Helping Adolescents With Trauma Heal in a Safe Space


Helping Adolescents with Trauma Heal in a Safe Space

Adolescents who experience trauma need support and care to heal. Healing is a complicated process that is unique for each individual adolescent. However, having a safe space is essential in the process of healing. It allows adolescents to let their guard down and go through steps to make fundamental changes. Sustain Recovery helps adolescents to heal from trauma, and an essential piece of this is creating a safe space for them to go through the necessary processes to move forward in their lives.

Trauma in Adolescents

The term trauma refers to a person’s reaction to an event rather than an event itself. Trauma occurs when an adolescent experiences or witnesses an event that is distressing or disturbing. Either witnessing or experiencing a distressing event can cause long-term issues in an adolescent’s life. If left untreated, it can impact how an adolescent develops mentally and emotionally.

When an adolescent is struggling to process their trauma, they may experience many different symptoms. This might include issues in school or at home, like disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive behavior. Additionally, an adolescent may withdraw from loved ones or friends. Many adolescents will also use drugs, alcohol, or tobacco as a way to cope with the challenges of trauma.

Value of a Safe Space When Healing From Trauma

Getting support and having a safe space are both extremely important in healing from trauma. A safe and supportive environment helps adolescents to process trauma and rediscover a sense of peace and calm that is often disrupted as a result of trauma. While the process will look different for each adolescent, a safe space helps forge the path to healing.

Processing Trauma

When an adolescent experiences a traumatic event, they are under immense stress. This stress releases certain neurotransmitters in the brain that prepares an adolescent’s body and brain to cope with the danger that they are experiencing. Some call this state “survival” mode. When an adolescent is in survival mode, the part of the brain that helps them to process and integrate their experiences is not the primary part of the brain firing. Therefore, they do not process the event as it is occurring.

As a result, an important part of healing is to process the traumatic event and their experience of it. This involves self-reflection and getting professional support via individual therapy, family therapy, and more. The specific type of support will vary for each individual adolescent, but it is important that they feel supported and safe for them to be able to process their trauma.

Having a safe space helps an adolescent to open up and share what they are feeling and what they experience. It is normal for the process of opening up to take some time. However, without a safe space, an adolescent may never process their trauma, which can lead to long-term issues with substance use and mental health issues.

Finding Peace

During a traumatic event, when an adolescent is in survival mode, their level of anxiety will naturally rise. This is a normal and healthy response to a traumatic event. However, some adolescents have a hard time rediscovering a sense of peace after experiencing trauma.

Finding peace after trauma can feel and seem impossible, but having a safe space can help. Spending time in an environment that feels safe helps an adolescent to begin to relax. As their body relaxes and they find some sense of peace, they are able to take some of the first steps to healing.

When an adolescent works through and process their trauma, they may run up against more feelings of anxiety, which is to be expected. While it is important to process trauma, it is certainly not an easy thing to do. However, a safe space allows an adolescent a place to rest, recharge, and regroup. This provides energy – mentally, emotionally, and physically – that gives them the strength needed to take steps toward healing each day. As they take more and more steps, they are more able to learn tools and work through challenges without feeling overwhelmed.

Sustain Recovery Offers a Safe Space

Adolescents healing from trauma often have challenges with their mental health or addiction to work through. Sustain Recovery helps adolescents to improve their awareness and understand the interconnectedness of the challenges they are facing. Treatment is individualized in order to get to the root causes and find solutions that help each adolescent heal.

A goal for treatment at Sustain Recovery is for each adolescent to feel safe and supported on their journey to healing. Therefore, they are welcomed into a safe, secure, and supported treatment facility where they receive love, support, and care. This allows them to be more open to change, find peace in their lives, and work through their trauma and other challenges they are facing.

When an adolescent has experienced trauma, they are often on edge, which is a natural reaction to trauma. However, in order to heal, they need to feel safe enough to let their guard down. This allows them to process their trauma and learn to heal and move forward. At Sustain Recovery, adolescents receive the support and care they need in a safe space. We believe that every adolescent needs to feel safe and secure in order to make changes in their lives that will have a lifetime of benefits. To learn more about Sustain Recovery and what programs are available, call (949) 407-9052 to speak with a staff member today.