Trauma-Informed Therapy

TRAUMA-INFORMED THERAPY

Trauma, as defined by the American Psychological Association (APA), is an emotional reaction to a horrible event such as an automobile accident, rape, or natural disaster. This definition may be broadened to include a wide range of events, including the death of a loved one, accidents, injuries, and other circumstances that might cause severe distress.

People respond to trauma differently, and the severity of their response may depend on the traumatic event itself or how long it takes them to come to terms with their experiences.

What Kind of Trauma Needs Trauma-Focused Therapy

Trauma-informed counselors have created distinct categories for the different types of trauma because it covers such a wide range. Even if an event isn’t physically harmful, it can still present severe emotional or psychological harm. Psychological trauma is a response that people naturally have to traumatic events. It could present itself in many ways, whether the source of stress is something significant like wars or natural disasters or something more personal like illness or divorce.  

Although everyone will experience some form of long-term trauma symptoms, not everybody will. After a few weeks, the consequences and emotions may subside. On the other hand, the influence of awful events should never be neglected, and many victims will require trauma therapy and treatment.

In general, trauma therapy has more training and is equipped with techniques and tools which help people overcome trauma without causing further harm. Trauma-informed therapy focuses on tailoring treatment in response to an individual’s trauma history, triggers, or particular needs.

 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental illness that can develop after witnessing an extremely frightening event in which one’s life was threatened or physically assaulted. The memories of the incident may linger long after the trauma and maybe just as terrifying to the sufferer. 

Complex Trauma

In certain circumstances, individuals may be subjected to recurrent traumatic experiences over time or with one another, resulting in actual damage. These happenings have a cumulative long-term impact on future relationships and psychological well-being. 

Developmental Trauma Disorder

Children who are victims of abuse, neglect, or abandonment often suffer from this form of trauma. This can make it hard for them to bond with a caregiver and interfere with their neurological, cognitive, and psychological development.

Trauma
Symptoms

The effects of trauma can differ drastically from person to person. Something that grievously affects one individual may not have any impact on another individual. There are also different types of traumas, varying in severity. In addition, some people develop symptoms that resolve after just a few weeks, while others experience long-term effects.

Trauma victims can experience a wide range of emotions immediately following the event and over time. These emotions may include:

  • depression, anxiety, fear
  • anger, denial, confusion
  • guilt, hopelessness
  • irritability, difficulty concentrating
  • traumatic flashbacks


In addition to emotional responses, some individuals may experience physical symptoms due to trauma. These may include:

  • Digestive problems
  • Migraines or headaches
  • Abnormal heart rate
  • Excessive sweating
  • Sleep deprivation


Trauma can have a long-lasting, negative impact on people, leading some to develop substance abuse issues, depression, and anxiety disorders.

What Causes This Kind
of Traumatic Experience?

Trauma harms us and causes post-traumatic stress for a variety of reasons. One thing you might not realize is that trauma physically remodels our brains. Trauma therapists have found that your mind changes when you go through a traumatic experience. Regions of the brains of trauma survivors that used to operate in a particular pattern react abnormally to hyperarousal as a result of the event.

“Fight, flight, or freeze” is a phrase that describes the physical and emotional response to a trigger. It occurs when you remember your trauma, and your brain becomes overactive. You may become hypervigilant and constantly on alert, thinking that you need to protect yourself from danger. Your trauma becomes real again, and your brain tells you you’re hurting and need help. As a result of this condition, mental health disorders, personality changes, and other symptoms can develop.

The following can be potential causes of trauma:

  • Traumatic Events
  • Sexual Assault
  • Childhood Trauma
  • Substance Abuse
  • Hereditary Trauma
  • Underlying Mental Health Conditions


Singular events or drawn-out occurrences can cause trauma. Also, trauma is not only felt by those who experience it first-hand; if someone you know experiences something traumatic, you may also feel traumatized.

If mental health symptoms intensify in the initial weeks or months after the traumatic event, PTSD can develop. PTSD is a frequently upsetting and sometimes incapacitating mental illness that may hinder the sufferer’s ability to live a typical, content life.

How is This Kind of
Trauma Diagnosed?

A healthcare professional will first rule out any possible health issues in diagnosing trauma with a physical exam. They will also conduct a psychological assessment to discuss the patient’s symptoms and identify any potential triggers for those symptoms. Furthermore, a trauma-informed therapist will work with a treatment team to lay out an appropriate treatment plan.

Is there a form of
Trauma-Specific Treatment?

Medication

Medication is sometimes used to treat anxiety, sadness, or sleeplessness that may be caused by trauma. It’s crucial to remember that a trauma-related condition can’t be treated exclusively with medication. Only a medical doctor should prescribe medication.

 

Therapy for Trauma Processing

The first and most effective approach to treating trauma is therapy. The ideal scenario would be for the patient to work with a trauma counselor through various types of trauma therapy that focus on their condition.

 

Types of Trauma Therapy


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a hands-on, practical therapeutic technique that encourages patients to enhance their thought and behavior patterns. CBT is goal-oriented and one of the most successful types of psychotherapy because it assists patients in finding the link between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Patients are given the tools to understand their minds better and detect harmful thought patterns to make better decisions. They are given the power to form stronger habits and practice corrective action.

 

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

Cognitive Processing Therapy is a trauma-focused therapy aimed at treating PTSD. It assists people with challenging or changing negative beliefs about their traumas. Developing a detailed account of the trauma can help patients to reconsider how the event affects their current lives. 

The patient is given the opportunity to create a chronological account of their personal life that includes both traumatic and positive events. This enables the patient to view their lives differently.

 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is used for treating PTSD. During the therapy, rhythmic eye movement is integrated with the focus on memories of the trauma. This includes processing the brain’s memory to decrease the symptoms and triggers that are caused, thereby reducing symptoms and triggers.

Benefits of Trauma Therapy
at a Treatment Center?

Understanding your trauma, what causes it, and how you react is critical. It’s also crucial to figure out your therapy goal. Is it to share your story? To raise awareness? To be at peace or to confront your abuser? Recognizing these aspects will assist you in determining which problem you wish to address and what may be lacking in your current therapy. CBT, talk therapy, and other conversational trauma therapy can help with many phobias, safety concerns, shame issues, advice, and environmental influences.

People can learn to identify and understand the cause of their trauma and find constructive ways to cope with symptoms through trauma therapy. Psyclarity Health’s counselors have expertise in trauma treatment and may help you create a treatment program that addresses immediate concerns while working toward long-term wellness. Learning preventative methods can be crucial to remain on course with your recovery.

These include:

  • Protection from Self Harm
  • Trauma Processing
  • Anxiety Management
  • Healthy Coping Skills

Get Help with Treatment
and Trauma Therapy Today

Even if the person is not sure they need help, getting it immediately after experiencing trauma is critical. To avoid worsening symptoms, speak with a professional trauma counselor or mental health expert. Even those with only minor problems may feel better discussing the events with someone else.

If trauma symptoms persist or worsen, seeking assistance is even more critical. If a traumatic event is neglected and the individual does not seek therapy or other help, it can severely affect their mental health and quickly develop into PTSD.

How to help
Trauma Survivors

Do You Know Someone With Trauma-Related Symptoms?

Many people will go through traumatic experiences during their lifetimes. Some may feel mildly shocked and recover quickly, while others struggle to cope. The latter may turn to drugs and alcohol as an emotional coping mechanism.

If you or anyone you know has gone through a harrowing experience or has turned to unhealthy crutches like drugs and alcohol, please reach out to us. It’s our job to help get you the assistance you need, whether simple guidance on finding the right kind of therapy or more specialized support for substance abuse due to traumatizing events. Contact us today so we can begin helping you down the road of recovery from trauma together.

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Don’t go through the process of recovery alone.
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