The truth is .... as adults with children, they are as impacted by life and this world, if not more, than we are as the adults who have experienced highs and lows, ups and downs, a bit longer than they have.
These are a few types of trauma or life experiences that people have. Each is as important as the other. There is no hierachy to experiencing trauma.
Acute trauma: Results from exposure to a single overwhelming event/experiences (car accident, natural disaster, single event of abuse or assault, sudden loss or witnessing violence).
Repetitive trauma: Results from exposure to multiple, chronic and/or prolonged overwhelming traumatic events (i.e., receiving regular treatment for an illness).
Complex trauma: Results from multiple, chronic and prolonged overwhelming traumatic events/experiences which are compromising and most often within the context of an interpersonal relationship (i.e., family violence).
Developmental trauma: Results from early onset exposure to ongoing or repetitive trauma (as infant, children or youth) includes neglect, abandonment, physical abuse or assault, sexual abuse or assault, emotional abuse witnessing violence or death, and/or coercion or betrayal. This often occurs within the child’s care giving system and interferes with healthy attachment and development.
Vicarious trauma: Creates a change in the service provider resulting from empathetic engagement with a client’s/patient’s traumatic background. It occurs when an individual who was not an immediate witness to the trauma absorbs and integrates disturbing aspects of the traumatic experience into his or her own functioning.
Historical trauma is a cumulative emotional and psychological wounding over the lifespan and across generations emanating from massive group trauma. Examples of historical trauma include genocide, colonialism (i.e., residential schools), slavery and war.
Intergenerational trauma describes the psychological or emotional effects that can be experienced by people who live with people who have experienced trauma. Coping and adaptation patterns developed in response to trauma can be passed from one generation to the next.
Below is a resource for parents seeking short-term adolescent residential care and supports for their teen.