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5 Therapy Approaches for Treating Trauma in Adults
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Recent findings point out that over 70% of adults in the U.S have experienced at least one trauma in their lives. These impacts may show up immediately or years later, affecting your sense of self, your mood and even your relationships. 

Trauma changes a lot about who you are. It changes your brain and nervous system, leading to symptoms like anxiety and depression. Those seeking therapeutic solutions will understand why trauma therapies focus mainly on soothing the nervous system – these help individuals better integrate traumatic memories and offer mental and physical healing support. 

However, mental health professionals will readily share that there isn’t one type of intervention or therapy that fits every individual or situation. And it’s no wonder why. 

Each individual’s trauma is unique, with its own set of psychological, physiological, biological, and neurological needs and reactions. Likewise, someone’s gender, age, developmental environment, or socioeconomic conditions are all factors that can influence what type of trauma-focused therapy best suits their trauma symptoms. 

Trauma Therapy: How does it work?

Trauma-focused therapy is a specific approach to therapy that is built on the understanding of how traumatic experiences impact someone’s emotional, mental, and physical well-being. There are different approaches that aim to help children, adolescents, and adult survivors recover from trauma

There are three main types of trauma: 

  • Acute trauma – resulting from a single stressful or dangerous event such as an accident, natural disaster, or sexual assault. 

  • Chronic trauma- resulting from prolonged or repeated exposure to highly stressful events. Such events include long-term illness, addiction, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and bullying. 

  • Complex Trauma- resulting from exposure to multiple traumatic experiences. Potential traumatic events even can include childhood abuse, civil unrest, or domestic violence. 

As we’re previously mentioned, trauma can stem from a one-time event, a long-lasting traumatic experience, or a combination of both. Often, those experiencing psychological trauma may feel like they’re fighting a war with themselves. It has been found that trauma responses indicate resistance, stuckness or character-disordered behaviour, which is, in fact, a representation of how traumatized people adapted to survive in dangerous situations. 

The purpose of numerous therapy approaches is to integrate these traumatic experiences into your life, not to subtract them. Some therapists even choose to combine different types of therapies for a guaranteed result. 

  1. Holistic Therapy

Holistic treatment for trauma involves the use of alternative techniques and therapies in lieu of traditional medical practices to address different traumatic symptoms. Holistic treatments include:

  • Massage therapy – helps people dealing with dissociation (when someone feels “disconnected” from herself or himself), which often appear in PTSD patients. 

  • Acupuncture – balances the flow of energy in the body to stimulate muscles, nerves, and connective tissue. Research shows that acupuncture may also improve sleep quality, even among patients previously diagnosed with PTSD. 

  • Yoga – different yoga styles may promote mind and body control as well as an overall sense of well-being in patients suffering from trauma. 

  • Meditation – uses techniques that promote mindfulness - a feeling of here and now. Research showed that people who engaged in meditation experienced reduced traumatic symptoms and a reduction in their depression symptoms. 

  1. Jungian Therapy or Depth Psychotherapy 

This therapy type is primarily concerned with your unconscious world and with how that unconscious world is limiting your conscious life. The main goal of Jungian therapy is to bring psychological healing to both worlds. 

Research points that Jungian therapy can help trauma patients understand and recover from these experiences through spirituality and a focus on the soul. The goal of this approach is the idea of individuation, which is a continuous process that helps us recognize our own uniqueness and live authentically. 

  1. Cognitive behavioural therapy 

The key principle of cognitive therapy is that your thought patterns affect how you feel, which in turn, can affect how you behave. 

For example, cognitive behavioural therapy shows how negative thoughts can lead to negative feelings and actions. However, if you positively reframe your thoughts, it can lead to more positive emotions and constructive behaviours.  

For example, in the guided discovery technique, therapists familiarise themselves with a patient’s viewpoint. They will then ask questions designed to broaden your thinking and challenge your beliefs. 

This process allows patients to see things from different perspectives, especially ones they may not have considered before. In doing so, patients can learn to choose a more helpful path. 

  1. Hypnotherapy 

Hypnotherapy is a popular technique for people who struggle with trauma. During a hypnotherapy session, you’re placed into a trance-like state, where you’re awake and aware but relaxed enough to reduce distractions. 

Hypnosis doesn’t rid your brain of the past. Instead, it allows you to address the even again in such a way that allows you to shed any conclusions or negative beliefs and find relief, even transformation. 

  1. Art and Music Therapy 

Trauma therapy through art can help improve mental health and support healing from trauma. This therapy typically takes many forms, including writing, forms, dance, drama, and creative art. 

One of the reasons people find this therapy helpful is that art, regardless of its form, allows the subconscious mind to reveal the fearful patterns effortlessly. 

Patients are often surprised by the illustrations they deliver because art always reveals suppressed subconscious fears and emotions. 

Music therapy, on the other hand, can help patients suffering from trauma to ground themselves by composing or writing lyrics to create affirmations and regulate their emotions and thoughts. 

Trauma is a painful emotional response that can alter how we live and interact with others. It often leads to self-harm, anxiety, or substance abuse, but that doesn’t mean there’s no way out of it. Trauma-focused treatment can help you understand your trauma and address your symptoms and problems in healthier ways, so make sure you reach for support. 

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