What is trauma? Read on to learn more about trauma informed therapy treatment and how to get the best care for your loved ones living with trauma.
Trauma is defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) as a psychological reaction to a tragic occurrence, such as an accident, rape, or natural disaster. After an incident, shock and denial are common emotions. In the long run, reactions can lead to erratic emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships, and even physical discomfort like headaches or nausea.1
A bad experience that has a long-lasting effect on the victim’s emotional and mental stability might result in trauma. The major causes of trauma are physical acts of violence, while some are psychological. The following are a few typical contributing factors:
Even though a traumatic incident frequently triggers trauma, it is not always the case. One could occasionally experience shock because of seeing something from a distance.
There are a few fundamental signals one must watch out, for even though there are many trauma symptoms
When someone has observed a distressing event, they frequently appear confused and unsettled. They might not engage in conversation as frequently as they normally would and seem reserved when speaking.
Anxiety is one of the typical symptoms of a trauma victim. Trauma-induced anxiety can occasionally appear as jitteriness, anger, night terrors, mood changes, and difficulty concentrating. A person who has experienced trauma may have a variety of emotions, including:
Trauma-informed therapy considers the influence of individuals’ trauma on their behavior, mental health, and capacity to participate in treatment.
Trauma-informed therapists assume that a client may have experienced trauma in the past and take precautions to prevent unintentionally triggering or re-traumatizing the client during therapy. This is an extremely important part of the process and will help lead to positive results.
As its name suggests, trauma-informed therapy helps treat those who have gone through trauma, whether as children or adults. This method can guarantee emotional safety in sessions, even if a person is not receiving treatment specifically for their trauma.2
A trauma-informed approach won’t hurt someone who doesn’t require trauma-informed care, even though not everyone has experienced trauma. This is why many healthcare professionals adopt a trauma-informed approach during all sessions, not just when a particular experience is connected to the presenting issue.2
Various benefits of trauma-focused therapy will be discussed further below.
Trauma-focused therapy gives children and their families a place to learn about typical reactions to trauma and how a traumatic incident has affected the child and family.4
By definition, a traumatic event causes a breach in your child’s sense of security. This involves abuse of one’s psychological, relational, emotional, or bodily safety. Through exercises and talks that focus on these areas, trauma-focused therapy can help a child redevelop internal (emotional, psychological, relational) and physical (contact, environment) perceptions of safety.4
Another advantage of the treatment is that a person can learn to identify the situations or emotions that might serve as triggers for traumatic memories and better control how they react to them in the future.4
The goal of trauma-focused therapy sessions is to assist people in learning skills and enhancing coping mechanisms so they can react to memories and emotions connected to the traumatic incident more effectively. Techniques for managing anxiety and relaxation are a few of these characteristics.4
Individuals can learn and put their abilities to use to lessen traumatic stress symptoms and other mental health symptoms related to the trauma by participating in trauma-focused therapy and working closely with the therapist.4
One objective of trauma-informed therapy is to assist a patient in taking back control of their life by gently helping them retell their story.4
The core principles of trauma-informed care will be detailed below.
While receiving treatment from medical personnel, patients must feel secure. Therapists should ensure that their patients and their families experience physical, emotional, and psychological safety.
Organizations in the healthcare industry should create secure environments for patients and their families. For instance, waiting rooms should provide enough room for people who might be re-traumatized by sitting next to someone else.3
When dealing with patients who have experienced traumatic experiences like domestic abuse, assault, or other forms of abuse, therapists must be open and honest to establish a sense of trust. Due to a lack of trust, patients are frequently reluctant to seek medical attention. These patients may believe that if their loved ones can harm them, then anybody else might.3
Therapists, physicians, and other medical professionals must fully understand the many traumatic conditions and how they impact patient care to deliver trauma-informed care. Medical personnel must accept the possibility that each patient has gone through a traumatic experience that prevents them from being upfront about their medical issues. Instead of attempting to “cure” or “heal” a problem, experts can ascertain a patient’s requirements by actively listening to them.3
Creating treatment programs should be collaborative between therapists and medical institutions. Patients, therapists, and medical institutions will collaborate to produce the intended outcome. Patients take an active role in making their healthcare decisions when there is teamwork.3
The goal of therapy is to provide individuals who have experienced trauma the ability to regain control of their health. They should encourage patients to feel at ease telling their stories to do this. Therapists should effectively communicate with patients about their treatment options and allow them to play an active role in making decisions regarding their care.3
Listed below are obstacles to receiving trauma-informed therapy:
Asking your therapist if they are trauma-informed is the best way to find out! The way someone talks about the therapy process can also give you a hint as to whether they are trauma-informed. They may be trauma-informed if they frequently discuss safety, limits, and self-care.5
It’s okay to ask for assistance if you or a loved one is struggling with the impacts of trauma. Our trauma-informed therapists at San Diego Detox Center will acknowledge your feelings and give you the sound coping skills you need to process your trauma safely.