Presenter's Institution

Winthrop University

Second Presenter's Institution

N/A

Third Presenter's Institution

N/A

Fourth Presenter's Institution

N/A

Fifth Presenter's Institution

N/A

Location

Session 5 (Sloane)

Strand #1

Mental & Physical Health

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

In order for service providers to provide developmentally-appropriate trauma-informed treatment, they must be knowledgeable about the implications of trauma as well as the neurological tasks of adolescence. An additional challenge presented in working with adolescents is the willingness of family members, particularly parents, to participate in counseling when appropriate. Given the significance of attachment and attunement in trauma treatment (Shore, 2003; van der Kolk, 2014), family involvement often is beneficial; however, this involvement may not be possible, due to a variety of factors. The purpose of this presentation is to provide service providers with an understanding of both the implications of ACEs as well as key neurophysiological developmental tasks of adolescence, how an understanding of these factors impacts trauma-informed approaches, and developmentally-appropriate, trauma-informed interventions for adolescents, with or without family involvement in the process. Neurophysiological understanding is foundational for effective implementation of intervention, prevention, and treatment programs for addressing physical and mental health and wellness as well as social-emotional and trauma-informed approaches in schools and agencies.

Brief Program Description

During adolescence, individuals encounter key developmental processes and tasks. When understood and harnessed positively, these processes can support post-traumatic for adolescents exposed to trauma. These key developmental processes will be reviewed, as well as the neurophysiological implications of trauma. Specific trauma-informed approaches for use with adolescents, with and without family involvement, will be provided.

Summary

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to

  1. Identify the risks of ACEs across the lifespan, the impact of early intervention on the risks of ACE, and the strengths associated with adolescent development,
  2. Explain the neurobiological implications of both development and trauma on adolescents
  3. Explore trauma-informed approaches that are developmentally-appropriate for adolescents and their families

This presentation will be focused on how service providers can implement trauma-informed practice with adolescents, both those with and without parents who are active in the counseling process. Emphasis will be given to the impact of ACEs on lifespan development and current understanding of the neurobiological impacts of trauma in addition to key developmental processes and tasks in adolescence that impact treatment. Utilizing this foundational information, participants will explore developmentally-appropriate trauma-informed interventions to support post-traumatic growth for adolescents across the lifespan.

Evidence

The landmark Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study provided helping professionals with critical information regarding the impact of exposure to traumatic events in childhood and adolescence. This impact included psychological as well as medical implications of trauma exposure and led to highlighted exploration of the neurobiological factors associated with trauma exposure and treatment as well as the importance of early intervention in reducing future risk (Foege, 1998; Perry & Szalavitz, 2006; van der Kolk, 2014). Additionally, professional counseling training standards recently included an understanding of neurobiological implications in professional practice (CACREP, 2008; 2015). Much of this exploration, related to trauma, focused on the treatment of children and adults, neglecting adolescents; however, Siegel (2013) noted the key developmental processes of adolescence, particularly those related to brain development, have incredible potential for promoting resilience, strength, and courage in individuals across the lifespan. When understood and harnessed in a positive manner, these developmental processes and tasks can be used to support adolescents through post-traumatic growth.

Foege, W. H. (1998). Adverse childhood experiences: A public health perspective. American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 14, 354-355.

Perry, B., & Szalavitz, M. (2006). The boy who was raised as a dog: And other stories from a child psychiatrist’s notebook. New York: Basic.

Shore, A. N. (2003). Affect regulation and the repair of self. New York: Norton.

Siegel, D. J. (2013). Brainstorm. New York: Tarcher.

Van der Kolk, B. (2014). The body keeps the score. New York: Viking.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

The presenter is a Counselor Educator and practicing Professional Counselor with more than 15 years of experience treating children, youth, and adults who experienced developmental trauma. She is trained in multiple trauma-informed approaches including Integral Breath Therapy, Somatic Experiencing, and Movement for Trauma.

Keyword Descriptors

Trauma, Adolescence, Neurophysiology

Presentation Year

2019

Start Date

3-5-2019 10:15 AM

End Date

3-5-2019 11:30 AM

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Mar 5th, 10:15 AM Mar 5th, 11:30 AM

Trauma and the Adolescent Brain

Session 5 (Sloane)

During adolescence, individuals encounter key developmental processes and tasks. When understood and harnessed positively, these processes can support post-traumatic for adolescents exposed to trauma. These key developmental processes will be reviewed, as well as the neurophysiological implications of trauma. Specific trauma-informed approaches for use with adolescents, with and without family involvement, will be provided.