Evidence indicates that individual and group cognitive-behavioral therapy reduces symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety and related behavior problems in traumatized children and adolescents . . . . Cognitive-behavioral techniques include discussing or writing about traumatic experiences, learning relaxation techniques and replacing paralyzing fears with more realistic assessments. Weekly sessions can extend over one to three months.
[There is] insufficient evidence to recommend any of five other treatment approaches — play therapy, art therapy, drug therapy, psychodynamic therapy or psychological debriefing.
Play therapy and art therapy encourage youngsters to express and control traumatic experiences through these activities. Drug therapy typically prescribes antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication to young trauma victims who have PTSD. Psychodynamic therapy focuses on understanding and changing unconscious reactions to traumatic events. Debriefing consists of group discussions and education conducted one to three days after a traumatic event. . . .
Researchers should also examine social interventions . . . . Disrupted social networks in the wake of disasters powerfully provoke psychological problems in children . . . Social interventions include providing family reunification services, restarting formal or informal schooling, creating group activities for isolated children and recruiting teens for relief efforts.
Eye-movement desensitization reprogramming, a controversial trauma treatment, which includes cognitive-behavioral therapy elements, does not appear to offer any benefits compared to ordinary cognitive-behavioral therapy.
After a child or teen experiences trauma, the child should, probably with professional assistance individually or in groups, in weekly sessions over one to three months, discuss or write about traumatic experiences, learn relaxation techniques and learn to replace paralyzing fears with more realistic assessments. Also, one should reunify families, restart formal or informal schooling, create group activities for isolated children and recruit teens for relief efforts.
The cited article doesn't mention the fact, but it also bears noting that some kids are genetically predisposed to deal reasonably well with traumatic events, while other kids are genetically predisposed to be psychologically crushed by traumatic events.