Trauma is an insidious force that can leave deep scars on an individual’s psyche. Survivors of trauma often carry the heavy burden of their experiences, sometimes without even recognizing the extent of the damage. In the realm of psychology and mental health, trauma is understood as the emotional response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event.
These events can vary widely, from physical violence and accidents to emotional abuse and military combat. Survivors of trauma may not immediately identify themselves as such, for various reasons. The traumatic memories may be too painful to confront, or they may be buried deep within the subconscious as a protective mechanism.
This is why intensive trauma therapy is so important. Trauma can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to rule over your life. With our rehab for mental health in Washington at Bayview Recovery, you can move into a healthier future.
What is Trauma Therapy?
Since traumatic incidents often occur in childhood, not only have their effects been very long-lived, but the likelihood of these memories being repressed is extremely high. Unfortunately, many people who experience trauma, especially at a young age, don’t know how to properly cope with their trauma or address it in a healthy way. Many turn to substances of abuse such as drugs or alcohol as a way to self-medicate and forget about the trauma, even if the relief is only temporary.
Not only is this not an effective way to deal with traumatic events or memories, but it can also actually be detrimental to the person’s overall mental and physical health, often resulting in the development of addiction and the need for substance abuse treatment programs.
That’s where intensive trauma therapy comes in.
Trauma therapy is a specialized form of psychotherapy designed to help individuals who have experienced traumatic events in their lives. It provides a safe and supportive environment for survivors to explore and process their trauma, ultimately working towards healing and recovery.
Trauma therapy acknowledges that traumatic experiences can deeply affect a person’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being, and it offers tailored interventions to address these effects.
How Does Trauma Therapy Work?
A trauma therapy program can help individuals piece together the events from their past and confront their true feelings about these circumstances. While this process can be intense and painful for most people, the rewards of finally achieving resolution can be immense.
Recognizing that trauma stemming from issues of violence or sexual assault are not typical aspects of everyone’s experience can also help enable and empower individuals to respond differently to similar incidents in the future. This may include avoiding or reporting future situations that can significantly safeguard the individual’s emotional and physical well-being as well as their recovery.
Also, since the subject of trauma can be extremely difficult to talk about, and many individuals may have never voiced their stories or feelings before, trauma therapy gives them a safe environment to finally verbalize their experiences.
These experiences may have many origins but frequently include:
- Witnessing violence, such as an accident or crime
- Being physically attacked
- Being a victim of sexual abuse or assault
- Being a victim of emotional abuse
- Experiencing the ongoing threat of violence
- Military action
What Does Trauma Therapy Treat?
Trauma therapy is effective in addressing a wide range of issues that stem from traumatic experiences. These issues may manifest in various ways and can significantly impact a person’s life if left untreated.
Below are some common conditions and symptoms that trauma therapy can treat.
While many people associate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with first responders and members of the military, both active and retired, anyone who experiences or is exposed to a highly distressing or life-threatening event can develop PTSD.
Trauma therapy at our PTSD treatment center helps individuals confront the root causes of their PTSD, process traumatic memories, and develop effective coping strategies to manage their symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, hyperarousal, and emotional numbness.
Traumatic experiences can serve as catalysts for the development of anxiety and depressive disorders. Trauma therapy addresses these co-occurring conditions, assisting individuals in managing their symptoms, identifying triggers, and working towards improved mental health as well as helping them regain a sense of emotional equilibrium.
As we touched on earlier, many people who experience trauma, especially at a young age, turn to drugs and alcohol as a form of self-mediating. This can not only lead to actually making the condition worse, but it can also lead to the development of additional mental health conditions including substance abuse and addiction.
Trauma therapy dives beneath the surface, addressing the underlying issues that fuel addiction, which in this case is the trauma. It also provides healthier coping mechanisms and strategies for managing both cravings and triggers, paving the way for recovery from both substance abuse and the issues stemming from the trauma.
It’s not uncommon for some trauma survivors to experience dissociation. Dissociation is a disconnection from either reality as a whole or the person’s own body as a defense mechanism resulting from the trauma.
Trauma therapy can help those experiencing dissociation reintegrate their sense of self and reduce dissociative symptoms. It can also help bridge the gap between fractured parts of themselves, promoting a sense of wholeness.
Traumatic experiences can strain relationships, leading to difficulties in forming and maintaining connections with others.
Therapy can help trauma survivors rebuild trust and develop healthier relationship patterns while also providing tools for effective communication and conflict resolution within active relationships.
Trauma can erode a person’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem, leaving those experiencing trauma with a distorted self-image.
Trauma therapy focuses on restoring a positive self-image and helping individuals recognize their inherent value, regardless of what may have happened to them in the past.
Trauma survivors often grapple with intense anger and irritability. These emotions can be overwhelming and potentially harmful to both the individual and those around them.
Therapy teaches those experiencing trauma to manage these emotions constructively and reduce the risk of harmful outbursts, thus improving the person’s overall emotional regulation.
Trauma can manifest as physical symptoms such as chronic pain, headaches, and gastrointestinal issues.
Trauma therapy explores the mind-body connection and offers strategies for managing physical distress.
Traumatic experiences frequently disrupt sleep patterns, leading to issues such as insomnia, nightmares, and night sweats.
Therapy can address insomnia and other sleep-related problems, by identifying their triggers and providing techniques for improving sleep quality. This, in turn, improves the person’s overall health and well-being.
Trauma therapy equips individuals with techniques to manage intrusive thoughts and flashbacks effectively, allowing them to regain control over their minds.
Stress when responding to experiences of trauma.
If these symptoms continue without treatment, the temptation to self-medicate can become extremely high. Trauma therapy focuses on helping clients find ways to manage these difficult challenges in the moment and to find healthy activities that both strengthen and comfort the individual so they can avoid relapse.
“The staff at the center has been remarkable in their care for our loved one. Tuni was with us the whole way as we tried to get this person into treatment. They continue to assist us as the process continues. Great work!”
“I have been trying to get sober the past 3 years and I have been to treatment 5 times. Bayview Recovery was my 6th time. They helped me get to 142 days sober! I was a handful hot mess when I got there but the team never gave up on me. They work with families and they truly care about them too. Bayview house’s are clean and comfortable and the staff is amazing. They plan for fun events weekly and they want you to have fun. If your looking for something different call them it will save your LIFE!”
“Bayview is dedicated to providing clients the healthiest environment to develop a solid foundation in their recovery. The therapists and medical team are devoted to ensure clients have the best individualized care. I highly recommend Bayview for anyone seeking a highly professional treatment program. The care and compassion given to clients is remarkable.”
“This is a fantastic facility with outstanding staff. If you or a loved one is struggling this is a great program to start the journey of recovery and get life long skills and relationships to begin a new life!”
“Just picked up our daughter after 90 days at Bayview Recovery. Loved the staff and facility, do not know what the future holds ???????? but while at Bayview , always felt informed. Highly recommend, incredibly helpful especially at the very beginning when we were so helpless and needed help the most – God Bless.”
We are also proud to provide one of the highest staff-to-client ratios anywhere in order to make sure our patients’ needs our constantly being met. If you or a loved one are in need of intensive trauma therapy, or any of the other treatment and therapy programs that we offer, contact us today. We want everyone that comes to us to go on to live a happy and healthy life.
Looking for Treatment in Tacoma, WA?
Bayview Recovery, located in Tacoma, Washington, specializes in addiction recovery and has helped thousands of adult men and women safely navigate their way through addiction and back to sobriety. We are an addiction treatment and recovery center that treats substance abuse and co-occurring disorders.
Dave Cundiff, MD, MPH is an experienced leader in the field of Substance Use Disorder treatment. He works with patients suffering from Substance Use Disorder to evaluate their medication needs and prescribe treatments accordingly. In addition, he regularly participates in all-staff debriefing sessions involving peers, nurses, and other prescribers. He also reviews and advises on policies, procedures, and techniques for treating substance use disorder.