Trauma-Focused Therapies

Trauma-Focused TherapiesThere are many types of trauma, including sexual or physical abuse or assault, emotional or psychological abuse, neglect, serious accident or illness, witnessing or being the victim of domestic or community violence, disasters, war, terrorism, grief and separation from loved ones. People react differently to trauma, so treatment must help each person in unique ways.

The Brain’s Reaction to Trauma

When a person experiences trauma, a physiological reassignment occurs in the brain. Typically, the left side of the brain is the part that processes information in an undamaged brain, while the right stores memories and creativity. As a result of trauma, the left side of the brain is temporarily inhibited to perform its part of processing and problem solving. Therefore, the right side of the brain takes over, but is ill-equipped to process informational in a logical and linear manner. Therefore, the memories of the trauma that are stored by the brain are not stored in a nice package that treatment can address. Rather, the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and other stimuli from the trauma are stored with no logical connection. So, a treatment professional for trauma must realize that he is dealing with several disconnected elements rather than one consolidated issue.

Impacts of Trauma

Because there are so many elements of trauma to deal with, people who experience trauma feel effects on their minds, bodies and spirits. Trauma can affect people in the following ways:

  • Emotions after trauma are often intense, last for a long time and are out of a person’s control. They may include anxiety, depression, shame or fear which can fluctuate and cause constant contradiction and confusion.
  • Physical impacts often come from surging adrenaline in response to minor stimulation. This physical roller coaster can affect sleep, eating patterns and the immune system, which can cause diminish appearance and make someone highly susceptible to other ailments.
  • Because the trauma survivor does not want to deal with people’s reactions to his behaviors, he often begins to withdraw from friends and family members. In addition, it becomes tiring for a person to interact with someone suffering from trauma. Therefore, many people discontinue their relationships with survivors of trauma, which, in turn, makes that victim feel even more alone or isolated.
  • Many survivors of trauma feel uncomfortable in any environment, even a familiar one such as their offices or school campuses. This often leads to unproductive behaviors that can cause termination or failure at school.
  • Trauma victims often have more questions than answers for life, so they often turn their fear and anger toward a higher power. Lack of faith contributes to the sense of isolation and hopelessness.

Since every part of a person’s life is part of the traumatic damage, each part has to be part of the treatment solution.

Treatment for Victims of Trauma

Individual counseling is one of the most effective treatment strategies for trauma because it helps counselors deal with trauma one piece at a time. Many counselors use conventional therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), but they couple these therapies with other treatment options. Art therapy and guided imagery allows survivors to explore trauma from another perspective. Rapid eye movement desensitization can realign how the brain deals with trauma. Equine or pet therapy allows survivors to reconnect and learn to trust again. In short, you can recover with the right help.

Where to Find Trauma-focused Therapies

We want to help you, so please call our toll-free helpline today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about trauma-based therapies.

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