Treatment for Trauma

Do You or Someone You Love Need Trauma Treatment?

In our society today, many unfortunate happenings occur to innocent individuals.  Perhaps you or your loved one has become a victim of a traumatic circumstance.  Have you experienced a traumatic event that has left you feeling severely distressed?  Have you felt as though your ability to cope with a particular life occurrence has been overwhelming?  Suffering with the after effects of a traumatic experience can be draining and difficult, possibly even debilitating to your life’s potential.  Unresolved trauma can impact your life in many ways beyond your emotions and psyche.  If left untreated, you can begin having difficulties with your physical health or social life, in your relationships and ability to communicate with others. Because psychological trauma can impact your life in several ways, obtaining professional help from specialized treatment centers will be an essential part of your recovery. Seeking counsel during this time can also be helpful for addressing other issues that may be apparent during this time, such as depression, anxiety or other mental instabilities. Getting adequate care can offer healing from the inside out and deal with trauma effectively.

Treatment Plan for Trauma

In order to most effectively address trauma, it is critical to establish a solid treatment plan. Your treatment plan will be implemented and supported by many different factors, including health professionals, loved ones in your life, a treatment program focused on trauma, as well as support groups. Having these components as a part of your treatment will create a solid foundation to your recovery.

  • Ask for help – Start with family and friends as they will be a vital part in dealing with trauma. They can be the support and motivator for healing.
  • Find a therapist – A therapist who specializes in trauma will be able to create an individualized treatment plan. They will also help find and provide the resources needed for healing.
  • Search for a trauma treatment facility – A trauma program will assist with working through any physical or psychological issues that are present. It will also assist in addressing any ongoing co-occurring issues.
  • Support group – A support group can provide accountability and guidance which is important. They will provide assistance when facing the trials of stopping therapy and taking medications. They will be important in assisting to continue abstinence.

Treatment Levels for Trauma

As you begin to move forward with the healing process from trauma, you will discover that there are varying levels of care available. Each level of care is tailored to address specific psychological and medical needs that you may be experiencing at this present moment of time. As your needs change during your recovery process, you may be progressed to a different level of care. The health professionals you work with during your journey will be able to best determine which of the following levels of care is suitable for you:

  • Inpatient Level of Care – Patients at this level of care are hospitalized 24 / 7 in acute care. Inpatient hospital staff’s goal is to stabilize patients as quickly as possible to allow them to function in a lower level of care.
  • Residential Treatment Center (RTC) – This kind of facility provides the patient an extended overnight stay for 30 to 90 days. An RTC will focus on the main issue and any other co-occurring concerns that may also be present.
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) – This type of program is frequently held in a hospital or residential setting and includes attending groups and individual therapy sessions. It normally goes five days a week either all morning or all afternoon, but there are some PHPs that will go Monday through Friday, 9 to 5.
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment Level (IOP) – This level of outpatient care provides intense assistance and individual services. It allows the patient to participate either in morning or afternoon sessions while continuing some every day functions.
  • Outpatient Level of Care – This level of outpatient care is much like an IOP but not as intense. There are fewer individual limits placed on the patient, but personal treatment and group sessions are still applied.
  • Groups of Support – Support groups provide supervision and direction to prevent setbacks. The guidance they offer is key in prevailing over a mental disorder.

Types of Pharmacological Therapy for Trauma

While there are currently no approved medications for the specific treatment of trauma, some medications might be routinely prescribed by a physician or physiatrist for the management of symptoms experienced from trauma.  For example, therapeutic doses of antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications may be used to assist in the treatment of depression or anxiety felt due to traumatic circumstances. Any medication use should be used under the proper supervision and guidance of a qualified physician on your treatment team.

Types of Therapy for Trauma

Behavioral therapy may be one of the most effectual tools that will enable you to heal from traumatic circumstances. A qualified counselor or therapist can integrate various methods of psychotherapy to help you work through the issues you may be dealing with. While you cannot change the experiences you have endured in your life, you can learn to think differently about these situations, identify healthier coping strategies, and discover a deeper understanding about yourself. Helpful therapy techniques that may be integrated into psychotherapy treatments include art therapy, yoga, equine therapy, and these additional modalities:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – This category of rehabilitation is designed to work on a patient’s maladaptive ways of thinking as a way influencing their behavior with an approach that is more positive. This also assists the patient in developing coping skills that replace negative skills with positive ones.
  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) – The level of therapy provided by IPT centers upon the interpersonal connections and community functions utilizing brief supportive treatment and also tries to assist the person to better resolve existing situations and troubles. The four main parts acknowledged by IPT are role changes, relationship shortcomings, unresolved grief, and role disputes.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – This level of rehab integrates the common behavioral therapy components of IBT and CBT for the regulation of emotions. The introduction of stress management and mindful awareness are key for this therapy
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) – This type of cognitive behavioral treatment uses mindfulness and acceptance approaches mixed in multiple ways with strategies of commitment and behavior-change. The emotional and mental flexibility should be increased.
  • Supportive Programs – Groups much like group therapy, support groups, family therapy, etc. are included in this type of treatment. These support groups help the people involved with trauma to better deal with the difficulties.

Suffering through traumatic circumstances has likely inflicted unwarranted pain and tragedy in your life. Regardless of the situation, you deserve to find resolve and healing in your life. By seeking the appropriate treatment and counsel, you can come to terms with the hardships you have suffered and be reconciled to peace. You no longer need to live your life in fear, anger or regret. Healing from even the most excruciating circumstances is available for you now; you need only to reach out for it. We invite you to utilize the many resources available on Addiction Hope to find peace in your life again.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on May 24th, 2014
Published on, Addictions Help Resources