Most people will experience a traumatic event in their lifetime whether it’s a car accident, abuse or neglect, the sudden death of a loved one, exposure to violence, or a natural disaster.
While many people can recover from trauma over time with the love and support of family and friends, and bounce back with resiliency, others may discover the effects of lasting trauma, which can cause a person to live with deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, or post-traumatic stress far after the event has passed. The effects of lasting trauma causes internal resources to become overtaxed which impacts emotional-regulation, self-perception, sense of trust, and understanding of relationships. Trauma-informed therapy includes establishing a sense of safety, learning strategies to regulate emotions and arousal, increasing bodily signals and self-understanding, development of reciprocal relationships, and helping to turn helplessness into mastery.
In these circumstances, the support, guidance, and assistance of a therapist are fundamental to healing.
A trauma-informed approach to therapy emphasizes understanding how a traumatic experience impacts one’s emotional, behavioral, mental, and physical health. The guiding principles of trauma informed care are safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness, and empowerment. Individuals who have experienced trauma are often in a chronic state of crisis. For that reason, the therapist will work to create an environment that is safe and fosters connection. Trauma informed therapy includes learning new ways to manage emotions and impulses, engage in healthy relationships, and regain a feeling of power and control.
According to the four types of symptoms listed in the DSM-5.
- Avoiding specific locations, sights, situations, and sounds that serve as reminders of the event
- Anxiety, depression, numbness, or guilt
- Intrusive thoughts, nightmares, or flashbacks
- Anger, irritability, and hyper-vigilance
- Aggressive, reckless behavior, including self-harm
- Sleep disturbances
Negative Mood and Cognition Symptoms
- Loss of interest in activities that were once considered enjoyable
- Difficulty remembering details of the distressing event
- Change in habits or behavior since the trauma
Research has proven psychotherapy to be the most effective form of treatment for trauma. Most commonly, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) are used in treating trauma.
If you or someone you know matches the trauma symptoms listed above, I am confident that I can help and invite you to contact me today for a free consultation.