Common Approaches to Trauma Treatment

Posted on August 26, 2023 by Corner Canyon Publishing
Common Approaches to Trauma Treatment

Experiencing trauma can derail your health, both mentally and physically, and cause many short-term and long-term issues. These issues must be addressed in order to regain health and wellness in your life. However, healing from trauma is complex. It requires addressing both the initial trauma and health complications that have occurred due to trauma. Trauma treatment at Corner Canyon Health Centers incorporates a variety of evidence-based treatments that help you to address underlying challenges and heal from trauma. If you are struggling after treatment, this is normal. With help from a treatment center, you can address your trauma and challenges with healing and moving forward in your life. 

What Is Trauma?

Trauma is an event or circumstance that results in physical harm, emotional harm, or a feeling threatened. However, trauma is not defined by a specific event. Instead, it is defined by the way that an event impacts you. Therefore, multiple people can experience the same event, with only some individuals defining it as trauma. 

Many people can and do experience trauma in their lives. Experiencing trauma means that you are either directly involved or witnessed an event that caused you harm or immense fear. While trauma is often associated with combat or abuse, events like car accidents, natural disasters, or abusive relationships can also be traumatizing. 

For this reason, trauma must be addressed as an experience of you as an individual. Your experience with trauma will be unique compared to others. It can and does vary depending on your genetics, history, and other health challenges. 

Common Symptoms of Trauma

After trauma, it is normal to feel both mental and physical symptoms. As with any kind of harm, there is a period where you will have to work through your experience(s) and how they impacted you. Initial reactions to trauma may include:

  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Sadness
  • Numbness or dissociation
  • Inability to settle
  • Feeling on edge
  • Inability to fall or stay asleep

For some, these symptoms are delayed and can occur days or weeks after a trauma. The severity of these symptoms will range in severity and may change from day to day. Additionally, the length of symptoms will be different for each individual. However, when you work through trauma, your symptoms will dissipate. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

If you have experienced trauma and continue to have symptoms, you may be struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is often associated with combat veterans. However, anyone can develop PTSD. Risk factors for PTSD include:

  • History of trauma
  • Lack of social support during trauma
  • Experiencing violence and trauma
  • Fearing for your life during trauma
  • High-stress levels after a traumatic experience
  • Personal or family history of mental health disorders or substance abuse

To be diagnosed with PTSD, you will have symptoms in the four following categories for at least one month:

  • Re-experiencing symptoms
  • Avoidance symptoms
  • Arousal and reactivity symptoms
  • Cognition and mood symptoms

Unlike many healthy trauma responses, PTSD symptoms disrupt your life and make it hard to function in everyday life. However, similar to a healthy trauma response, the severity and duration of symptoms vary. If you are concerned that you are experiencing PTSD symptoms, working with a mental health professional can help you to get a proper diagnosis and heal. 

Trauma and Mental Health

When you experience trauma, it leads to a variety of biological changes that impact mental health. With a strong social support network and time, you can heal. However, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), trauma and abuse increase your likelihood of developing mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. 

The changes that occur due to the stress of trauma impact the brain, stress hormones in the body, and your body’s ability to regulate itself. As a result, you are more susceptible to substance use disorders (SUDs) and mental health disorders. This connection is important as it provides a better understanding of mental health disorders and SUDs when you have a history of trauma. Ideally, trauma treatment can and should be incorporated into SUD and mental health treatment when applicable.

Trauma Treatment

When you are struggling to heal from trauma or a related mental health disorder or SUD, getting treatment is important. Through evidence-based treatments, you can heal and learn how to manage symptoms. Trauma treatment at Corner Canyon Health Centers incorporates a variety of evidence-based treatments. The specifics of your treatment plan will be based on a comprehensive intake. Therefore, the unique combination of treatment will directly address your challenges and trauma history. 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

When you are struggling to heal from trauma, it can be the result of the way the memory is processed or a lack of processing of a traumatic memory. As a result of how the memory of trauma is stored, you are more likely to experience flashbacks and mood alterations due to your trauma.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), however, can help. Through eye movement, other forms of simulation, and accessing the memory of trauma, you can reprocess your trauma. A therapist leads you through each session addressing trauma in combination with eye movement and stimulation. The process of EMDR is thought to be similar to REM sleep, where you dream and process memories. 

At Corner Canyon Health Centers, EMDR is an eight-phase treatment. It is used to help clients quickly gain insight and understanding while reprocessing trauma that is an underlying cause of other mental health issues and SUDs. Through EMDR, you can both heal and be empowered to be an active participant in healing from your trauma. 

Neurofeedback: A Type of Trauma Treatment

Thoughts, emotions, and actions are all patterns. You tend to think, feel, or act similarly when you are exposed to specific stimuli. Additionally, your brain has patterns. While many of these patterns are healthy and helpful, when you are struggling with trauma and mental health challenges, some are not. 

Neurofeedback is a cutting-edge treatment where your brain waves are monitored and altered to help you feel better. Through visual and auditory feedback, you learn how to make changes in your brain. Over time, these changes become new patterns. Thus, what you learn in neurofeedback can have long-term results for trauma and mental health. 

There are many different types of neurofeedback. Trauma treatment at Corner Canyon Health Centers uses movies and video games. Essentially, you are rewarded when you alter your brain waves towards healthier patterns. 

Stellate Ganglion Block: Cutting-Edge Trauma Treatment

The stellate ganglion is a bundle of nerves in the front of the neck. It is part of the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates the fight or flight response in the brain and body. The stellate ganglion block (SGB) is a treatment that targets this specific part of your anatomy. By blocking the communication from the stellate ganglion, PTSD and trauma symptoms decrease quickly. 

A certified medical doctor at Corner Canyon Health Centers administers shots into the stellate ganglion using imaging technologies. The shot mitigates PTSD symptoms for several weeks. As a result of the decreased symptoms, you can participate in trauma treatment with more ease. Additionally, it can help you to heal by increasing sleep and improving overall functioning. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

After trauma, you will experience many difficult and deep feelings. Ranging from sadness to rage, these feelings will vary in intensity and may change daily. As a result of these emotional challenges, it is common to feel separate from your emotions or try to ignore them and push them away. However, in order to heal, it is important to process trauma and the emotions that come with it. 

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a therapeutic modality that can help. The main purpose of DBT is to learn how to feel and accept strong emotions. By improving self-awareness and self-acceptance, you are more likely to work through your emotions in a way that helps you regain health and happiness in your life. Additionally, DBT decreases the likelihood of using unhealthy coping mechanisms that often accompany trauma. You are more likely to abuse substances or consider self-harm when you do not have other tools to address these strong and deep emotions. 

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Trauma can create or alter many patterns in your life. These patterns can be found in your feelings, thoughts, and actions. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a therapeutic modality that helps you become more aware of these patterns and how they impact your life. It is a type of psychotherapy, or talk therapy, where you work with a counselor to develop healthy coping skills, manage symptoms, and improve the overall quality of your life. 

CBT is commonly used to improve mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, and PTSD. All of these are commonly found if you have a history of trauma. When you have a combination of challenges, including trauma and mental health disorders, it is important to build healthy coping skills and patterns that you can use long-term. This is where CBT is extremely helpful. The skills you learn in CBT to identify and adjust patterns can help you heal from trauma and live a happier life after treatment. 

Accelerated Resolution Therapy

Based on techniques including EMDR, accelerated resolution therapy (ART) is a type of psychotherapy that is well-researched in its effectiveness. It utilizes techniques like rapid eye movement, similar to EMDR, visualization, and exposure. The goal of these techniques is to help restructure how images are both processed and stored in the brain. This helps by decreasing negative emotions that are a result of these images. 

The specifics of visualization, exposure, and eye movement used in ART are unique based on the person, trauma, and symptoms. However, the unique combination of techniques can help you feel less responsive both physically and emotionally to your trauma. 

Group Therapy in Trauma Treatment

Working with a counselor one-on-one is often very helpful in healing from trauma. However, group therapy can also play an important role in trauma treatment. In group therapy, you work with a counselor who guides the group. You interact with your peers who are also struggling with similar issues. 

By encouraging socializing, sharing, and social engagement in a safe and supportive environment, the counselor guides and provides a place for you to get support from your peers. It is also an ideal situation to learn about others. By listening to other clients’ challenges, solutions, and ideas, you can learn new things while being supported by your peers. 

While a counselor can help point things out, build new patterns, and increase your awareness, peers in group therapy are especially effective at this. You will have a different relationship with peers and often feel a sense of empathy and connection that you do not always have with a counselor. In trauma treatment at Corner Canyon, group therapy plays an especially important role in trauma treatment that involves substance abuse issues. 

Value of Trauma Treatment

Experiencing trauma is not uncommon. However, when trauma goes untreated, it can wreak havoc in your life. Untreated trauma can negatively impact your relationships, personal life, and professional life. It increases your risk of substance abuse and mental health disorders that decrease your quality of life. Fortunately, you can heal from trauma. 

When you get help through trauma treatment, you can make real changes. Ignoring trauma or leaving it unprocessed will only create more issues in your life that get worse over time. However, trauma treatment helps you to turn things around. While trauma may have impacted you in a big way, you do not have to suffer. Ultimately, trauma treatment gives you the opportunity to rebuild health and happiness in your life. 

Addressing Underlying Causes in Trauma Treatment

Struggling with a mental health disorder or SUD can also cause many issues in your life. Treatment for mental health disorders and SUDs is important. However, if you have a history of trauma, it likely plays a role in the symptoms that you are experiencing. Therefore, it is important that it is addressed in order for you to heal and build long-term skills. 

Trauma treatment helps to address underlying causes that are impacting your substance use and mental health. When you go through a trauma treatment program, you address both the trauma itself and the symptoms you are experiencing. This is why a blend of different therapeutic modalities is important. For example, EMDR can help you to reprocess a memory, while CBT can help you understand and adjust patterns that are impacting your life. 

Trauma Treatment at Corner Canyon

Getting treatment for trauma is vital. It can help you regain health and happiness in your life that you may have lost after trauma. Trauma treatment at Corner Canyon Health Centers is a unique blend of evidence-based treatments that are combined with you in mind. All trauma treatments described above are available at Corner Canyon and can be incorporated into your treatment. 

The process of treatment begins with a comprehensive assessment. This will help staff to understand your history of trauma, symptoms, and related challenges with your mental health or substance abuse. Then, you will begin an individualized treatment plan. It will incorporate multiple different types of therapeutic modalities that will address both symptoms and underlying causes of these symptoms. 

Staff at Corner Canyon Health Centers also understand the benefit of you feeling safe while in treatment. Therefore, from the moment you enter for assessment, your needs will be taken into consideration. You need to feel safe and comfortable, knowing that you are and will be cared for in order to open up and address the trauma you have experienced. Taking the first steps to get trauma treatment is difficult. Corner Canyon makes it easy by welcoming you and helping you every step of the way. 

Trauma is a complex condition that has various approaches to utilize when overcoming it. At Corner Canyon Health Centers, we understand that everyone’s experience and background are unique. Therefore, we offer multiple effective and safe therapeutic modalities that are adjusted to meet every client’s individual needs. Our goal is to help you heal your mental health by addressing all underlying challenges that play a role in your symptoms. We can help you build skills to manage symptoms while healing from trauma, mental health challenges, and related substance abuse. To learn more about our programs and specialized trauma treatments, call us today at (877) 717-6237. We look forward to helping you regain health and happiness in your life.