When most of us think of trauma we likely think back to a tragic life event that may have occurred when we were young, like losing a loved one tragically, or perhaps in adulthood, like experiencing a serious car accident. These types of scary life events often make moving forward difficult but, in most cases, as time moves forward, so do we. However, for the children who arrive at Nexus-Woodbourne Family Healing moving forward after trauma has become impossible, and intensive therapeutic, trauma-informed care is essential. In fact, by the time a child arrives to Nexus-Woodbourne for therapeutic residential treatment, over 70% have already experienced four (4) or more severe childhood traumas such as child sexual exploitation, physical and/or sexual abuse, the loss of a parent due to incarceration or complete abandonment by their family.

Our Mission at Nexus-Woodbourne Family Healing is to change the course of a child’s life by stabilizing families and strengthening mental health, and this requires meeting a child where they are when they arrive to us for care. Each of our program areas employ evidence-based therapeutic approaches and techniques to support our youth to include times of heightened stress and anxiety. Some of the benefits our clinicians and therapists have seen using sensory intervention include:

  • Improved concentration
  • Decreased distractions
  • Help with fidgeting
  • Reduced anxiety and stress
  • Helping to remain calm (calming chair)

At Nexus-Woodbourne, being trauma-informed means that every interaction our care team has with a youth is looked at through a “trauma lens.” This lens helps us see behaviors that driven by trauma, create a safe space for clients to grow, and gives employees the room to act first with empathy and compassion. Working through the trauma lens shows how past trauma – like experiencing neglect, violence, or going through a family crisis – may be shifting the way a child’s brain processes information, changing the way they respond and react. It is our job at Nexus-Woodbourne to find ways for each child to feel safe and comfortable when expressing their emotions, and as a trauma-informed place of healing we seek and speak to the underlying reasons for a child’s unhealthy and dangerous reactions. Our goal is to help a child move past their trauma with interventions that work for their brain, allowing for lifelong success managing their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, always with the vision to enable our youth in healing their past…breaking an unhealthy cycle… and changing their future.