Remembering and talking about traumatic events can be intimidating and scary. However, it is necessary, especially if you are seeking assistance to manage the impacts of those events. The decision to get treatment for mental health can be daunting, but with the support of a therapist knowledgeable in trauma, recovery is possible and achievable. Understanding the advantages of trauma therapy can provide the encouragement needed to start the journey and begin the healing process.
What is trauma therapy?
Trauma therapy is a type of therapeutic treatment aimed at helping clients handle their emotional reactions resulting from traumatic experiences. Not all people who experience trauma will have lasting negative impacts. However, traumatic events can have far-reaching consequences on a person’s financial, psychological, physical, work, and social lives, even years after the event has occurred.
Trauma encompasses a broad range of experiences, from severe injury, sexual assault, and life-threatening incidents, to bullying, ongoing abuse and neglect, and homelessness. As a result, trauma therapy must be both extensive and tailored to the individual. People who have experienced trauma may deal with it differently and may require therapy to help them overcome the challenges they face in their daily lives.
What are the benefits of trauma therapy?
Trauma can have a profound impact on your life, sometimes in very negative ways. You may struggle to function properly, and your symptoms may be triggered by seemingly minor events. You may even feel like you’ve lost your sense of self. Trauma therapy can provide significant and transformative benefits to help you rebuild your life.
Your therapist acts as a compassionate listener to your traumatic experiences, with no personal motives or biases. During therapy, the focus is solely on you and your experiences, creating a unique and unparalleled relationship. People in your life, such as family members, friends, coworkers, etc., all have established relationships with you and will always require a certain level of attention and consideration.
When speaking with your therapist, they handle the relationship, freeing you from the responsibility. The therapeutic relationship is designed to be one-sided, solely focused on you and your needs. Being heard and acknowledged are fundamental to the process of trauma therapy and recovery.
Learning more and deeper about your trauma
Trauma symptoms are often most severe when you feel powerless and uncertain as to why you are experiencing fear, anger, or despair. A crucial aspect of trauma therapy is exploring your traumatic history. For many, a traumatic event in adulthood can bring to light unresolved traumatic experiences from their past. These past traumas may have been masked by inadequate, and sometimes harmful, coping mechanisms.
A qualified and experienced therapist can guide you through the process of exploring your memories, providing you with greater understanding and insight into your experiences. The more you understand yourself and the structure of your trauma, the more you and your therapist can work together to reduce the impact of accumulated traumatic stress.
Develop healthy coping skills
The goal of trauma therapy is to empower you to develop and strengthen coping strategies that will help you effectively manage the emotions and reminders related to your traumatic experience. Techniques such as anxiety management and relaxation techniques are often taught as part of this process. By learning these new coping skills, you increase your resilience and ability to bounce back from trauma.
Your therapist can assist you in acquiring new techniques to manage daily life. These coping skills can address both practical challenges stemming from trauma, such as a fear of crowds or heights, as well as emotional difficulties, such as anger management. They can also help you navigate significant life changes, such as finding a job that brings you more satisfaction or enhancing your marriage.
Overcoming shame and low self-worth
Trauma therapy can help you overcome feelings of low self-worth and shame that often stem from traumatic experiences. Negative experiences, such as criticism or bullying, can lead to psychological wounding and internalized feelings of worthlessness.
The root causes of these feelings are addressed in therapy. This can help heal past traumas and foster a healthier sense of self-worth. By connecting with a realistic view of yourself, you can leave behind the toxic shame and self-rejection that may have held you back.
Rebuilding one’s sense of self is a crucial aspect of recovery from trauma. Trauma can shake the foundation of a person’s identity and leave them feeling lost and unsure of who they are. The impact of trauma can leave you feeling fragmented and confused about your identity. It can make it difficult to trust yourself and others, and can lead to a loss of sense of self.
In therapy, you work with your therapist to understand how the traumatic experience has affected your sense of self. You also explore new ways of understanding and experiencing your identity. The goal is to help you find a new sense of stability and security within yourself, and develop a positive and empowering self-image. Through this process, you can regain control over your life and move forward in a more positive and fulfilling direction.
At Mindshift Psychological Services, our skilled therapists possess a deep understanding of the relationship between trauma and mental health. We adopt a comprehensive and trauma-focused therapeutic approach that addresses the complete well-being of our clients. If you or someone you know is struggling with trauma and in need of support, please feel free to call us at (714) 584-9700.