Treatment Options for Boys with PTSD
Treatment Options for Boys with PTSD
Options for trauma treatment for teen boys with PTSD are often limited because of the stigma surrounding traumatic experiences and assumptions of male resilience. Teens boys struggling with trauma are more likely to be misunderstood, as they may not realize the effect past experiences have had on their anger. As boys and girls experience and process traumatic events differently, single-gender residential programs offer a supportive environment for boys to heal along with peers going through similar issues.
What does PTSD look like for boys?
There are several gender differences in terms of how PTSD is identified in boys and girls. While girls may be more likely to be sexually assaulted, boys are more likely to be involved in, the victim of, or witness of physical aggression and violence. Boys internalize the narrative that they should “man up” and “fight back” when their boundaries are crossed or their “feelings are hurt,” which contributes to misunderstanding male trauma. Not everyone who has experienced these events is affected by post-traumatic stress and not everyone affected by post-traumatic stress experiences it the same way.
Boys often externalize their trauma by acting out or getting involved in substance abuse. They struggle with processing what has happened to them and may shut off emotionally, although repressing these emotions may cause them to come up in relationships with others. Their anger and fear is displayed through impulsivity and aggression. By externalizing problems, they may also turn to external distractions to avoid the void caused by trauma. They are more likely to display develop process addictions to substances, technology, video games, or porn.
Treatment For Boys With PTSD
At Equinox we believe that a holistic approach is the only way to help young men truly heal from trauma. We treat the entire person (mind, body and spirit) rather than focusing on the symptoms of PTSD. As boys connect with others on a physical and visual level, we believe a more hands-on, experiential approach to therapy may be more beneficial to them than traditional forms of talk therapy.
Equinox offers cutting-edge and evidence-based therapeutic approaches such as:
- EMDR involves revisiting traumatic memories and processing the feelings it brings up rather than describing events in detail
- Neurofeedback helps teens retrain their brains to notice how they respond when stressed and self-regulate
- Somatic experiencing helps boys connect with how their body holds onto trauma physically
- Trauma-Focused Adventure Therapy teaches boys how to face their fears and build confidence
- Group therapy, including specialty groups like grief and loss, trauma, family sculpting, and relationship processing groups, gives boys the chance to process their experiences with their peers
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) helps boys address negative beliefs associated with traumatic events
In addition to traditional forms of therapy, we believe your son’s ability to experience empowerment in our academic, residential, and adventure-based programming is of equal importance. The relationships that your son builds while at Equinox are an essential part of healing from relational trauma and feeling more empowered in his personal goals. Vulnerability and trust are often barriers to trauma treatment for boys. However, in a residential treatment program that is focused on helping boys develop healthier relationships, boys have a better understanding of how facing their trauma can have a lasting impact in their lives.
Equinox RTC Can Help
Equinox is a residential treatment center for boys ages 14-18. This program specializes in the treatment of trauma, loss, and attachment issues. Equinox uses a relationship based and principle based level of intervention. The treatment model is based on relationships and principles as well. Students will experience both positive and negative outcomes and learn how to cope in a healthy and effective way. Our goal is to challenge narratives and stigma around male mental health and trauma. Fostering resiliency is an important focus at Equinox. This treatment center addresses each student as a whole and helps them heal from the inside out.
Call 877-279-8925 today!
Kyle received his Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Texas Tech University. As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Kyle has worked in a variety of clinical settings over the last seventeen years. His career has focused on treating both boys and girls, with specialization in trauma, processing difficulties, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, OCD and difficult family systems.