Trauma-informed therapy is an approach to mental health treatment that focuses on understanding the effects of trauma on the patient’s life. The aim of this type of therapy is to help those who have experienced traumatic events find relief from their pain and suffering so that they can move forward in life with more peace and stability.
What Is Trauma?
Trauma is defined as any event or experience that has a negative psychological impact on an individual. It can be caused by a single physical or psychological event, such as a car accident or sexual assault, or it can be the result of a series of small events or experiences over time, such as living in poverty or being exposed to violence in one’s home.
No matter what form it takes, trauma always has profound effects on the psyche and can cause long-term emotional, physical, and behavioral problems if not addressed appropriately.
The effects of trauma vary from person to person, depending on their individual circumstances and experiences. Some common symptoms include feelings of guilt or shame, feelings of powerlessness, difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling disconnected from others, thoughts and memories related to the traumatic event(s), panic attacks, and flashbacks during which one relives the traumatic experience(s).
Other physical symptoms include headaches, stomachaches, chest pains, dizziness, sweating, and trembling.
How Does Trauma-Informed Therapy Work?
Trauma-informed therapy aims to help patients process their traumatic experiences to reduce symptoms associated with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). In practice, this means creating a safe and supportive environment where patients feel comfortable discussing their experiences without fear of judgment or stigma.
The therapist will use techniques like cognitive restructuring, mindfulness practices, exposure therapies, relaxation exercises, and bodywork to help the patient identify triggers for their symptoms and learn how to manage them effectively.
Coping With Traumatic Experiences
Recovering from trauma takes time and patience. Knowing one’s history of trauma is crucial for creating effective coping mechanisms for managing stressors that arise later in life. Through compassionate listening and skillful guidance from a trained therapist, individuals learn how to recognize triggers for their difficult emotions so they can gain control over them rather than allowing them to take over their lives.
There are several strategies that may help individuals cope with traumatic experiences:
● Talking to trusted friends and family members about their feelings
● Seeking professional help, such as therapy
● Exercising regularly
● Eating nutritious meals
● Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing
● Avoiding alcohol and drugs
● Getting adequate sleep
● Engaging in enjoyable activities
● Setting realistic goals; establishing routines
● Volunteering in the community
● Creating artwork, such as painting or writing
● Reading books on coping with trauma
● Participating in support groups specifically designed for those who have experienced trauma
● Journaling one’s thoughts and feelings related to the traumatic experience(s)
● Seeking spiritual guidance if desired
● Reaching out to organizations dedicated to supporting trauma survivors
Additionally, research has shown that engaging in therapeutic activities like journaling and art can be beneficial for those experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder as they reintegrate into society after living through a traumatic event—so these may also be incorporated into sessions depending on the needs of each individual patient.
Trauma-Informed Therapy Treatment
Trauma-informed therapy is an effective treatment option for individuals who are struggling with the effects of past traumatic experiences. It provides a safe space where individuals can explore their emotions without judgment while also gaining insight into how these experiences may impact their current functioning.
The primary goal of this type of treatment is to provide emotional support while also teaching new coping skills that will enable individuals to better manage difficult emotions or situations in the future. If you think you could benefit from this type of therapeutic approach, then it might be worth considering speaking with a mental health professional about your options.
Troy is a freelance writer, author, and blogger who lives, works, and plays in Boise, Idaho with the love of his life and three very talented dogs.
Passionate about writing dark psychological thrillers, he is an avid cyclist, skier, hiker, all-around outdoorsman, and a terrible beginning golfer.