If you have experienced trauma, it can be not easy to move forward and have a positive and rewarding life. Trauma and abuse are often reasons why people turn to substances for relief. Substance abuse is a common coping mechanism but is not sustainable. Over time, mental health symptoms worsen when trauma is not addressed. Trauma-focused therapy is designed to help those who struggle with trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) learn how to confront their difficult past and learn tactics that allow them to improve their mental health. Fresh Start Recovery Center offers trauma-focused therapy as one of our many mental health services integrated into your personalized treatment plan. Reach out to us today at 833.625.0398 to speak with a trained representative who can tell you more about the benefits of trauma-focused therapy for improving your mental health.
Sources of Trauma
Trauma can result from experiences that activate the brain’s “fight or flight” response. You have heard the saying that “the body keeps score.” The concept is that even when we are not fully aware of how traumatic experiences impact us, we still physically, mentally, and emotionally carry the weight of these experiences on a subconscious level.
In situations of extreme acute trauma such as childhood sexual abuse (CSA) or repeated instances of domestic abuse, a person may disassociate. Disassociation occurs when the brain decides an experience is too upsetting to confront. It’s a safety mechanism that acts as a temporary protective measure so that you can make it through the situation at the time. Dissociation is troubling for many reasons. One of the issues is that the person who experiences dissociative episodes is unlikely to have addressed the trauma that has resulted from those incidents. The result is often PTSD.
Trauma and PTSD
Those with PTSD are aware of the symptoms. Trauma that turns into PTSD involves unresolved conflicts and traumatic events that are not managed. These traumas are relived in a very real way to a person’s mind and body. Research has shown that the brain of someone with PTSD who is re-experiencing a traumatic event feels the event as if it is occurring in real-time. Even if the event first occurred decades ago or in childhood, this is true.
Why Choose Trauma-Focused Therapy
Trauma often leads to emotional distress. Those who have experienced an abundance of trauma often say that they feel triggered by situations and that sometimes triggers are unpredictable. These sensations are psychologically and emotionally damaging and can lead to mental health issues, including increased anxiety and depression.
The experience of trauma-related triggers is a sign that you can benefit from mental health counseling and trauma-focused therapy. In trauma-focused therapy, you can address:
- Discover how unmanaged trauma impacts daily living
- Address your traumatic history to work through it
- Learn new coping strategies to manage trauma
- Receive support to manage your trauma during addiction treatment
- Learn to focus on your recovery
In trauma-focused therapy, a trained counselor works with clients to unlock traumatic experiences and rewire the brain to no longer be re-experienced as PTSD. There’s a saying that “what fires wires,” noting that the way brains make connections is associative. Creating new associations can help dismantle the negative feelings, attachments, and triggering sensations resulting from trauma.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a therapeutic technique used in trauma-focused therapy to help rewrite the brain to create new associations to replace the old negative ones. In EMDR sessions, a counselor who has received special training in EMDR will use a range of techniques that ask clients to bring to mind traumatic events to form new connections that can alter or remove the negative feelings and attachments that cause PTSD.
Reach Out to Fresh Start to Begin Your Recovery Today
It’s important to acknowledge that it’s brave to take steps to address past trauma and PTSD. Trauma holds you back from living life to its full potential. Taking steps to manage trauma and learning to reduce your response to triggers is a big positive step towards a better future. At Fresh Start, we know it’s not possible to erase the past, but that does not mean that you cannot limit the impact of trauma on your daily life. Reach out to us today at 833.625.0398 to speak with a trained representative about the benefits of trauma-focused therapy. We look forward to providing you with the help you deserve.