The stress caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event can lead to a variety of psychological and physical symptoms that are collectively labeled as PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD has profound effects on many aspects of a person’s life and may even be life-threatening. A trauma therapy program offers a ray of hope to people suffering from PTSD. In this article, we introduce you to the benefits and goals of a trauma therapy program and help you understand your treatment options for PTSD in Washington State.
What is a trauma therapy program?
When a person experiences a traumatic event, the brain develops memories associated with the event. These memories are actually a protective mechanism. In the future, the presence of a triggering event sends rapid signals to the brain and alert it to the potential danger. The brain then prepares the body for a “fight or flight” response, i.e., to either confront the danger or flee from it. However, as a result of this protective mechanism, people can experience PTSD symptoms for years or even decades after a traumatic event. A trauma therapy program is a counseling program that helps people with PTSD process the trauma in a healthy manner. It can also be used to help those with other mental health conditions like childhood trauma disorders, adjustment disorders, acute stress disorders, and dissociative disorders.
Types of trauma therapy programs
A trauma therapy program can be conducted in both the individual and group setting. It can be offered as part of an outpatient or inpatient/residential therapy program. The goal of a good trauma therapy program is to meet the client’s unique needs and comfort level.
A residential rehab center is an excellent setting for a trauma therapy program because it provides a safe environment in which the layers of distressing memories can be peeled back and the trauma dealt with in a healthy way. However, a trauma therapy program can certainly be administered on an outpatient basis with 1-3 sessions per week depending on the severity of the client’s PTSD or mental health condition.
Depending on the client’s psychosocial circumstances, a trauma therapy program may include couples therapy, family therapy, or group therapy. At Discover Recovery Treatment Center, we customize the PTSD treatment to ensure each client receives the support and care they need.
Various therapeutic modalities are used during a trauma therapy program, such a mind-body bridging, EMDR (eye movement desensitization rapid processing), prolonged exposure, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Benefits of a trauma therapy program
When a person enters a trauma therapy program, they learn about the impact a traumatic event had on their life. They also understand that each person reacts differently to trauma. This helps to address underlying feelings of shame and guilt associated with the event. This type of discovery is important to help clients process their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and give names to their experiences as well as understand that their symptoms of PTSD are not abnormal.
Another benefit of participating in trauma therapy is that it re-establishes a sense of safety. A trauma therapy program is conducted in the safe environment of a rehab center where the client can regain emotional strength with the help of their therapist.
When a client participates in a trauma therapy program, they learn to explore and understand the memories and feelings related to trauma. They also learn to recognize triggers that serve as traumatic reminders. Over time, the therapist helps the client adapt their response to the trauma and deal with it in a healthy manner.
A key component of a trauma therapy program is to aid clients in developing healthy coping skills in response to PTSD triggers. This includes anxiety management strategies and developing resilience and mental strength to recover from the traumatic experience.
Engagement in a trauma therapy program gives clients a chance to practice newly learned skills to reduce PTSD and other mental health symptoms. As a result, there is a reduction in physical symptoms like flashbacks and nightmares as well as psychological symptoms like anxiety and guilt.
Last but not least, a trauma therapy program helps a person process their trauma and gain power over past experiences. With time, the person can live a fulfilling life whilst understanding the meaning of the traumatic event and how it relates to their place in the world.
Goals of trauma therapy programs
People with PTSD experience a range of distressing physical and psychological symptoms that can make it difficult to lead a normal life. A trauma therapy program helps address many of these symptoms and emotions. For example, a victim of sexual abuse may carry shame for a lifetime if it is not addressed with a trauma therapy program. Also, participating in a trauma therapy program in a group setting helps survivors realize that they are not alone in feeling a certain way and that processing those feelings can be incredibly empowering.
Many people who witness or experience trauma have a lingering sense of helplessness or loss of control. This powerlessness is especially prevalent in people who experience ongoing trauma such as domestic violence. One of the goals of a trauma therapy program is to help victims of trauma reclaim power and control and to not allow the trauma to victimize them. Ultimately, survivors learn to stop being stuck in the traumatic past and to look toward the future with determination and hope.
Finding a trauma therapy program in Washington
If you or someone you love could benefit from a Washington trauma therapy program, there are certain things you should look for to identify a good program, including:
- The counselors’ education, training, and experience
- The types of therapies offered at the center
- The approach to working with victims of trauma
- The availability of trauma-informed therapists at the center
Discover Recovery Treatment Center in Long Beach, Washington, is a top-rated residential rehabilitation center that offers a comprehensive trauma therapy program for people with PTSD. We are staffed by masters’ level trauma-focused and trauma-informed counselors with specialized training and extensive experience in treating PTSD. We understand that comprehensive treatment for PTSD is necessary for successful outcomes. To this end, we take a holistic approach to PTSD treatment with a range of therapeutic modalities included in our trauma therapy program.
If you would like to find out more about the trauma therapy program at Discover Recovery, give us a call today and take the first step towards overcoming PTSD.