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Trauma Rehab Centers

Trauma-Focused Therapies

Trauma-Focused TherapiesTraumatic experiences can affect people for months, years or even a lifetime. These effects are rarely positive. Trauma often overwhelms the emotional circuits of the brain, causing a sort of psychological blackout that resembles an electrical overload. Instead of consciously processing the trauma and experiencing the appropriate emotions, traumatized people often become emotionally stopped up. The result is a wide range of painful symptoms that causes posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD include the following issues:

  • Panic attacks
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Abuse of others
  • Anger management struggles
  • Emotional disconnection from loved ones
  • Self-injury
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Self-medication through substance abuse
  • Depression

Certain therapies have evolved to help people with PTSD dislodge their stopped up emotions and heal psychologically.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Many mental health professionals recognize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and its various outgrowths as the most consistently helpful type of trauma therapy. It is a form of counseling combined with the following characteristics:

  • Outcome or results-based treatment
  • Designed to be completed in a matter of weeks or months
  • Focused on practical skill development
  • May be practiced with or without medical treatment (depending on the opinion of the attending therapist)

CBT is based on the concept of cognition, a combination of observation, understanding, awareness, emotional processing and emotional management. The therapy argues that patients can manage their emotional responses of PTSD by developing certain skills. PTSD symptoms result from someone being dominated by damaged emotions, but CBT empowers patients to control their emotions by managing their emotional health. According to theAcademyofCognitive Therapythis approach has been tested and shown effective in over 300 different clinical trials for many psychological disorders, including PTSD.

Exposure Therapy for PTSD

Exposure therapy may be conducted as a part of CBT or separately. The concept is that exposing the patient to manageable versions of the trauma he experienced will help him process the corresponding emotions he shut down. This is accomplished in a series of therapy sessions during which patients walk back into their trauma in a safe way. Though these sessions may be painful and upsetting in the short-term, the flood of emotions can provide resolution.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing for PTSD

Another innovative therapy for PTSD is eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). This approach includes many aspects of CBT and exposure therapy, but it also adds a unique component that involves tracking eye movements during traumatic recollections. Patients move their eyes in a certain way while discussing the trauma to help the brain process the troubling emotions that crop up. There is still some mystery surrounding how EMDR works, but work it does.

Treatment for PTSD

If you are interested in learning more about trauma-focused therapies, please call our toll-free helpline today. Counselors are standing by 24 hours a day to answer your questions and connect you with the best counseling for your specific needs. Call them now for immediate, professional support.