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Types Of Trauma Therapy: Effective Methods To Know [AU] 2023
Trauma is an emotional response to events that a person interprets as threatening or stressful. When someone experiences the death of a loved one, a car accident, or a natural disaster, they are likely to develop trauma.
Those who develop trauma may have trouble living their lives since they are more likely to develop mood disorders like anxiety and depression. But with different types of trauma therapy, people can develop coping skills and improve their mental health.
Read on to learn about types of trauma therapy and their benefits.
4 Effective Trauma Therapy Methods
Four effective trauma therapy methods are:
- Eye movement desensitization & reprocessing therapy.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy.
- Prolonged exposure therapy.
- Dialectical behavioral therapy.
What Is Trauma Therapy?
Trauma therapy is a type of therapy focused on treating the aftermath of a negative experience. Trauma affects mental health, preventing people from living a healthy and fulfilling life.
Trauma stems from experiences that people interpret as traumatic events or that have actually hurt their lives. Some types of trauma are childhood trauma, domestic violence or bullying, experiencing a natural disaster, and witnessing or being part of an accident.
Some people have experienced a traumatic event and managed to overcome it with time, but others may develop mental health disorders. Depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, and adjustment disorders can appear due to trauma. The reason why some people can overcome trauma and others cannot is because of how they process the experience, which can lead to the development of the disorders mentioned above.
Those who have experienced traumatic events can benefit from different types of trauma therapies. These therapies work to reduce the symptoms of the trauma, work on how the trauma has impacted the person, and develop healthier coping strategies. Even looking at the nutrient composition of a person suffering from trauma may aid in their recovery from symptoms by treating deficiencies.
How Can Therapy Help With Trauma?
During therapy, people are taught not to repress their emotions but to release them and express how it impacts their lives.
At first, it may be difficult to speak clearly about the trauma because thinking and talking about it causes pain. The patient may have repressed the trauma in such a way that they may believe they have overcome it, but their behaviors and reactions in their daily lives express the opposite.
When someone expresses the trauma experienced and the consequences experienced, they allow the therapist to use the appropriate psychological techniques for their situation.
Benefits Of Trauma Therapy
Trauma therapy aims to help people overcome their trauma and be able to live a better life. Some of its benefits are:
Through trauma therapy, people learn to overcome the trauma and not let it continue to control their lives. There will be times when the memories or the person experiences a situation similar to the trauma that can lead them to feel stress, but they will be able to handle them and not let the trauma impede living their life.
Develop Coping Skills
Overcoming trauma does not mean the person will not re-experience difficult situations that may create another trauma or relive the one experienced. But trauma therapy equips people with psychological tools to deal with stressors.
Emotion management, positive coping, and breathing techniques help manage difficult situations, which trauma therapy also focuses on.
Learn To Know More About Themselves
People learn to know themselves better through trauma therapy. Therapeutic processes of this type make people learn about aspects of themselves that they did not know before. They learn more about who they are, discovering in depth their emotions, their personality, and how they influence their life. This helps to increase their self-esteem as people feel more confident and prepared to deal with difficult situations.
Gain Realistic Viewpoints
Trauma often causes people to have a negative perspective of their reality, which can cause constant discomfort. Through trauma therapy, people learn to perceive their reality more realistically to respond better to everyday situations and stressors.
Like other types of therapy, trauma therapy helps people regain control of their lives and lets people realize that they are capable of overcoming difficult events in their lives if they have the necessary tools.
4 Best Types Of Therapy For Trauma
There are several types of therapies focused on helping patients overcome the effects of trauma. They focus on reducing symptoms and giving people the tools to manage daily life more calmly.
Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, also known as EDMR, is a psychological technique that aims to treat the aftereffects of trauma and mental disorders such as PTSD, phobias, panic attacks, and stress.
In this technique, the therapist performs bilateral brain stimulation through small touches on the hands, following the therapist’s finger movements, or with different sounds.
This technique helps the patient to remember the traumas they have repressed, and through stimulation, the therapist makes the memories integrate healthily.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most widely used psychological techniques. It focuses on treating problems such as anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other types of mood and behavioral issues. Cognitive processing therapy is a branch of CBT that teaches patients how to identify, challenge, and alter their negative thoughts and behavior patterns associated with their traumatic memories.
This type of psychotherapy helps people change any irrational beliefs they developed from trauma. Thoughts influence people’s behaviors and many times, traumas generate irrational beliefs that lead to the development of maladaptive behaviors.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy works with cognitive restructuring to help people analyze their thoughts and replace them with helpful ones.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy
Prolonged exposure therapy is a treatment used for people with PTSD. It works to help people overcome their trauma since, many times, as a defense mechanism, they prefer to avoid it and repress it, which affects them negatively.
In this type of treatment, the person may be exposed to situations that trigger the trauma as desensitization. The treatment also includes psychoeducation, where the therapist teaches patients about the trauma and how it affects their lives.
During the sessions, the patient is also taught how to manage the symptoms of the triggered trauma. Relaxation techniques are often a good option for the patient to manage anxiety.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy is a third-generation therapy focused on teaching people not to eliminate the behavior or situation that causes them discomfort but to learn to accept what happened and to live with it. This type of therapy is used to treat mental conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and suicidal behaviors.
In this type of therapy, the person learns to control their emotions and to have a more assertive response to negative thoughts. It includes the use of techniques such as mindfulness, teaching the person to be in the moment and live in the present.
Additional Therapeutic Approaches To Trauma Treatment
There are other types of therapy that are also useful for the treatment of trauma.
Group therapy can help patients learn from each other’s experiences. How they have dealt with trauma and support each other. People can feel less alone because others have been through the same thing and gain a support system. They’re also usually led by a trained mental health professional and are cheaper than individual counseling.
Hypnotherapy is a type of therapy used to treat various mental disorders, including trauma. Through hypnosis, patients access a series of memories that are usually not present in the conscious part. One of its objectives is to convert the unconscious into the conscious of working with painful memories and thoughts.
The therapist induces the patient into a kind of trance through suggestive verbalizations. Through the verbalizations, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral changes are provoked. The person is guided by the therapist and at any time can interrupt the process as they are aware of themselves.
For many people, it’s difficult to overcome traumatic events, so they often adopt avoidance methods as a defense mechanism to protect themselves from the pain they experienced. Trauma needs to be worked through so that people who experience trauma can learn how to deal with it. Different types of trauma therapy focus on helping people overcome trauma. Trained mental health professionals teach patients appropriate coping skills, psychoeducation, and emotion management.
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