What is Trauma Therapy and How Does it Work?

Trauma is damage to the mind that occurs from a distressing experience or experiences such as witnessing a death, being involved in an accident or suffering abuse as a child. Some people who experience trauma develop a trauma-related response or mental health disorder from the events. This happens because the memories and emotions that stem from the trauma create intense effects.

Sadly, some people end up turning to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with these debilitating emotions. This self-medication can easily progress into addiction, leaving the person to struggle with both painful memories and a substance use disorder. Fortunately, there is hope.

Acceptance Recovery Center offers trauma therapy as part of our drug rehab program. We realize that many people who suffer with addictions also have painful pasts they need to deal with. By taking part in our trauma therapy program, we can put distance between past trauma and today.

What is Trauma Therapy and How Does it Work?

Trauma therapy is a form of talk therapy that addresses the emotional and mental health effects of trauma. People react to trauma differently based on their genetics and temperament. That said, there are certain events that would be traumatic for almost anyone, such as physical abuse or sexual assault. Any type of prolonged or repeated trauma is also more likely to have long-term consequences.

All clients are assessed when starting treatment at our facility. It’s important that we establish goals and objectives for trauma therapy. This allows us to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your substance abuse and underlying trauma or mental illness. Keep in mind that you may not even be aware of the trauma that lives in your body, especially if you’ve been suppressing it with drugs and alcohol.

Here are the types of therapies we incorporate into trauma therapy:

Cognitive behavioral therapy

CBT is a type of talk therapy where you work with a therapist in a structured setting. The goal of this therapy is to become more aware of negative or inaccurate thinking so that you can respond to situations in a healthier way. CBT is helpful in treating depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Dialectical behavioral therapy

DBT is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment. The theory behind this approach is that some people react more intensely to situations than others. By teaching coping strategies, you can learn how to respond more appropriately to your emotions.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing

EMDR is another therapy we use when treating trauma. We like this therapy because it does not rely on talk therapy or medications so it’s less intimidating. During EMDR sessions, you relive traumatic experiences while the therapist guides you to do certain eye movements. Over time, you’ll have less of a psychological effect when recalling distressing events.

Types of Trauma We Treat

Trauma comes in many different forms. Acceptance Recovery Center is comfortable treating all types of trauma, whether you experienced abuse and neglect as a child or are processing emotions from an incident in college.

Here are the three main types of trauma:

  • Acute trauma. This type of trauma results from a single incident, such as being in a car accident or having someone break into the home.
  • Chronic trauma. When the trauma is repeated or prolonged, it’s considered chronic trauma. Domestic abuse is a type of chronic trauma.
  • Complex trauma. Complex trauma is exposure to multiple traumatic events, often of an interpersonal nature, such as childhood abuse, neglect and other adverse childhood experiences.

It’s important to know that trauma manifests itself in many different ways. Some people think they’re fine after experiencing a painful event but find that the emotions come back later on. Others begin to experience extreme anxiety and phobias. This is especially common in young children when their brains are still developing.

Where Does Substance Abuse Fit into the Picture?

Acceptance Recovery Center offers a place of complete healing for the mind, body and spirit. The reason why we offer trauma therapy is because many addictions are a result of past trauma. We all have different ways of coping, and if you have a painful past, you may turn to drugs and alcohol to numb yourself.

In order to provide complete healing for our clients, we must give them the opportunity to address their past wounds. Using tools like CBT, DBT and EMDR, clients are able to process underlying trauma and release it from their minds and bodies. This doesn’t mean these experiences won’t hold pain, but you should have a healthier response to them.

During your time with us, you can expect to work on your substance abuse issues as well as personal trauma. Here are some ways that you’ll be working on your addiction simultaneously:

  • Detox services. If you’re still addicted to drugs and alcohol, you can come to our treatment center for detox. Our detox program offers the right balance of compassion, medical expertise and holistic therapies.
  • A large part of the healing process takes place in therapy. Acceptance Recovery Center has no shortage of options – we offer individual and group therapy, outdoor therapy and equine therapy.
  • Holistic healing. Alternative therapies will complement your recovery plan and teach you new strategies for dealing with stressful situations. Some of the alternative therapies we offer are art therapy, music therapy and yoga.
  • No client is sent away without an aftercare plan. We also have an alumni group that meets monthly to lend peer support and provide opportunities to transition into everyday life such as by volunteering and giving back to others.

Trauma is nothing to be ashamed of. If you believe that this pain motivates you to use drugs and alcohol, contact Acceptance Recovery Center today for an assessment. We have all the tools you need to get clean and sober, heal from your trauma and rebuild a healthy life.