Information for Teens

Boost is a safe place where you can talk to someone about how you think and feel about the traumatic event you experienced, things in your life that help you cope with the trauma, and identify what other things you may need to help you feel better. Before deciding whether or not Boost is the right place for you, we would like you to come to our office for an information session. This would be an opportunity for you to learn more about Boost, what we do, as well as what it would mean if you chose to do participate in the trauma assessment.

What Is Trauma?
A trauma is a fearful or scary event where you may have been hurt or were afraid of being hurt. Trauma can also include the experience of seeing some you care about get hurt or fear that person would be hurt. Examples of traumatic events can include physical abuse, sexual abuse, sexual assault, seeing violence in your home or in your community, natural disasters like hurricanes or tsunami’s, a violent and unexpected death of someone you care for or other situations or experiences that may cause you to be extremely frightened and concerned about your safety or the safety of someone you care for. A lot of kids have experienced some type of trauma in their lives. At Boost, in 2008 over 260 children and teens were referred to the Assessment & Treatment Program. It’s important to know that many other kids and teens have gone through difficult experiences just like you and that you are not alone.
Common Reactions To Trauma

Although many children and teens may experience a traumatic event, everyone is unique and therefore, react to the trauma in a number of different ways. Some of the more common reactions to trauma include:

  • Nightmares
  • Feeling scared, sad, angry, confused, ashamed
  • Hard time concentrating and focusing
  • Feeling jumpy and nervous
  • Staying away from people or places that remind you of the trauma
  • Wanting to be alone, away from your friends and family
  • Thoughts of the trauma just pop into your mind
  • Stomach aches and headaches
  • Feeling as though the trauma was happening again (commonly referred to as flashbacks)
  • Difficult time trusting other people
  • Not wanting to think about the trauma
What Is A Trauma Assessment?

The reactions to trauma described above are all normal responses to difficult and scary experiences. Again, it is important to remember that you are a unique individual and will likely have your own reactions to the trauma, including your own thoughts and feelings about what you experienced and what you may need to feel better. The purpose of a trauma assessment is to help you to better understand your reactions to the traumatic event, as well as to identify what types of strategies or support Boost could offer to help you heal from your experience.

Resources For Teens

Monique Lang
Healing From Post-Traumatic Stress: A workbook For Recovery

Babette Rothschild
The Body Remembers: The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma Treatment

Cohen et al.
Managing Stress Through Art: Drawing From the Center

Aphrodite Matsakis
Trust After Trauma: A Guide to Relationships for Survivors and Those Who Love Them

Leave Out Violence Youth
The Courage To Change: A Teen Survival Guide

Donna O’Toole
Falling Apart and Coming Together Again in the Teen Years

Earl Hipp
Help for the Hard Times: Getting Through Loss

Kris Gowen
Sexual Decisions: The Ultimate Teen Guide

Harborview Centre for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress

National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Groups for Teens

Relationship Skills For Violence Prevention (RSVP)

The RSVP Program provides support to teen girls through a 12-week group designed to teach skills to prevent violence. The RSVP Program is designed to provide support and education to adolescent girls who have experienced or who are considered at risk of experiencing violence in a personal relationship. The purpose of the program is to prevent victimization and to develop the skills needed to form and maintain healthy relationships.

The RSVP Program is available to girls 12-17 years of age who have experienced (or may be at risk of) violence in a personal relationship.

Coping Skills Group

The Coping Skills Group is offered to female adolescent survivors of sexual abuse or sexual assault. Group is an opportunity for survivors to: develop strategies to respond to strong feelings and reminders related to the abuse/assault, develop a network of social support with other females who have gone through similar experiences, support group members to cope with difficult reactions to the traumatic event (e.g.; nightmares, flashbacks), and discuss healthy sexuality. The Coping Skills Group is available to girls 12-17 years of age who have experienced sexual abuse or sexual assault. Younger teen girls groups, as well as older teen girls groups are both offered at Boost.