An Update on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Children and Adolescents
Recent violent tragedies in schools, universities, and in public spaces have focused increased attention on the symptoms and consequences of maladaptive traumatic stress and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children and adolescents. Child maltreatment and its consequences continue to be prevalent in the United States. Recent changes to diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual , 5th edition (DSM-5 ) identify new criteria for PTSD in young children as well as in school age children and adolescents. There is a growing body of knowledge about what psychological treatments are effective in children. Pediatricians are often the first to identify and treat traumatized children. 1
An update on this topic is relevant because data show that only 18% of primary care pediatricians’ self-report adequate knowledge of childhood PTSDs, and only 10% report frequent experience in the assessment and treatment of posttraumatic stress symptoms.2
1University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Health Care Center, Farmington, CT, USA
2Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
Advanced Trauma Solutions was pleased to host Shannon Reid, Ph.D. from UNC, Charlotte’s Criminal Justice and Criminology Department. Dr. Reid’s presentation, “Friendship and Incarceration: Considering the Role of Peers in Institutional Behavior”, focused on how the TARGET model can help to:
- Develop effective gang policies and strategies
- Examine friendship networks of incarcerated youth
- Reduce violence in youth correctional facilities
For more information on Dr. Reid’s work, please visit her website by clicking here.
ATS Joins the VA in saluting those who have served our country!
June is PTSD Awareness Month
Having your loved one return from a deployment is an occasion to celebrate. However, when the service member returns from a deployment with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD), this time of togetherness is sometimes shadowed by intrusive and painful memories of combat, severe mood swings, and difficulty sleeping for the service member. Recognizing the impact that this disorder has on some service members, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has dedicated June as PTSD Awareness Month.
Sometimes it is hard to determine if your service member is suffering from PTSD. Other times, you may recognize it, but your loved one may not see the symptoms in themselves. If you think you or your loved one may have symptoms of PTSD, check out the VA’s online assessment tool. To see a comprehensive list of PTSD symptoms, visit the VA’s National Center for PTSD website. There are many resources available to help reduce anxiety, depression, or other symptoms. However, you should consider seeing a medical health care professional if you have symptoms of PTSD or any other mental health issue.
The National Center for Telehealth and Technology has developed a list of mobile appswhich may aid in managing PTSD. These apps include tools such as relaxation techniques, finding positive activities in your area, and information on how PTSD affects your body and mood.
PTSD affects 1 in 5 service members who served in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. It’s important to realize you are not alone in the PTSD battle. To see just a few experiences from others’ PTSD journeys, visit AboutFace, a website created by the VA’s National Center for PTSD, featuring video testimonials from service members who have dealt with the effects of PTSD in their own lives.
Many organizations have compiled resources on PTSD, tips on how to treat it, and suggestions for available help. Visit our Mental Health Care section, Real Warriors,AfterDeployment, and the VA for more information and ways to cope.
If you are looking for a place to get started caring for your service member, visit the VA’s section on PTSD today.
As seen on the National Military Family Association website.
TARGET and Grandma's Care
A youth's story
Since the age of 7, I have lived with my grandma and relied on her to take care of me. Before that age I stayed with her off and on, but never for very long. I was unsuccessfully placed in both my mother's and my father's care. About 3 years ago, I was finally placed with my grandma. It was in her home that I found the stability I needed, along with the love and respect I had always wanted.
I have also been involved in the TARGET (Trauma Affect Regulation Guide for Education and Therapy) program, which has helped me understand and control stress. When TARGET was first introduced to me I wasn't really sure about it, but my grandma encouraged me to participate. She told me that it would help us work together, become closer, and even communicate better. We attended a number of sessions over several weeks. Although I was leery at first, I began to realize how TARGET was helping me in a number of ways.
At home, my grandma and I talked more and seemed to communicate with each other better. At school, I was able to remain more focused in class and see my goals more clearly. Overall, I feel that participating in TARGET has helped me to set goals and to be able to follow through with those goals. I would recommend TARGET to any other kids, because it really did help me.
Note: Guardianship is planned to take place by March 2014.
In the final event in the National Foster Care Month webinar series, Children’s Bureau Associate Commissioner JooYeun Chang discussed specific efforts of the Administration to support children and youth in foster care in achieving permanency. This webinar highlighted the work of the Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII) Grant awarded to the State of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Presenters from Illinois discussed the TARGET treatment model and how it is being implemented in their system. This grant is supporting the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services in demonstrating and taking to scale statewide TARGET, an evidence-based trauma intervention, to promote more timely achievement of permanency among youth, ages 11 to 16, who have reached their two year anniversary in foster care. Click here for more information on this webinar and the Children's Bureau's webinar series.
Ben is a TARGET trainer and consultant with Advanced Trauma Solutions. He received an Associates Degree in Deaf Studies from Northwestern Connecticut Community College and a Bachelors Degree in Human Services from the University of Connecticut. In addition, Ben is currently enrolled in Central Connecticut State University’s Master’s Program, studying Professional Counseling in Mental Health and Rehabilitation.
Dr. Ford's book, Hijacked By Your Brain was recently featured in O Magazine and Elle. This is the first book to explain how stress changes your brain and what you can do about it.
Stress is not the enemy. In order to truly reduce stress you have to understand why your brain causes you to feel stress and how you can take advantage of it to handle high-stress people and situations.
This book reveals the missing step in most stress reduction guides. Then, Dr. Ford and his co-author Jon Wortmann, provide you with the user’s manual for your brain so stress is no longer something to avoid; rather, a chance to learn what is most important to you and focus your life on what really matters.
This book was written for:
- parents managing homes, kids, and careers
- executives and managers who want to focus and support their teams
- athletes and artists who want to perform at their best
- helping professionals feeling stress from their work and who want resources to offer those they care for
- men and women healing from the trauma of war, disaster, and abuse
- You, if you feel out of control and want to do something about it
You’ll be able to apply the skills right away and with regular practice, you can be the kind of focused, relaxed, and confident person you’ve always wanted to be.
To purchase this book, and to see more publications by Dr. Ford, click here.
ATS is proud to announce that Corey Somerville has joined our ATS team!
Corey holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from National University in Carlsbad, California and a Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. She has an extensive work background as a crisis clinician in hospital emergency departments as well as community based psychiatric intervention. Corey is trained in Psychological First Aid (PFA) and has worked as a member of the Western Massachusetts Trauma Response Team through Behavioral Health Network in Springfield, MA, where she responded to natural disasters, homicides, suicides and sudden death situations.
Prior to joining ATS, she was the Staff Mental Health Professional at The Children’s Law Center of Connecticut, where she worked with attorneys on high conflict family court cases making recommendations to the court that were believed to be in the best interest of the child. While at CLC she also functioned as the program coordinator for their mediation and co-parenting education program, as well as participating as a mediator in the program.
Advanced Trauma Solutions, Inc. is excited to announce that Alison Schneider has joined the ATS team to help lead the dissemination and implementation of the TARGET model in the midwest region. In addition to her direct practice experience as part of Illinois' System of Care, Alison comes to ATS with over 10 years of program management in the field of child welfare. Most recently, Alison has been intricately involved with the implementation of the TARGET model with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services as part of the the United States Children's Bureau's Permanency Innovations Initiative. Alison can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (860) 269-8663.
We are relocating our office from 17 Talcott Notch Road to:
11 Melrose Drive, Suite 200
Farmingto, CT 06032
Please make a note of our new address!
Juvenile Law Center Trauma
By Shawn Marsh, Ph.D.
Shawn Marsh, Ph.D., Chief Program Officer, Juvenile Law Programs, represented the NCJFCJ at a convening of national experts on trauma and advocacy coordinated by the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia, PA in late January 2013. Dr. Marsh joined others such as Robert Listenbee (OJJDP Administrator), Dr. Sandra Bloom (founder of the Sanctuary Institute), Esta Soler (President of Futures Without Violence), Dr. Julian Ford (developer of TARGET-A treatment protocol for trauma exposure and a National Child Traumatic Stress Network representative), and Bob Schwartz (Executive Director and co-founder of the Juvenile Law Center) to outline the most current thinking on how to achieve a trauma-informed justice system. Over the course of the 1.5 day meeting, participants elucidated the challenges associated with helping implement universal precautions for trauma in courts and allied systems while maintaining robust protections for those appearing before the court. Of particular concern to the group was balancing the need to identify risk and protective factors to encourage resiliency while avoiding unnecessary system penetration associated with “helping” once a trauma history is identified. The meeting concluded with a shared agreement that the issue of trauma and being “trauma-informed” in the context of the legal system is still an emerging and highly complex issue that requires substantial further debate -- that at this point will be facilitated by an online discussion group involving the participants at the convening.
For a copy of the complete Summer 2013 edition of the Juvenile & Family Justice TODAY, click here!
TARGET for Adolescents and TARGET for Adults are both highlighted on the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse website!
Connecticut State Senator John McKinney recently appointed ATS' Chris Lyddy to the Connecticut Child Fatality Review Panel. The CFRP is charged with reviewing unexplained or unexpected circumstances of the death of any child under the age of 18 who has received services from a state department or agency addressing child welfare, social or human services or juvenile justice.
Listen to Dr. Ford talk about stress and his new book - Hijacked By Your Brain - on the Dr. Pat Show by clicking here:
In response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Governor Malloy established The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission. The SHAC is a 16-member panel of experts created to review current policy and make specific recommendations in the areas of public safety, with particular attention paid to school safety, mental health, and gun violence prevention.
For more information on the Panel you can visit www.ct.gov/shac