Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can have debilitating effects on the children and adolescents who suffer from it. They have to deal with unwanted feelings of distress on a consistent basis. They may suffer from intense flashbacks and vivid, recurring nightmares that leave them feeling scared all the time. In some cases, children and adolescents suffering from PTSD might even struggle with knowing what is real and what is not. Children should not have to live a life of fear. We can help.
At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we understand the many challenges that living a life with a child who is suffering from PTSD can present, and we recognize how imperative it is that you and your child receive support. We have years of experience working with children and adolescents who are facing a number of different mental health concerns, including those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. We have two residential treatment centers located on 37 sprawling acres of beautiful, natural landscape. With this serene setting, we are able to provide patients with the comfortable environment that they would not receive in a traditional high-rise, locked hospital facility. At Millcreek, we can provide your child with the therapeutic interventions that he or she needs in order to address and overcome the challenges that he or she is facing as a result of PTSD in the safest and most caring atmosphere possible.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If you have a child who is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, you might be feeling frightened, heartbroken, and at a loss for what you can do to help him or her. If your child has experienced a traumatic event and is displaying any of the following symptoms, it may be time to seek help for him or her. Some of these problematic symptoms may include:
- Bedwetting (that is not developmentally appropriate for his or her age)
- Extreme sleep disturbances, including night terrors and sleepwalking
- Hallucinations – possibly reliving the traumatic event
- Exaggerated startle response
- Loss of interest in things that he or she used to be interest in
- Avoidance of certain people, places, or situations that he or she had previously not avoided
In order to best help your child through this troubling time, it is beneficial to educate yourself about how PTSD can affect a person and what types of treatment would be most beneficial in helping your child find relief from his or her symptoms.
Why Consider Treatment at Millcreek Behavioral Health
Children and adolescents who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can experience significant disruption in all areas of their lives. They may find themselves unable to function appropriately at school, may begin displaying aggressive behaviors, and may even begin to participate in self-destructive behaviors. You might be hoping that these negative symptoms will simply go away with time but, more than likely, the symptoms will only continue to worsen if not properly confronted and treated.
Residential treatment centers have proven to be successful in helping children and adolescents identify and overcome the negative effects that they are experiencing as a result of suffering from a traumatic event. When children are given the chance to step away from the routines of their everyday lives and enter a residential treatment program, they are able to place their sole focus on becoming well. While taking part in a residential program, children and adolescents are also able to come together with other children who might be struggling with similar challenges, which can result in helping them develop a sense of confidence and comfort in knowing that they are not alone. The thorough treatment that is provided as part of a residential program will help your child receive the help and support that he or she needs in order to successfully recover.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Millcreek Behavioral Health, we are dedicated to guiding children through treatment in a way that helps them learn to overcome their struggles and begin making changes in all aspects of their lives— changes that can continue to affect them in a positive manner as they grow. We make it our goal to meet each client where he or she is at by tailoring treatment plans to meet each unique, individual need. Our approach to treatment utilizes a multicomponent, integrated model based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which has proven to provide a successful and effective treatment for a wide variety of populations and diagnoses, PTSD included. CBT is an evidenced-based therapeutic intervention model that aims to target thinking errors by correcting maladaptive thoughts and replacing them with new problem-solving techniques and coping skills. The members of our highly trained and compassionate staff work intensely with the children we treat to help them learn to confront and accept their struggles and then learn to take responsibility for the changes that need to be made in order to find true healing.
Types of Treatment Offered at Millcreek Behavioral Health
When first arriving for treatment, all potential clients will complete a thorough diagnostic assessment and a psychiatric evaluation, allowing us to gain a full understanding of any presenting concerns and identify specific treatment needs. The findings of these assessments will be used by an interdisciplinary treatment team to develop a master treatment plan that is then reviewed by a psychiatrist. This master treatment plan will specify objectives and treatment goals for each individual child or adolescent, including specific intervention components that will aid in meeting the child’s exact needs.
The program model at Millcreek is divided into four distinct phases, which include:
- Why am I here?
- Making the connection
- Learning new skills
All of our residents are required to complete all aspects of each phase in order to advance to the next. Some of the treatment methods that will be used and some of the activities that residents will participate in throughout their course of treatment may include the following:
Medication: At times, medication can be a beneficial part of fully treating post-traumatic stress disorder. While there is no specific medication designed to treat PTSD, the implementation of things like antidepressants or antianxiety medications can help alleviate the symptoms that children experience. When medication is used, it is consistently monitored by the child’s treatment team in order to ensure the therapeutic effectiveness of the medications, as well as to make any changes that might be necessary.
Group therapy: Group therapy is held multiple times throughout the week with sessions covering a wide range of topics. The groups that the children participate in will be determined based on their individual master treatment plans, but some of the topics that are covered in these group sessions may include: behavior management, coping skills, social skills, activities of daily living (ADLs), and appropriate self-soothing skills.
Recreational therapy: All of the children and adolescents in our programs will participate in recreational therapy, which includes participating in activities such as sports, social outings, park outings, creative arts, adventure programs, and leisure. These activities are designed to aid in the development of appropriate social skills.
Education: Every child and adolescent that we treat at Millcreek will attend our fully accredited school program, which is held Monday through Friday. Each child will be given his or her own distinct, individualized education plan based on his or her specific academic needs.
Depending on the treatment track in which your child is enrolled, in addition to the presence of any specific treatment needs, he or she may also participate in some, or all, of the following:
- Family therapy (held at least 2 times per month)
- Individual therapy (held on a weekly basis)
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Student council
Continued Care and Levels of Treatment
Once your child has completed the residential treatment program here at Millcreek, a case manager will meet with you and your child in order to help identify what the next best plan of action should be. These case managers are available to help schedule any necessary follow-up appointments with outpatient providers and can provide you and your child with specific resources that are available within your community. For those patients who qualify, there is also the option of entering into a waiver program where individuals can return home and still receive any additional assistance with daily living skills that may be needed.