What is Trauma Therapy?

Trauma, no matter what age, can cause anxiety, and lead to self-harm, substance abuse, isolation, and many more detrimental symptoms. According to research conducted by SAMSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), 61% of men and 51% of women will experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. 

Every person’s trauma is different and there isn’t one type of therapy that will fit every single person or situation the same.

Gender, childhood environment growing up, medications, diversity, poverty, and more are all factors that help determine what type of trauma-focused therapy is best suited for their trauma symptoms. This article will look at the most common forms of trauma therapy and the ways someone can get help and on the path to healing from their trauma.

What Defines “Trauma?”

Trauma can be defined as the result of a particularly harmful or jarring event that overwhelms the person. This can be met with fear, horror, feelings of helplessness, and stress. These symptoms can follow the person for years, hindering their ability to cope. 

Many traumatic situations, such as injury, sexual assault, homelessness, physical and/or mental abuse, and more can cause trauma to linger in a person and can cause not only fear and stress when met with situations that remind them of that traumatic event, but can also take a toll on a person’s health, such as an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, and high blood pressure, just to name a few.

Because trauma can last a lifetime, it is imperative to seek professional help to address and ease the mental and physical suffering that can accompany it. No one deserves to live with their trauma and that is why trauma therapy is such a beneficial therapy to have. 

What is Trauma Therapy?

Trauma therapy is a type of therapy that is designed to help a person deal with the emotional and mental responses that are caused by a traumatic event or events. Because trauma can be overwhelming at times, trauma therapy aims to heal the effects of their trauma, no matter what age the person is, trauma therapy can be extremely beneficial. 

Types of Trauma Therapy

There are a few forms of therapy designed to help and heal those with trauma. Here are some of the more commonplace forms of therapy a therapist may use to help you overcome trauma-induced symptoms and issues you are dealing with. These can also be used to treat PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder):

Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE): This type of therapy exposes you to the source of your trauma and fear until you aren’t afraid of it anymore. 

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT): This type involves testing and challenging the perspective you’ve had on why the traumatic event happened to you and how you’ve learned to cope with it.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT): This type of trauma therapy is designed for children and adolescents and it can help address false beliefs and unhealthy behavior patterns.

Eye movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): This trauma treatment uses rhythmic bilateral (left to right) stimulation to help release any and all emotions that have been blocked by trauma. Thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations can be activated as the stimulation helps reduce the emotion and physiological reaction to your past trauma. Negative thoughts that have been associated with that trauma can be replaced with more positive and accepting beliefs.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy: Dialectical behavior therapy aims to better regulate the emotions that stem from your trauma. This form of therapy has been shown to be effective in helping those experiencing suicidal thoughts. This method has also shown to be effective with a number of mental health disorders such as PTSD. Dialectical behavioral therapy can help you learn new skills to curb unhealthy behaviors.

Benefits of Trauma Therapy

Trauma therapy has been shown to be very effective. Some of the potential benefits of trauma therapy include:

  • Reducing negative trauma symptoms (heart palpitations, high blood pressure, etc.)
  • Putting focus on the present not the past
  • Overcoming addictions
  • Helping reduce or eliminate self-harm
  • Giving ways to implement good coping skills
  • Improving self-esteem
  • Improving productivity and self-wort
  • Helping with anxiety and stress

Get the Help You Deserve Today 

When you choose Stanley Wipfli as your therapist, you get experience and care. Stanley Wipfli is a licensed trauma therapist based in downtown San Francisco who specializes in therapy for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

You don’t have to continue to suffer when help is available that can transform your life. With therapy, it’s possible to discover how to create a life where you thrive.

If you are looking for a compassionate and knowledgeable trauma therapist, contact Stanley to set up a free 15-minute consultation. In-person therapy is available in downtown San Francisco as well as virtual therapy for California residents.