Infant Mental Health
Children ages 0-5 experience and recover from trauma very differently than other age groups, requiring specialized approaches to understand and treat effectively.
Triggers include traumatic events such as:
• Death Of A Loved One
• Serious Medical Problems
• Domestic Violence
• Community Violence
• Changes Of Home Or Location
• Changes In Caregivers
• Familial Physical/Mental Health Issues
• Lack Of Parenting Skills
Enagaging in Child-Parent Psychotherapy fosters improvements in the child’s mood, problem behaviors, learning, symptoms of trauma, and biological stress responses. The parent similarly sees improvements in mood, stress level, symptoms of trauma, and an increase in the the quality of relationships.
What Is The Process?
- Access a referral form for the appropriate county and complete as thoroughly as possible.
- The client is assigned to a therapist who will reach out to initiate engagement.
- The therapist will inventory the client’s history, traumatic experiences, needs, challenges, strengths, and values.
- The therapist will create a treatment plan and refer the client to any additional services or resources, as needed.
- Weekly therapy sessions are initiated.
Jaylen is a 32-month-old boy who witnessed a drive-by shooting of another child while walking with his father. He has night terrors, has become nonverbal and very clingy—crying when his parents leave the room. Jaylen’s father lost a cousin to gang violence and is experiencing anxiety, flashbacks, and fear that the child killed could have been his own.
Susan is 24 months old and exposed to violence. Her recently unemployed father was drinking heavily and tried to choke her mother. Susan got between her parents and was violently shoved, but not seriously injured. Now living with her mother and aunt, Susan wakes up at night calling “Daddy,” is very clingy, withdrawn, and less talkatative.
TJ is three and has been placed with his aunt by Child Protective Services. His mother was a drug addict and couldn’t care for him, but now is making an effort for reunification. TJ is extremely aggressive, hitting others and himself. He gorges on and steals food. He has frequent night terrors. His aunt doesn’t feel she can care for him much longer and desires reunification.
Marianna was 9 months old when she sustained a severe head injury at day care. She was discharged after a week with instructions that her immigrant single-mother found difficult to understand. Marianna is lethargic, sleepy, and unresponsive. Her mother fears permanent brain damage while her employment is in jeopardy because of the child’s needs.