Trauma Therapy Near Me
Finding a trauma therapist near me
It may be difficult to find a therapist specializing in trauma therapy near you and you may worry about finding the right help. But you can put your mind at rest that it will be an equally effective option to go for online counselling. Online you will be able to choose the best therapist according to your needs. The therapist will attend to the unique challenges and opportunities that you are facing as a result of the trauma that you experienced.
Living through traumatic events can be distressing and challenging. The emotional response to these traumatic events can also be very challenging. If you have experienced trauma, there is help available out there.
For example, if the symptoms are impacting your daily life and you need additional support from that provided by family and friends, you can contact a mental healthcare professional. With professional support, guidance, and treatment, it is possible to overcome trauma.
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Looking for a specialist? Get matched with a trauma therapist today.
What Is Trauma?
When a person experiences a distressing event or a series of painful events, such as abuse, a bad accident, rape or other sexual violence, combat, or a natural disaster, they may have an emotional response called trauma.
Normal responses to traumatic events include immediate reactions after a traumatic event and long-term reactions. Immediate reactions include shock and denial, while more long-term reactions may include mood swings, relationship challenges, flashbacks, and physical symptoms.
Since the trauma itself may have been unavoidable, these responses are normal. Although, their effects can still cause problems to the person and to the people around them. Professional support from a mental health professional would help the person navigate these challenges.
Equally important, reactions to trauma can be both emotional and physical. The emotional response may lead to intense feelings that impact a person in terms of attitude, behavior, functioning, and view of the world.1 As a result, a person may also experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or an adjustment disorder following a traumatic event. This is a disorder characterized by a belief that life and safety are at risk with feelings of fear, terror, or helplessness.
Psychological Symptoms of Emotional Trauma
Emotional responses to trauma can be any or a combination of the following:
- Changes in attention, concentration, and memory retrieval
- Changes in behavior
- Changes in attitude
- Changes in worldview
- Difficulty functioning
- Denial, or refusing to believe that the trauma actually occurred
- Bargaining, which is similar to negotiation (e.g. “I will do this, or be this, if I could only fix the problem.”)
- Avoidance, such as disregarding one’s own troubles or avoiding emotionally uncomfortable situations with others
- Mood swings
- Guilt or shame
- Blame (including self-blame)
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of interest in activities
- Emotional numbness
Physical Symptoms of Emotional Trauma
Emotional trauma can also manifest in the form of physical symptoms. These include:
- Increased heart rate
- Body aches or pains
- Tense muscles
- Feeling on edge
- Jumpiness or startling easily
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sexual dysfunction, difficulty becoming aroused, or difficulty reaching orgasm
- Appetite changes
- Excessive alertness
What is Trauma Therapy?
Undoubtedly, psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is the primary treatment option for trauma. There are types of psychotherapy that focus specifically on trauma, such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, which are effective in treating trauma. In addition, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a method that involves small, controlled exposures to elements related to the traumatic experience to help overcome the trauma.
Treatment plans for those with PTSD regularly include medications to help with mood and sleep.
It also is important to maintain routines, eat regularly, exercise, get enough quality sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.8 Stress plays a role in trauma, so stress management and relaxation can make a big difference.
Types of Trauma Therapy Treatments
There are many types of trauma therapy treatments that have research evidence supporting their effectiveness. The following are a few of the main types of evidence-based treatments.
Prolonged Exposure (PE)
Prolonged exposure (PE) is a treatment in which a person is gradually exposed to their trauma-related memories, fears, emotions, and feelings about the event(s) to learn that these are no longer dangerous or need to be avoided. Patients typically meet with a therapist once a week for three to four months.
PE is strongly recommended by the American Psychological Association as a first-line intervention for PTSD. In one study, 71% of participants experienced a decrease in PTSD symptoms with PE treatment.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) focuses on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and the relationship between them. A trauma-focused therapist might help a client understand how they are thinking about their trauma and how to shift it into more helpful thinking.
CBT usually takes 12 to 16 sessions. This treatment is strongly recommended by the APA for the treatment of PTSD.
There is also trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, or TF-CBT, which is also evidence-based. It’s designed for children and adolescents but includes their caregivers as part of the therapy.
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) is a trauma-focused therapy designed to treat PTSD. It helps patients challenge and modify unhelpful beliefs related to the trauma. Writing a detailed account of the traumatic event allows patients to re-conceptualize the event to reduce its impact on one’s current life.
Patients typically meet with a therapist for about 12 sessions. CPT is considered a first-line intervention for PTSD and is strongly recommended by the APA.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) was developed as a treatment for PTSD. It involves processing the memory and the way it is stored in the brain, which reduces problematic triggers and symptoms.
During this therapy, rhythmic eye movements are combined with focus on memories of the trauma. EMDR usually involves six to 12 weekly or twice-weekly sessions.
Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)
Narrative exposure therapy (NET) focuses on the stories people tell themselves about their lives, which impacts their well-being and how they view themselves.
With the help of a therapist who is actively listening, offering connection and positive feedback, the patient creates a chronological narrative of their life, including both traumatic experiences and positive experiences. This helps reframe how they perceive their life and memories overall.
Benefits of Trauma Therapy
Traumatic experiences can impact a person’s life and relationships, as well as cause difficulties at work, school, and in social settings. Trauma therapy can improve quality of life.
Although it can be challenging to face those difficult events, with support and psychotherapy, symptoms can lessen over time.
Some other benefits of trauma therapy include:
- Learn coping skills to handle distorted or negative thoughts and feelings
- Reframe the traumatic experience and make some sense of it
- Improve close relationships and connections with people
- Reduce irritability, anger, frustration, and increase peace of mind
- Eliminate or reduce triggers and symptoms of PTSD
In conclusion, treatment and support are available, even online, when it may be hard to meet with a therapist face-to-face. A mental health professional may provide psychotherapy and other support to help overcome the trauma. It is important to seek help if trauma symptoms impact daily life.