When people think about and talk about the experience of trauma, and managing trauma, there is a tendency to associate the condition with adults, however, trauma is also experienced by children and teens. For many children who experience trauma, reactions and problems do not manifest themselves until adolescence or adulthood.
For teens, the symptoms related to a traumatic event are much the same as those for adults. Effects and reactions to trauma are significant and stressful. Teens who go through a personal event involving trauma, or who are exposed to an overwhelmingly stressful event or series of events, will continue to emotionally and physically re-experience the event and suffer from it repeatedly, possibly for a long time.
Trauma can be life-changing. The activities in the Managing Trauma Workbook for Teens can be a tremendous benefit to any teenager who has experienced stress from a traumatic episode.
Because there are so many ways stress from a traumatic event can manifest itself, symptoms can be very difficult to identify and manage. It is critical to be aware of, and to understand, how symptoms are commonly experienced. Although most or all symptoms do not have to be present, those that are present will typically cause significant distress and/or impairment in a person’s daily functioning.
Our main goal for this workbook is NOT to diagnose a mental illness, or expect the facilitator to make that diagnosis from this book’s content. Our goal is to touch on some of the symptoms and possibilities, create realizations, and provide coping methods which will help people to go forward and perhaps consider the possibility of the need for consideration of medications and therapy.
Our secondary goal is to help teens recognize that other people have the same issues, that no shame is connected to them and that mental health issues of any degree are not to be stigmatized nor should anyone need to feel like a victim of stereotyping. In this workbook, we use the phrase mental health issues in order to include ALL types of trauma symptoms and problems, from just losing one’s temper to indicators of a serious mental illness.
The reproducible awareness modules contained in the Managing Trauma Workbook for Teens will help you identify and select assessments and activities easily and quickly:
Module I: My Story
This module will help teens share all aspects of their story in a safe way and put it into a positive perspective.
Module II: My Escape-ism
This module will help teens explore the various ways that they avoid and numb themselves to forget their traumatic experience, and provide tools for coping with these symptoms.
Module III: My Transition
This module will help teens explore ways that they can effectively manage trauma and move on from their traumatic experience.
Module IV: Tools for Coping
This module will help teens explore the various ways that they re-experience their trauma and provides tools for coping with these symptoms.
Module V: Erasing the Stigma of Mental Health Issues
This module will help teens explore the stigma of having experienced a traumatic event in their lives and the impact that the stigma has on them.
About the Authors:
Ester Leutenberg has worked in the mental health profession for many years as an author, publisher and as an advocate for those suffering from loss. She personally experienced a loss when her son Mitchell, after struggling with a mental illness for eight years, died by suicide in 1986.
Soon after, as a way of both healing and helping others, she co-founded Wellness Reproductions & Publishing with her daughter Kathy Khalsa. Ester began developing therapeutic products that help facilitators help their clients. She is the co-author of theSEALS series for teenagers as well as Meaningful Life Skills for older adults, and the eight-book Life Management Skills series for adults.
Ester, a breast cancer survivor since 2003, has counseled other survivors in overcoming body-loss issues. Her involvements with Survivors of Suicide, the Coyote Task Force in Tucson, various support groups in Sun City Oro Valley and volunteering at two hospitals are among many ways she continues to feed her passion of helping mentally ill people, their facilitators and their families.
John J. Liptak is the Associate Director of Career Services and adjunct instructor in the Counselor Education Department at Radford University. He received his EdD in Counselor Education from Virginia Tech. He has worked in a variety of settings including a federal prison, a mental health center, a job training program, and now in higher education.
Dr. Liptak frequently conducts workshops on assessment-related topics. He has written seven books on career-related topics that have been featured in numerous newspapers including The Washington Post, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Associated Press. His work has also been featured on MSNBC, CNN Radio and on the PAX/ION television series, "Success Without a College Degree."
At Radford University, he works with college students entering internships or preparing for graduation and entrance in the workplace. Through individual coaching sessions, workshops, and classroom presentations he helps students develop the emotional intelligence skills they need to be effective in the world-of-work. He is teaching a senior-level course that will teach emotional intelligence skills to graduating seniors.
With Kathy Khalsa and Ester Leutenberg, John has written three comprehensive books for teachers and counselors to use with their students and clients: The Self-Esteem Program, The Social Skills Program, and The Stress Management Program: Inventories, Activities & Educational Handouts. With Whole Person Associates, he and Ester continue to co-write books to add to their Mental Health & Life Skills Workbook series, and their Teen Mental Health Series as well as the new Coping Series, the Mind-Body Wellness Series, and the Family Issues Series.
John resides in Radford, Virginia with his wife Kathy, and their Shih Tzu named "MacKenzie."