Find the 'Why' of Troubling Behavior
by Courtney Dunn, MSW
Youth Advocate & Therapist
Psychological trauma - words that no one likes to hear, especially when these words coincide with some of our community's most vulnerable, children and teenagers. There is no doubt that psychological trauma is hard topic of discussion, but it is an important one because it drastically affects a large number of our youth. Trauma is when a person has experienced an event that threatens their life, or their physical or emotional wellbeing. Trauma can also occur when witnessing an event happen to another person. According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, more than 60% of United States youth under the age of 17 have been exposed to crime, violence, or abuse, either directly or indirectly.
It's important to remember that the array of traumatic experiences affecting our youth can be wide-ranging, and every person reacts to trauma differently. What might seem like a trivial event may have an enormous impact on one individual's sense of self-worth, emotional stability, and behaviors. While another adolescent might experience the same event and may not show any signs of stress.