Webster Street Academy and Family Center provides a robust therapeutic component for each and every one of our students. In this setting, kids are both academically successful and learn the coping skills needed to get them back on track.
Trauma and Mental Health
Trauma is best defined as the experience of violence and victimization including sexual abuse, physical abuse, severe neglect, loss, domestic violence or the witnessing of violence, terrorism or disasters. Trauma shapes children’s beliefs about their identity, worldview, and spirituality. Children who have experienced complex traumas may develop responses that include intense fear, horror, and helplessness. They often feel an overwhelming sense of stress that interferes with their ability to cope.
Children who have experienced trauma also have overlapping problems with mental health, addictions, physical health and are victims of crime. They may adopt high-risk behaviors, such as eating disorders, smoking, substance abuse, self-harm, and sexual promiscuity as coping mechanisms.
What is Trauma-Informed Care?
Trauma-Informed Care is a best practice treatment philosophy that incorporates an appreciation for the high prevalence of traumatic experiences in children who receive mental health services. The course in treatment requires a thorough understanding of the profound neurological, biological, psychological, and social effects of trauma on a child and all members of the treatment team must work closely together and be consistent in their interactions with the children.
The training of the staff members is intensive to ensure their knowledge, sensitivity, compassion and understanding that each child is desperately in search of someone who will value them and love them for who they are.
What are Trauma-Specific Interventions?
Building on key principles of safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, and empowerment, trauma-informed services are designed to be welcoming and hospitable for all children in treatment. Trauma-specific interventions are designed specifically to address the effects of trauma on the individual child and to facilitate healing.
Successful treatment programs emphasize the following as being critical to positive outcomes among children: