The aim of this study was to investigate the expe-riences of parents in providing support to their child followingtrauma exposure in cases where children are experiencingclinically significant levels of post-traumatic distress.Qualitative interviews were conducted with parents whose child was exposed to a trauma and referred for psychological treatment. Parents report ed considerable anxiety in coping with their child’s post-traumatic distress. Avoidance of trauma-related discussions was encouraged due to concerns that non-avoidant approaches may worsen children’s post-trauma difficulties. Nonetheless, parents were often sensitive to their child’s distress and offered reassurance and other forms of support. Many barriers existed to accessing psycho-logical treatment, and perceptions of inadequate guidance from therapists on supporting child adjustment contributed to parental distress. The results illustrate the strategies used by parents in supporting their child post-trauma and may assist mental health professionals in providing acceptable guidance to parents following child trauma.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine