Many people will experience something traumatic at one point in their lives. It may have involved child abuse, military service, the unexpected loss a loved one, or a natural disaster. Regardless, when trauma does occur, its effects of it can be emotionally debilitating.
According to research, an estimated 70% of adult Americans report experiencing at least one traumatic event in their lives. Furthermore, one-fifth (nearly 20%) of those developed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in response to that event.
There is no limit to the nature of events that can result in traumatizing effects on people, as we all perceive and experience life differently from one another.
However, common events that often result in trauma include the following:
Rape – Women and men who are victims of rape and other forms of sexual abuse are traumatized in ways that reduce their ability to trust, feel safe, be confident, or express emotions.
Domestic violence – Victims of domestic violence and close family or friends who witness it are at a significantly heightened risk for suffering from trauma.
Natural disasters – Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, and flooding can devastate the mental and physical well-being of those who experience them, leaving victims feeling unstable, unsafe, and traumatized.
Other common types of traumatic events include military combat, loss of a loved one (particularly if it’s unexpected or particularly tragic), a severe or prolonged illness, abandonment, neglect, and emotional abuse.
When a person has experienced trauma and finds it challenging, if not impossible, to overcome the emotional distress experienced, he or she likely needs mental health treatment so that recovery can be possible.
Experiencing a traumatic event can be life-changing, and that cause an individual to no longer feel like themselves. However, there are many approaches to trauma treatment that can increase the odds of a healthy recovery for these individuals.
Trauma therapies include, but are not limited to the following:
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is one of the most common and effects methods of trauma treatment available. EMDR works to help people release themselves from the weight of their emotions related to the trauma by rewiring the brain.
EMDR consists of several phases of treatment. The goal of EMDR therapy is to process the experiences that are causing distress and embrace new ones that are needed for improved emotional health. Regarding an experience, what is useful to the individual will be learned, and stored with appropriate emotions in the brain. Conversely, inappropriate emotions, beliefs, and body sensations will be discarded.
You can learn more about an EMDR session HERE.
Psychodynamic therapy helps to identify where the individual is mentally within his or her trauma. Upon determining this, the therapist helps the person to let go of whatever is holding him or her back from moving forward.
Among the ways in which a therapist does this is by considering the individual’s background (including childhood), determining the meaning of the trauma, and learning what important aspects of life the traumatic event has robbed from the individual.
Possibly the most uncomfortable treatment for those who are suffering from the fallout of trauma, prolonged exposure helps individuals regain control by being continuously exposed to it. This form of trauma treatment allows individuals to actively engage with the traumatic event instead of running from it, and the therapist can also help the person change the narrative surrounding the event.
Other forms of trauma treatment include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), hypnotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and group therapy.
Trauma recovery can be broken down into three phases:
Phase I – Safety and Stabilization – During this time, individuals work on identifying ways to manage their emotions, comfort themselves, and determine what aspects of their lives need recovery.
Phase II – Remembrance and Mourning – Individuals are asked to process their trauma by recognizing their emotions to bring purpose to their traumatic event, as well as to help with grief.
Phase III – Reconnection and Integration – During this phase, individuals strive to develop a new path forward for themselves that includes feeling empowered, positive, and self-aware.
Traumatic events can be extremely painful to go process – regardless of the trauma experience, there are treatments that can help you or your loved one put trauma in the past and move forward as a recovered, healthy individual.
If you are ready to address your trauma and embark on a new journey, please contact us as soon as possible. We can help you throughout the process o f trauma recovery and release you from the pain of those events so that you can live in peace and harmony!