Therapy for Trauma

Are you struggling with substance abuse and unresolved trauma? South Coast is here to guide you through the process of healing in trauma therapy.

Therapy for trauma teaches people that while they cannot control every part of their environment, they are still in control of how they perceive and respond to it. In general, trauma therapy intends to help the person reevaluate how they see traumatic situations, as well as how they perceive themselves and their potential for coping.

Traumatic incidents can leave victims with significant spiritual or existential wounds in addition to physical and mental distress. While the thought of revisiting the trauma is agonizingly impossible for a number of victims, many bravely come forward and seek treatment and therapy for trauma.

trauma therapy

What Is Trauma Therapy?

Trauma therapy is an approach to therapy that identifies and places emphasis on the influence that the traumatic event has on mental, behavioral, emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Understanding the link between the traumatic event and the emotional and behavioral responses is the foundation of this therapy.

Professional trauma therapy and addiction treatment are highly recommended for those struggling to manage trauma’s long-term effects on mental health. These services offer insight into what happened and help you come to terms with the fallout of trauma while learning healthier ways of coping.

How Does Trauma Impact Mental Health and Addiction?

Trauma has a far-reaching impact on mental health and can show up in various forms. For instance, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious trauma-related condition that can lead to emotional numbing, depression, flashbacks, and intense fear. Due to the severity of many traumatic events, self-medication in the form of substance abuse is often seen as a way to cope. While short-term relief might be found through substance use, it never addresses the underlying cause of trauma, often leading to addiction and more serious mental health issues. 

Trauma therapy

Types of Trauma Therapy

Although trauma is not the cause of drug and alcohol addiction, it can play a role in one’s recovery journey. The body and psyche can be deeply affected by traumatic events. Your emotions, relationships, and even your sense of self may be affected right away or years later by the impact. In fact, trauma can alter your nervous system and brain, resulting in dysregulation and symptoms like anxiety and sadness. 

However, some solutions can help you recover from trauma. Depending on the trauma they have experienced, some individuals may benefit significantly from trauma-sensitive therapy when included as part of their addiction treatment plan. 

The different trauma therapy types have benefits for people receiving addiction treatment due to the variety of approaches that incorporate unique techniques to heal trauma and trauma-related conditions. Each of our trauma therapies focuses on calming the nervous system while integrating painful experiences to promoting both mental and physical healing. 

Listed below are the key types of trauma therapy:

EMDR Therapy for PTSD

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a well-known psychotherapy treatment modality. It is often used to treat PTSD and enables individuals to process distressing memories, ideas, and emotions connected to the trauma they’ve experienced. It enables you to reduce PTSD symptoms by analyzing these experiences.

The eight phases of EMDR therapy explain the treatment process and guide the EMDR therapist. These stages are named after events that occur within each phase, and each one focuses on a different area of treatment. Although not all eight phases may be utilized in a single EMDR treatment session, they all contribute to the therapy’s overall effectiveness. 

In contrast to other trauma-focused therapies, EMDR therapy doesn’t involve prolonged exposure to the upsetting memory, in-depth explanations of the experience, confronting dysfunctional beliefs, or assigning homework. EMDR treatment offers medical professionals and other specialists an effective way to treat psychological and physiological problems brought on by traumatic life experiences.

Exposure Therapy for PTSD

Exposure therapy teaches you to gradually confront memories, emotions, and circumstances that are connected to your trauma and that you have been avoiding since it happened. You can lessen your PTSD symptoms by tackling these challenges.

People with frequent PTSD try to avoid things that make them think about the incident. This may make you feel better in the short term, but not permanently. Avoiding these emotions and circumstances prevents PTSD recovery. By assisting you to face your concerns, prolonged exposure therapy helps you to process the situation and accept it instead of running away. As a result, your PTSD symptoms can be reduced. Similarly, your level of control over your life can be increased by talking about the specifics of the event and by participating in safe, planned situations that mirror the things you have been avoiding. 

The Importance of Trauma-Sensitive Therapy in Rehab

Trauma-sensitive therapy is a critical component of addiction treatment, as trauma often underlies the development of a substance use disorder. Specifically, trauma can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is linked to higher rates of drug and alcohol addiction. Trauma-sensitive therapy approaches provide you with an opportunity to decrease trauma-related symptoms. In turn, your participation will increase your quality of life, while also improving your ability to perform daily tasks and join in on activities. In this approach, you can begin to confront internal struggles and modulate emotions in a safe and secure environment with trauma-informed professionals. 

Through trauma-sensitive therapy sessions, you gain a better understanding of your trauma experiences while accepting that they are not something shameful or isolating. Alternatively, you will be able to see how your past contributes to your addiction while learning healthier ways to cope with fear and pain. Ultimately, trauma-sensitive addiction treatment establishes a foundation for long-term recovery from substance use disorders by meaningfully addressing problems stemming from traumatic experiences.

trauma therapy

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) focuses on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, which also emphasizes how improvements in any one area can enhance the functioning of others.

As an adaptation of traditional cognitive behavioral therapy, this approach was designed to assist children and adolescents who have experienced trauma, as well as their parents or caregivers. Now, TF-CBT is also a beneficial treatment for all types of people coping with trauma. According to research, TF-CBT effectively treats a wide range of emotional and behavioral issues caused by single, multiple, and complex trauma events.

Stabilization is the first step in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. This phase focuses on psychoeducation and communication skills, relaxation, affective expression and regulation, and cognitive coping.

Following stabilization, TF-CBT transitions to its second phase, trauma narration and processing. This approach revolves around the trauma narrative, development and processing, and in-vivo gradual exposure.

As the final portion of trauma-focused CBT, the integration and consolidation stage closes out the remaining sessions. This phase deals with combined client-parent sessions and enhancing safety and the future development of the client and family.

With support for reducing PTSD, depression, anxiety, behavioral, and other issues, TF-CBT is a family-based treatment plan for traumatized individuals. Numerous studies show that parental involvement affects how well adult children turn out. 

Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) has shown promise in treating PTSD symptoms that have arisen following exposure to a variety of traumatic situations, such as child abuse, conflict, assault, and natural disasters. Trauma can alter your perspective of the world and yourself. You learn a new coping mechanism through CPT therapy. You’ll also discover how to determine if the facts confirm or negate your assumptions. Finally, you might choose whether it makes sense to adopt a fresh viewpoint. 

Trauma Therapy FAQs

Trauma therapy is client-led, so you decide how quickly the treatment moves along and what topics you feel comfortable talking about. Additionally, trauma therapists are qualified to assist with trauma recovery without requiring you to relive the trauma.

Although symptoms might vary, trauma is frequently experienced through the following emotional and behavioral symptoms: 

  • Repeated upsetting dreams or flashbacks of a terrible event
  • Flashbacks give the person the impression that they are reliving the pain.
  • Inability to fall or stay asleep
  • A lack of interest in past hobbies or interests
  • Detachment from others or day-to-day life
  •  Inability to experience good feelings like contentment and happiness 

The National Center for PTSD estimates that seven to eight percent of people will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. Also, approximately eight million adults have PTSD each year and five percent of Americans, or more than 13 million people, are thought to suffer from PTSD on a regular basis.

It’s important to keep in mind that if you have previously been traumatized, particularly as a child, you could find it difficult to integrate more recent trauma. Even if someone tries to sympathize, this is still true.

 The good news in all of this is that trauma can heal with the correct care. Because of events that occurred decades earlier, we do not have to endure suffering for the rest of our lives. Especially if we discover a qualified trauma therapist with experience and training in trauma recovery techniques.

Additional benefits of trauma therapy include: 

  • Learn coping mechanisms to deal with skewed or unfavorable emotions.
  • Make sense of the terrible event by reframing it
  • Bolster close connections and relationships with others
  • Reduce irritation, wrath, and frustration while boosting mental calmness
  • Eliminate or lessen PTSD triggers and symptoms 

Trauma-Informed Care at South Coast

It’s okay to ask for assistance if you or a loved one is struggling with the effects of trauma.

Trauma is often the underlying cause of substance abuse, and our trauma-sensitive therapies help us to provide a treatment program based on trauma-informed care. Each of our staff members provides compassionate care with the understanding that drug and alcohol abuse often results from a history of trauma. 

At South Coast, our counselors specialize in PTSD treatment and trauma therapy. You will work one-on-one with a primary therapist to explore your thoughts and feelings related to your trauma. During these confidential sessions, your counselor will assist you in identifying any underlying issues that contribute to your PTSD. 

You learn to replace unhealthy thoughts and behaviors with positive, healthy alternatives within a safe, judgment-free space. Throughout your time  in treatment, our trauma-informed counselors work with you to address any trauma-related symptoms so that you can gain insight into your behaviors and understand how trauma affects your emotional well-being. 

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PTSD Therapy: Orange County, CA

Finding the best PTSD counseling in Orange County is essential for those ready to reclaim their lives and take the required steps toward recovery. At South Coast, you will be part of therapy with demonstrated results because not all programs are created equal. South Coast provides experienced therapy professionals for treating PTSD.

Our treatment centers in California offer a wide range of services and dedicated addiction specialists who will help you begin your journey. We believe in empowering real people to get real, lasting results in recovery. 

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