Trauma is something that affects us all, whether we’re aware of it or not. It’s a part of life, and no one is immune to it.
Whether you’ve experienced trauma or not, chances are you know someone who has. You might have even had to help them deal with it. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one, an accident, or something else altogether, trauma can be incredibly painful and difficult to deal with on your own.
Trauma treatment is an important part of healing from any kind of trauma—whether you’ve experienced it yourself or are helping someone else through it. Trauma treatment is focused on helping people work through their pain, learn how to process their emotions, and find ways they can move forward in their lives after living through something traumatic.
There is no one-size-fits all approach for trauma treatment; each person will have different needs based on their situation and experiences. However, there are some commonalities in the types of trauma that people experience and how they respond afterwards. To better assist you, in the following sections we will discuss some of the most common types of trauma, and how trauma treatment can help.
The best way to understand trauma is to think about the last time you were really scared.
If you’re like most people, it probably wasn’t a bear attack or a car accident—it was something small, something that left you feeling vulnerable and afraid. Maybe it was an awkward situation where you felt judged, or an argument with your partner that made you feel like they didn’t take your feelings into account. Or maybe it was just the fear of making a mistake at work, or failing at a project.
The thing about trauma is that it’s hard to define—it’s not just one kind of experience, and it’s not always obvious when someone has been traumatized. But what we do know is that trauma can be triggered by any number of events: natural disasters; being in an accident; being in an abusive relationship; witnessing violence or abuse; bullying; sexual assault; having loved ones die unexpectedly… the list goes on and on. And unfortunately, these events don’t just happen once—they can happen over and over again throughout our lives (and sometimes even after we’ve grown up).
The point is, trauma can be very confusing. It’s not always obvious what caused it or when it happened. And even if you know that something traumatic has happened, it’s often difficult to talk about it—especially with someone who wasn’t there.
Now that we have discussed what trauma is, let’s take a look at some of the main treatments that are used to help people who have experienced trauma.
CBT is one of the most popular forms of psychotherapy, and for good reason. The goal of this type of therapy is to help you change the way you think about certain things so that you don’t continue to react in unhealthy ways. CBT can help you change your thinking patterns around events or situations that cause anxiety or stress, as well as improve your ability to cope with those situations.
EMDR is an integrative approach that combines elements from various psychotherapeutic modalities into a trauma treatment protocol that has demonstrated efficacy for treating trauma-related disorders. EMDR has been used successfully in treating victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse and incest; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); war veterans; crime victims; single incident traumas such as car accidents or natural disasters; sudden loss of a loved one; and other forms of trauma. EMDR is an eight-phase treatment protocol that includes both therapist-directed bilateral stimulation and client self-regulation.
Somatic therapies are a major part of trauma treatment.
Trauma can leave you feeling stuck, like you’ve been in a rut for so long that it’s hard to imagine yourself ever getting out of it. But even though the symptoms of trauma may be physical as well as psychological, there are ways to help yourself heal and move forward.
One way is through somatic therapies. Somatic therapies focus on the body and its connection to the mind. It’s essentially an approach that uses the body’s own resources to heal itself, helping you break old patterns and develop new ones that support your mental health.
Somatic therapy can be performed in a number of ways: through massage therapy; through movement therapies like yoga and dance; through art therapy; or through bodywork like acupuncture or Reiki healing. It can also be used in conjunction with other treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to help patients achieve better results with their overall trauma treatment plan.
Medications are one of the most common treatments for trauma. They can be used to help individuals who have experienced a traumatic event, or they can be used as a preventative measure to keep someone from experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after an event. Medications will not cure PTSD, but they can help to manage symptoms and improve your quality of life.
There are three types of medications that are commonly prescribed: antidepressants, antipsychotics, and sedatives. Antidepressants may be prescribed if you have depression along with your PTSD symptoms. Antipsychotics are used to treat anxiety disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which is often associated with PTSD. Sedatives can help you sleep if you have trouble falling asleep at night because of nightmares or flashbacks from your experience.
When deciding whether or not to take medication for trauma treatment, it’s important to discuss the pros and cons with your doctor so that you can make an informed decision about what treatment options are best for you and your needs.
We know, we know: self-care can be hard. It’s not always easy to prioritize yourself when you’re busy taking care of your family, friends, and community. But it’s important!
The truth is that people who take care of themselves are better able to take care of everyone else in their lives—and they’re less likely to burn out or get sick because they’ve learned how to manage stress and keep themselves healthy.
If you’re having a hard time figuring out how to make self-care a priority, here are some ideas:
Mindfulness meditation or yoga. Just ten minutes a day can help you feel more relaxed and at peace with yourself as well as with others. You’ll also find yourself more centered and focused on what matters most in life, which is great for making good decisions about how you spend your time!
Exercise! Whether it’s walking around the block with your kids or going for a run after work each day, getting some movement into your day will help clear your mind and allow you to focus more easily on what matters most in life. It also helps with stress relief and improves mood overall, so it’ll make those tough days easier too!
A balanced lifestyle means eating well and getting enough sleep. Eating a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables is essential for good health, but it also helps keep your mind clear and focused. Getting enough sleep each night is just as important, since you need to rest in order to be able to perform at your best during the day.
Trauma can take a toll on your mental health, but that doesn’t mean it will be impossible to overcome. By following the steps above and seeking help from a professional at TBI you can get back on track and start living the life you want once again. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you or a loved one are struggling with overcoming a difficult event or loss in life. The Blanchard Institute is always here to help you find your way back to healthy living and sustained recovery.
As scientists and clinicians, we are still learning about human resiliency and what factors contribute to why some people develop PTSD after a traumatic event and others do not. In fact, it is more accurate to say that most, if not all, people will have some type of trauma response to a traumatic event, but that a number of them will spontaneously recover after it, without long-lasting symptoms. About a third will not, and will go on to develop PTSD. If you are in need of trauma treatment please contact us today!
Of course it is not too late! Just like with any other chronic affliction, when untreated, PTSD can last a lifetime, if left untreated or attended to. Trauma treatment is designed to help you get out from underneath the weight of traumatic experiences and work through them in a healthy manner.
If you have been suffering from trauma or PTSD symptoms for a long time, by now you probably realize the many ways in which they have affected your life, from relationship difficulties, to troubles sleeping, to becoming emotionally upset at the sight/smell/sound of certain triggers, to panic and anxiety
However long you have been experiencing these symptoms, treatment with a caring, understanding, and trauma-competent clinician at The Blanchard Institute can help tremendously improve your symptoms and quality of life. While we cannot cure PTSD in the sense that we cannot eliminate all traces of the trauma such as bad memories, we can help you heal and feel whole again through lessening the power that those memories have over you, your emotions, and your body. Trauma treatment at TBI is available to you and we are here to help.
Yes. Research has shown that some people forget that they were abused or traumatized. Often, when something is too traumatic, it is forgotten but not lost from memory. This is especially so when the source of the trauma is another person. Sometimes, traumatic events are remembered later. When this happens, the person has often experienced something that reminds her or him of an original traumatic event.
For many people who receive mental health services, trauma remains unrecognized as an important factor in their mental illness.