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Trauma-focused therapy, or trauma-informed care, or trauma therapy is a form of psychotherapy (talk therapy) designed to manage the impact of traumatic events on people’s lives.
Trauma therapy helps people process traumatic events and the lasting experience of trauma that may follow those events.
A traumatic event is any event in a person’s life that they experience as life-threatening, abusive, frightening, or dangerous.
A person can also be traumatized from simply witnessing traumatic events. Such events can permanently impact a person’s psychological and emotional functioning.
Therapy can help.
AERCs Offers Trauma-Informed Therapy
What is Trauma Therapy?
Trauma therapy is a type of therapy that helps individuals who have experienced a traumatic event or series of events to work through their emotional and psychological distress. Traumatic events can include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, natural disasters, car accidents, war, or any other event that can cause overwhelming feelings of fear, helplessness, or horror.
Trauma therapy typically involves a combination of different techniques and approaches that are designed to help individuals process and integrate their traumatic experiences in a safe and supportive environment.
The goal of trauma therapy is to help individuals reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as anxiety, depression, flashbacks, nightmares, and feelings of detachment or numbness. Trauma therapy also aims to help individuals develop coping skills, improve their relationships, and regain a sense of control over their lives.
Trauma is a pervasive problem that results from exposure to an incident or series of events that are emotionally disturbing or life-threatening. Such experiences can have adverse effects on the individual’s mental, physical, social, emotional well-being.
How can therapy help someone who has experienced trauma or has PTSD?
Trauma – Informed Therapy can be effective at helping someone who has experienced trauma or has PTSD by:
- Providing a safe and supportive environment: Therapy provides a safe and supportive space for individuals to talk about their experiences and feelings. This can be especially important for individuals who may not have a support system in their personal lives.
- Helping the sufferer create coping skills: Therapy can help develop coping mechanisms to manage symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and hypervigilance. Coping skills may include relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and grounding exercises.
- Processing traumatic memories: Therapy can help individuals process traumatic memories and learn to manage the associated emotions. This may involve techniques such as exposure therapy, where individuals gradually confront the memories that are causing distress.
- Improving relationships: Trauma can impact an individual’s relationships with others. Therapy can help individuals learn to communicate effectively, set boundaries, and build healthy relationships.
- Reducing shame and guilt: Trauma can often lead to feelings of shame and guilt. Therapy can help individuals work through these feelings and learn to let go of self-blame.
- Building resilience: Therapy can help individuals build resilience and develop a sense of control over their lives. This can involve identifying strengths, setting goals, and developing a plan for the future.
Overall, therapy can help individuals with trauma or PTSD to regain a sense of safety and control over their lives, reduce distressing symptoms, and improve their overall well-being.
What is the difference between trauma and PTSD?
Trauma refers to any event or experience that causes physical or emotional harm, distress, or shock to an individual. Traumatic events can include natural disasters, accidents, abuse, violence, or any other event that is perceived as a threat to one’s physical or psychological well-being.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a specific mental health condition that can develop after an individual experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. PTSD is characterized by symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance behaviors, hypervigilance, and mood changes that persist for more than a month and interfere with daily functioning.
In other words, PTSD is a type of mental health disorder that can occur as a result of trauma. Not everyone who experiences trauma will develop PTSD, but for some individuals, the trauma can be so overwhelming that it triggers changes in the brain and nervous system that lead to the development of PTSD.
It’s also worth noting that not all traumatic experiences are the same, and the severity and duration of trauma can vary widely. Additionally, different individuals may react differently to the same traumatic event, and some may be more resilient than others in coping with the aftermath of trauma.
How do you address trauma in therapy?
The best way to address trauma is by talking about it. Patients hoping to get trauma therapy should seek a mental health counselor with trauma specific training and someone with whom they feel comfortable having long conversations. The most important thing about addressing trauma in therapy is discussing it openly and exploring all nuances. Processing trauma is messy because it means breaking free of the hold that trauma has on the self.
How to heal from childhood trauma without therapy?
Anyone looking to overcome childhood trauma on their own needs to reconnect with their inner child and practice compassion. We can nurture ourselves in a way that helps our easily triggered and hurt self heal and grow. Healing is a long process and so the most important thing is to be kind to ourselves because healing is not a linear process.
How to talk about trauma in therapy?
A trauma-informed therapist senses when patients are ready to discuss their darkest memories and not hold back. The more that’s shared, the more that’s processed. Patients need to be sure they’re ready to discuss all details without feeling pressured. They should want to discuss these past events and how they feel about those happenings today. Ideally, their therapist is a trained professional who listens for clues to engender more discussions and hopefully evoke a positive after-thought worthy of yet more reflection.