What Are the Best Practices for Trauma Treatment?

Published On: June 30, 2023Categories: Mental Health Treatment, Trauma

Trauma can impact any person, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or socio-economic status. Those who have lived through a terrible event, like sexual assault or a natural disaster are prone to experience lingering impacts on their physical and mental health. 

While not everyone who experiences trauma will have residual effects, those who experience negative symptoms can benefit from trauma-informed treatment. In this article, we’ll explore the best trauma treatment programs and therapies for maximum healing.

What is the trauma-informed treatment?

Trauma-informed care, or trauma-informed treatment is a framework of practice in the mental health services field that acknowledges the high likelihood of trauma experiences in populations served. Thus, trauma-informed treatment accommodates symptoms, experiences and needs unique to those who have lived through a terrible event.

Trauma-informed treatment is distinct from trauma treatment, as it doesn’t directly address the sexual, emotional or physical trauma itself. Rather, it is designed to avoid re-traumatization and provide support for those who have lived through various traumas. Awareness of trauma and its impact is the central focus of this perspective.

Providers who do not implement a trauma-informed approach may disservice their clients by triggering intrusive thoughts or physiological symptoms. It takes a conscious effort and professional training for practitioners to avoid re-traumatizing clients, thereby providing a safe and comfortable environment for healing from trauma.

What are the best practices for trauma treatment?

A holistic approach to treating trauma is likely to be the most effective. This is likely to include therapy, medication and lifestyle changes (such as diet, sleep and exercise). Some of these treatments are used for various mental health disorders or can be used to treat comorbid disorders, too.

Therapy and medication

Those who live have experienced a traumatic event and experience lingering effects on mood and behavior are often diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Individuals who suffer from PTSD are prone to intrusive memories, avoidance behaviors, changes in mood and physical symptoms.

A combination of therapy and medication is an effective solution for minimizing symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, antidepressants like Zoloft and Paxil and anti-anxiety medications have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of PTSD. Prazosin can also be used to address nightmares related to trauma.

Inpatient trauma treatment

For those who are experiencing extreme psychological distress in the aftermath of trauma, inpatient treatment may be appropriate to ensure safety. Inpatient trauma treatment may be necessary for those who require medical supervision or are experiencing suicidal ideation in response to trauma.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that can promote healing from trauma through the process of understanding and modifying a person’s negative thought patterns. This treatment occurs over numerous sessions and aims to improve emotional regulation and self-perception.

According to the American Psychological Association, CBT for PTSD has proven to be effective in decreasing symptoms and changing patterns of behavior that interfere with optimal daily functioning.

There is also a branch of CBT called trauma-focused CBT which was first designed for use with adolescents but has since been expanded to adults as well. Trauma-focused CBT includes psychoeducation about trauma and its symptoms, retelling the personal story of trauma and improving coping strategies, such as progressive muscle relaxation.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a type of intervention used for those who exhibit anxiety when confronted with something feared. These avoidance behaviors may reduce tension in the short term, but interfere with functioning when the avoidance disrupts daily tasks and emotional well-being.

Rather than avoiding the trigger, exposure therapy teaches a person to encounter the thing feared. Exposure therapy breaks a pattern of avoidance behavior and improves coping skills. 

Narrative therapy

Often considered a form of exposure therapy, narrative therapy is a type of talk therapy that allows a person to process a traumatic event by sharing the experience of it, either in writing or verbally.

This type of therapy can occur one-on-one or in groups and allows individuals to explore a traumatic event and the events of their life before and after that giving it context. By retelling the story, an individual is able to feel some agency over the event and reclaim their personal story.

Find healing from trauma 

Find treatment for trauma with Tapestry. Reach out today to find intrinsic change for a meaningful life by inquiring here to receive more information about treatment programs. Leave trauma in the past and take control of your future.

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