Trauma therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on healing the mind, body, and spirit of victims of physical or emotional trauma. This type of therapy involves addressing the often overwhelming emotions associated with past experiences. A therapist works with the person to help them process their emotions so they can move forward in life without being held back by their past experiences.
What Is Trauma?
To understand how trauma therapy can improve someone’s mental health, it’s important to first understand what trauma is. Trauma is a severe emotional response that occurs when someone struggles with a major physical or psychological injury.
Trauma may be the result of an accident, abuse or assault, disaster or natural disaster, warzone experiences, and many other events in life.
The effects of trauma on your mind can include:
- Depression and anxiety
- Flashbacks and nightmares
- Memory loss
- Suicidal thoughts and self-harm behaviors
The effects of trauma on your body may include:
- Headaches or migraines, including cluster headaches
- Nausea, indigestion, or vomiting
- Muscle pain, including backache
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Fatigue, weakness, tiredness, aches and pains, numbness, or dizziness
- Heart palpitations, chest pains, or difficulty breathing
How Does Trauma Therapy Work?
Trauma therapy is used to help treat people who have been exposed to traumatic events. The techniques used can help people deal with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as anxiety and flashbacks, but it’s also useful for other mental health problems, such as depression and substance abuse.
Trauma therapy usually involves a combination of different “talk therapies,” including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye-movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR). CBT focuses on changing negative thoughts, behaviors, and emotions to improve one’s overall mental health.
EMDR uses eye movements or other stimuli while recalling memories related to the trauma in order to more fully process the stress of the incident and decrease its impact on a person’s life.
What Are the Different Types of Trauma Therapy?
There are many types of trauma therapy, which can be divided into two categories: cognitive and behavioral.
Cognitive-based treatments, like CBT, focus on identifying the negative thought patterns that contribute to the development and maintenance of your symptoms. These thoughts may include feelings of guilt or self-blame or thoughts of not being good enough or not deserving. CBT focuses on improving a person’s ability to cope with stressors by changing these thought patterns. Behavioral therapies such as exposure therapy and EMDR provide an opportunity to practice new ways of thinking while confronting memories in a safe environment.
In contrast to cognitive-based therapies, behavioral treatments tend to focus on the physiological aspects of trauma through external stimuli (exposure). In some cases, this involves imagining upsetting scenes. In others, it involves exposing the person deliberately to the setting where a traumatic event took place.
The Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT is one of the most effective treatments for trauma and can help someone understand their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. CBT can also help someone change their thoughts and behaviors so that they are less likely to trigger an emotional reaction. CBT teaches specific skills to manage emotions in day-to-day situations.
The Benefits of Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing
EMDR is a type of trauma therapy that uses eye movements and other stimuli to help process and reprocess memories. It’s also known as “the talking cure” since it involves talking through the person’s experiences with a therapist.
EMDR was developed in 1987 by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., who noticed that people with phobias had reduced their fear when they watched a particular movie scene with their eyes closed during specific phases of the film’s plot. In 1992, Richard McNally published his study on EMDR therapy’s effectiveness at treating PTSD in combat veterans — a breakthrough moment for this modality of treatment.
Who Can Benefit From Trauma Therapy?
Anyone who has experienced a traumatic event can benefit from trauma therapy. The most common use for this treatment is in treating PTSD, but trauma therapy can also help with other mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Trauma therapy is not just for people who have experienced combat or sexual assault. Many people who have experienced non-violent traumas such as car accidents or natural disasters are also treated with trauma therapy.
If you’re struggling to cope with your past experiences, trauma therapy may be a good option for finding relief. Trauma therapy can help you make sense of the things that happened to you and allow you to move forward in a healthy way. It can help resolve the pain from the past so that it doesn’t weigh down on your life in the present. Trauma therapy can help create a brighter future for yourself, one where you are free from any negative emotions that might hold you back from reaching new heights in your life.
Trauma therapy isn’t just about resolving problems; it’s also about living better now and feeling more peace than ever before.
Trauma therapy can help people who have experienced trauma in their past. It’s important to know that there is no time limit on when you can start this process; some people wait years before they are ready. If you think that this might be something worth exploring, don’t hesitate to seek help. You may find yourself very surprised by what happens next. If you or someone you know is struggling with trauma in either their past or present, we can help them through these events and feelings. Villa Oasis San Diego can help you set up a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve your mental health goals. For more information, please call (619) 373-9792.