When you experience a terrible event that leaves a lasting impact on your mental and emotional stability you may end up traumatized. Normally, after the event, you will deal with shock and denial. If not managed, in the long run, trauma results in strained relationships, uncontrollable emotions, and flashbacks.
Eventually, trauma may interfere with your ability to lead a normal life. When this happens, you need to seek help to be able to deal with the stress caused by the traumatic event. This is where trauma therapy comes in to help you deal with your emotional response to a traumatic event. Some of the sources of trauma include rape, domestic violence, disasters, and the death of a loved one or serious illness.
What Is Meant by Trauma Therapy?
Trauma therapy is an approach to therapy that focuses on recognizing and understanding the impact that a traumatic event can have on your mental, behavioral and physical well-being. Trauma therapy is based on comprehending the connection between a traumatic experience and your emotional response to it.
The purpose of trauma therapy is to equip you with the skills to help you in understanding, coping with, and process the emotions associated with your traumatic experience. The end goal is to help you develop a healthier and more adaptive meaning of the traumatic experience that you had.
What Are the Signs of Trauma?
There are some basic signs that you can look out for to know if you or your loved one is traumatized as a result of a terrible event. To know if a person is traumatized you need to observe if there is a change in the behavior of the person.
Victims of traumatic events do respond to conversations as they normally would and will often appear disoriented. Always look out for manifestations of anxiety in victims of a traumatic event. Anxiety often manifests itself in the form of nightmares, irritability, mood swings, and poor concentration.
There are also some other emotional symptoms of trauma that include anger, sadness, denial, and emotional outbursts. The physical signs of trauma include paleness, loss of energy, and a racing heartbeat. The symptoms of trauma vary from one person to another and these are the reasons why there are times when trauma can be unnoticeable even to a victim’s close friends and family.
What Are the Types of Trauma Therapy?
Three isn't a specific type of trauma therapy that fits every person or traumatic situation. Different types of trauma therapy can be used to treat different patients.
This type of therapy focuses on exposing you to your fears until a time when you are no longer afraid. Prolonged exposure therapy will help you break the pattern of avoidance that you have been engaged in and create a safe environment in which you can face that which you fear.
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT)
This form of therapy is best suited for children and adolescents. It helps in dealing with unhealthy behavior patterns and unrealistic beliefs. This form of therapy is designed to help you overcome difficulties related to trauma such as child sexual abuse, domestic violence, and traumatic loss. It provides you with a supportive environment that allows you to speak up about your traumatic experiences and give you skills to cope with life stressors.
Cognitive Processing Therapy
This form of talk therapy focuses on challenging the views that you have as to why the traumatic event happened and the thoughts and beliefs that you have developed since then. This therapy aims to help you think differently about the events that occurred in your life and help you get rid of the negative events.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
This type of trauma involves less talking and more use of eye movements to help you process and let go of traumatic memories. In a session with your therapist, you will be asked to have in your mind an aspect of a traumatic event that happened in your life as you look at her hands moving back and forth in a rhythmic manner.
This therapy engages both sides of your bargain to help you process the part of the traumatic memory that had not yet been processed due to the stress. This process releases the memories and ultimately relieves nightmares and trauma triggers.
This is a type of therapy that focuses on your conscious and subconscious mind to help bring a change in emotions and behavior. It taps into your subconscious mind where it is believed that your trauma may be stuck. When in a state of hypnosis your therapist can access your subconscious mind to help you resolve the problematic traumatic memories.
How Does Trauma Therapy Help?
Trauma therapy helps you deal with a traumatic event as it helps you process your feelings and emotions. It accords you the chance to face your fears and go back to leading a normal life.
Trauma therapy helps reduce fear: Trauma urges you to avoid people and run away from your traumatic experience. On the other hand, trauma therapy helps you confront the traumatic experience and overcome your fears.
Trauma therapy helps you develop coping skills: Trauma therapy helps you live with the traumatic experience by equipping you with the confidence that you can overcome what you went through.
Trauma therapy helps you build trust: Through trauma therapy, you can be able to understand that there are good and trustworthy people out there deserving of your trust. it will make you brave and enable you to have more trust in people.
Trauma therapy offers you validation: Victims of traumatic experiences have often been judged by how they behave and are often rebuked for being dramatic. Trauma therapy helps you see that your trauma is valid and your emotional response to it was justified.
Trauma therapy helps you overcome low self-esteem and shame: Excessive criticism of your actions or your appearance can be stressful and traumatic leading to psychological wounding. A response to this would be to think of yourself as worthless and undeserving. Trauma therapy sessions help to explore the causes of low self-esteem and shame and set you up on the journey of healing and recovery.
Traumatic events in your life will leave you wounded and distressed. Recognizing that you are traumatized and seeking a therapist is the first step toward healing and letting go of the negativity brought by the trauma. There are many trauma therapy techniques that your therapist can utilize to help you cope with your trauma. So don't wait until you are wounded before you act.
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