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Help For Children Coping With Illness Or Injury
Pediatric Medical Trauma
medical traumatic stress refers to the psychological and physiological responses of children and their families to pain, injury,
serious illness, medical procedures, and invasive or frightening treatment experiences. The child’s experience impacts
the whole family as they attempt to cope with the new crisis on top of the pre-existing demands of daily life. The difference
between minimal or significant psychological trauma rests in a number of factors, such as the child’s age, support from
caregivers, and coping skills. The two psychotherapy services described below address the needs of the child and all family
members. These services are intended to minimize, and hopefully prevent, a long term traumatic stress reaction.
Medical Crisis Counseling
Pediatric emergency medical care in response to a life threatening injury can
be overwhelmingly frightening to a child or adolescent. Without adequate support, the child, siblings and parent/caregivers,
can experience stress that can deplete existing coping skills. Medical Crisis Counseling is intervention designed to assist
the child and family during this stressful time, and prevent the development of maladaptive coping strategies or post traumatic
the initial medical crisis is over, some children are faced with recovery or illness management that may continue for months
or years. Others must learn to adjust their lifestyle to the permanent limitations their illness or injury brings. Medical
Coping Counseling is intervention designed to assist the child and family with the challenges of adjustment, re-entry to school,
and coping with the lifestyle changes brought about by the child’s illness or injury.
Children Newly Diagnosed
Children newly diagnosed with cancer and their families are provided
with Medical Crisis and Medical Coping Counseling services uniquely designed for their needs. Using the Surviving Cancer Competently
Intervention Program, Newly Diagnosed (SCCIP-ND) developed by staff at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, these children,
their parents and siblings are guided through the treatment and recovery stages.