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How To Treat Psychological Trauma

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Body Movement And Trauma

How to Treat Trauma- Helping Trauma Survivors Feel Safe Again

Weve all heard the reference to Pavlovs dogsthe bell rings and the dogs salivate because they know it is dinnertime. Pavlov discovered many more things than that dogs drool. Once, his lab was flooded with freezing water that nearly filled the cages of the dogs. When they were finally able to get the dogs free, the dogs interacted differently with the world around them. They seemed hopeless.

Humans work the same way.

PTSD rates were 16% for survivors of 911, and 33% for survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Why? Traumatologists speculate it was because during 911, survivors were running away from the catastrophe to save their lives. In Katrina, the victims were airlifted out and placed in gyms, for sometimes months at a time. Those in lower socioeconomic levels had no money, no home, and nowhere to gothey were trapped.

The body is designed to move away from danger, but if the body cant move, trauma can set in.

People With Substance Use Disorders

There is clearly a correlation between trauma and substance use as well as the presence of posttraumatic stress and substance use disorders. Alcohol and drug use can be, for some, an effort to manage traumatic stress and specific PTSD symptoms. Likewise, people with substance use disorders are at higher risk of developing PTSD than people who do not abuse substances. Counselors working with trauma survivors or clients who have substance use disorders have to be particularly aware of the possibility of the other disorder arising.

Advice To Counselors: Using Information About Biology And Trauma

  • Educate your clients:

    Frame reexperiencing the event, hyperarousal, sleep disturbances, and other physical symptoms as physiological reactions to extreme stress.

    Communicate that treatment and other wellness activities can improve both psychological and physiological symptoms . You may need to refer certain clients to a psychiatrist who can evaluate them and, if warranted, prescribe psycho-tropic medication to address severe symptoms.

  • Increased charitable giving and volunteerism.

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How Do You Recover From Psychological Trauma

Treating psychological trauma with non-drug-based therapies has been shown most efficacious in studies out of South America and Mexico as well as the US and internationally.9 Many people are not aware that such services exist, with such a wide variety of treatment options that do not involve drug therapy. No two peoples path to recovery is ever the same, so some models of the healing process will naturally apply to some patients more than others.

Individual Group And Family Psychotherapy

How To Treat Trauma

Evidence-based psychotherapy to treat trauma-related symptoms/impairment will be provided if clinically indicated based on an initial clinical assessment. Recommendations may involve a program of individual, group, or family therapy to assist children, youth, and families in recovering from and managing trauma-related symptoms and impairment. Treatment plans will be individualized to minimize the risk of adverse reactions while maximizing the likelihood of treatment success.

Treatment models utilized include :

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Coping With Trauma Tip : Minimize Media Exposure

While some survivors or witnesses of a traumatic event can regain a sense of control by watching media coverage of the event or by observing the recovery effort, others find that the reminders are further traumatizing. Excessive exposure to images of a disturbing eventsuch as repeatedly viewing video clips on social media or news sitescan even create traumatic stress in people not directly affected by the event, or cause those who were to be retraumatized.

Limit your media exposure to the traumatic event. Dont watch the news or check social media just before bed, and refrain from repeatedly viewing disturbing footage.

Try to avoid distressing images and video clips. If you want to stay up-to-date on events, read newspaper reports rather than watching television or viewing video clips of the event.

If coverage makes you feel overwhelmed, take a complete break from the news. Avoid TV and online news and stop checking social media for a few days or weeks, until your traumatic stress symptoms ease up and youre able to move on.

What Treatment Was Like For Me

  • Helps you process and make sense of your trauma. It involves calling the trauma to mind while paying attention to a back-and-forth movement or sound .

There are other types of trauma-focused psychotherapy that are also recommended for people with PTSD. These include:

  • Brief Eclectic Psychotherapy A therapy in which you practice relaxation skills, recall details of the traumatic memory, reframe negative thoughts about the trauma, write a letter about the traumatic event, and hold a farewell ritual to leave trauma in the past.
  • Narrative Exposure Therapy Developed for people who have experienced trauma from ongoing war, conflict, and organized violence. You talk through stressful life events in order and put them together into a story.
  • Specific cognitive behavioral therapies for PTSDInclude a limited number of psychotherapies shown to work for PTSD where the provider helps you learn how to change unhelpful behaviors or thoughts.


Medications that have been shown to be helpful in treating PTSD symptoms are some of the same medications also used for symptoms of depression and anxiety. These are antidepressant medications called SSRIs and SNRIs . SSRIs and SNRIs affect the level of naturally occurring chemicals in the brain called serotonin and/or norepinephrine. These chemicals play a role in brain cell communication and affect how you feel.

There are four antidepressant medications that are recommended for PTSD:

  • Sertraline
  • Fluoxetine
  • Venlafaxine

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In My Experience Understanding The How And Why Makes Me Feel Empowered To Be Able To Adapt My Behaviour Or Environment To Make It Much Less Stressful And Anxiety Inducing

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence which produces guidelines on best practice in health care recommends treatments for particular mental health problems rather than for trauma overall. This could affect what treatment you’re offered on the NHS.

To find out about treatments for particular conditions, see our mental health A-Z.

Trauma-informed care

Some mental health services are starting to follow an approach called trauma-informed care. If a service says it is trauma-informed, this means all staff should follow principles such as:

  • understanding how trauma can affect people, including how mental health problems can be reactions to trauma
  • asking sensitively about past trauma, and offering appropriate support if you disclose it
  • being aware of the potential for mental health services to cause harm if delivered without trauma awareness
  • understanding your strengths and recognising what has helped you survive and cope
  • being trustworthy, transparent and involving you in your care.

“For abuse by religious cult, I found SilverCloud online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy the most use. It covers all aspects of being better: rationalising, self-care, journaling, small improvements.”

What if I’m not offered the right type of treatment?

If you don’t feel like you are offered treatment that is right for you, you could talk to the provider and explain this to them. If that doesn’t work you could make a complaint.

What Is Psychological Trauma

How to Treat Emotional Trauma Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Podcast w/ Dr. David Puder

Psychological trauma is from an event such as a violent attack, accident, or injury. It can also be from ongoing stress such as battling life-threatening illnesses, bullying, or domestic violence. It can also be from surgery or the death of a loved one.

No two individuals trauma will ever be the same. They will always interpret and experience their traumatic events differently.

The way they respond to emotionally traumatic events will depend on their background, developmental history, identity, current state of mental well-being, and how they consciously and unconsciously interpret information.

Emotional trauma can often be very devastating to a persons psychological health. It can cause harm to an individuals sense of self. Trauma has the power to disrupt a persons daily life and force them down a spiral of fear.

  • It can result from:
  • Anxiety
  • Anger

Treatment for psychological trauma can include cognitive-behavioral therapy, somatic experiencing, or EMDR .

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Do Children React Differently Than Adults

Children and teens can have extreme reactions to trauma, but some of their symptoms may not be the same as adults. Symptoms sometimes seen in very young children , these symptoms can include:

  • Wetting the bed after having learned to use the toilet
  • Forgetting how to or being unable to talk
  • Acting out the scary event during playtime
  • Being unusually clingy with a parent or other adult

Older children and teens are more likely to show symptoms similar to those seen in adults. They may also develop disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive behaviors. Older children and teens may feel guilty for not preventing injury or deaths. They may also have thoughts of revenge.

What Is Psychological Or Emotional Trauma

The word trauma comes from the greek word troma meaning wound. Psychological trauma refers to damage to the psyche from stressful or traumatic life events or experiences. Psychological trauma, also referred to as emotional trauma, lies at the root of many psychological diagnoses including post-traumatic stress disorder . PTSD is one diagnosis that is predicated directly on an underlying history of trauma.

For individuals taking part in PCH Treatment Center trauma recovery programs, healing is usually a centerpiece of our therapeutic work. The experience of psychological trauma is a subjective one. How someone responds to trauma depends largely on the individuals emotional background, developmental history, identity, current state of psychological well-being, and how they consciously and unconsciously process threatening information. When many people experience the same catastrophic occurrence not all of them are psychologically traumatized. Additionally, mental preparation can prevent or lessen the experience of trauma, such as for an impending catastrophic event. The difference between stress and trauma is how an individual processes threatening information and incorporates it into their psyche. The effects of trauma can be more pronounced when it is recurrent or unpredictable. For example, repeated physical, emotional or sexual abuse can be severely traumatic, especially in a relationship where the victim is dependent on the abuser for survival needs .

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Effects Of Child Abuse And Neglect

All types of abuse and neglect leave lasting scars. Some of these scars might be physical, but emotional scarring has long lasting effects throughout life, damaging a childs sense of self, their future relationships, and ability to function at home, work and school.

The effects of abuse and neglect on a child include:

Lack of trust and relationship difficulties. If you cant trust your parents, who can you trust? Without this base, it is very difficult to learn to trust people or know who is trustworthy. This can lead to difficulty maintaining relationships in adulthood. It can also lead to unhealthy relationships because the adult doesnt know what a good relationship is.

Core feelings of being worthless. If youve been told over and over again as a child that you are stupid or no good, it is very difficult to overcome these core feelings. As they grow up, abused kids may neglect their education or settle for low-paying jobs because they dont believe they are worth more. Sexual abuse survivors, with the stigma and shame surrounding the abuse, often struggle with a feeling of being damaged.

Trouble regulating emotions. Abused children cannot express emotions safely. As a result, the emotions get stuffed down, coming out in unexpected ways. Adult survivors of child abuse can struggle with unexplained anxiety, depression, or anger. They may turn to alcohol or drugs to numb out the painful feelings.

What Is Vicarious Trauma And How Is It Treated

Are you a victim of Second Hand Trauma and what is it ...





‘Traumais’exposuretoactualorthreateneddeath,seriousinjury,orsexualviolenceinoneofthefollowingways:directlyexperiencingthetraumaticevent witnessing,inperson,thetraumaticeventasitoccurredtoothers.Learningthatthetraumaticeventoccurredtoaclosefamilymemberorfriendmusthavebeenviolentoraccidental) orexperiencingrepeatedorextremeexposuretoaversivedetailsofthetraumaticevent.’

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Get Psychological Trauma Treatment In San Diego Today

Whether youve been suffering for a month or years, youll receive quality-care at our top-notch facility in San Diego. While psychological trauma can be stressful, our experienced professionals help you heal.

Were your one-stop-shop for all of your psychological trauma needs. Youll receive a case-by-case basis where our team will work together to provide you the best action for your needs for long-term success.

Alternative To Meds Center Holistic Treatment For Ptsd Depression Anxiety Insomnia

For nearly 2 decades, Alternative to Meds Center has helped clients overcome mental health challenges with safe tapering methods and holistic alternative routes all aimed at recovery of natural mental health. We invite you to review our services overview page and become familiar with the types of therapies used successfully in our inpatient recovery programs.

1. Gros DF, Price M, Magruder KM, Frueh BC. Symptom overlap in posttraumatic stress disorder and major depression. Psychiatry Res. 2012 Apr 30 196:267-70. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2011.10.022. Epub 2012 Mar 3. PMID: 22386220 PMCID: PMC3415314.

Originally Published by Lyle Murphy

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Prevalence Of Traumatic Events

Studies conducted in the 1990s attempted to identify and describe the prevalence of traumatic events in nonclinical samples. Resnick et al.2 found that lifetime exposure to any type of traumatic event was 69 percent in a sample of 4,008 adult U.S. women. The National Comorbidity Survey3 indicated that 60 percent of men and 51 percent of women reported experiencing at least one traumatic event in their lifetimes.

Most of the research has focused on assessing the burden of trauma in different populations. Not surprisingly, studies among groups at risk of occupational exposure to trauma, such as police officers, firefighters, and military service members, have shown high rates of trauma exposure.4 Several studies have examined the prevalence of traumatic events among college students. These studies all showed that exposure to traumatic events was common, with lifetime prevalence ranging from 39 to 84 percent.5-7

Tip : Reach Out To Others For Support

PTSD Treatment Without Reliving the Trauma

PTSD can make you feel disconnected from others. You may be tempted to withdraw from social activities and your loved ones. But its important to stay connected to life and the people who care about you. You dont have to talk about the trauma if you dont want to, but the caring support and companionship of others is vital to your recovery. Reach out to someone you can connect with for an uninterrupted period of time, someone who will listen when you want to talk without judging, criticizing, or continually getting distracted. That person may be your significant other, a family member, a friend, or a professional therapist. Or you could try:

Volunteering your time or reaching out to a friend in need. This is not only a great way to connect to others, but can also help you reclaim your sense of control.

Joining a PTSD support group. This can help you feel less isolated and alone and also provide invaluable information on how to cope with symptoms and work towards recovery.

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Get Help For Mental Illness

Many people will experience a traumatic event at some point in their lives. Some may experience mild symptoms of shock and will recover quickly. Others will find it hard to cope, and symptoms may worsen. They may turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their emotions.

If you or a loved one have experienced a traumatic event or have turned to drugs and alcohol to help soothe symptoms, get in touch with us today. At Addiction Rehab Treatment, we can help guide you to the right facility to get the help you need.

Whether you need help finding the right mental health center or help with substance abuse resulting from trauma, we can guide you on the road to recovery.

Recommended Treatments: Treatments With The Most Research Support

Trauma-focused Psychotherapies

Trauma-focused Psychotherapies are the most highly recommended type of treatment for PTSD. “Trauma-focused” means that the treatment focuses on the memory of the traumatic event or its meaning. These treatments use different techniques to help you process your traumatic experience. Some involve visualizing, talking, or thinking about the traumatic memory. Others focus on changing unhelpful beliefs about the trauma. They usually last about 8-16 sessions.


What Treatment was Like for Me

In PTSD therapy, you and your therapist work together to set goals and develop new skills. The work may be hard, but the outcome will be worth it.

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Why Do Some People Develop Ptsd And Other People Do Not

It is important to remember that not everyone who lives through a dangerous event develops PTSD. In fact, most people will not develop the disorder.

Many factors play a part in whether a person will develop PTSD. Some examples are listed below. Risk factors make a person more likely to develop PTSD. Other factors, called resilience factors, can help reduce the risk of the disorder.

Some factors that increase risk for PTSD include:

  • Living through dangerous events and traumas
  • Getting hurt
  • Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
  • Having little or no social support after the event
  • Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home
  • Having a history of mental illness or substance abuse

Some factors that may promote recovery after trauma include:

  • Seeking out support from other people, such as friends and family
  • Finding a support group after a traumatic event
  • Learning to feel good about ones own actions in the face of danger
  • Having a positive coping strategy, or a way of getting through the bad event and learning from it
  • Being able to act and respond effectively despite feeling fear

Researchers are studying the importance of these and other risk and resilience factors, including genetics and neurobiology. With more research, someday it may be possible to predict who is likely to develop PTSD and to prevent it.

Know When To Limit The Stress

8 Strategies For Effective Childhood Trauma Recovery

Understanding the different nervous systems functions will help you know when enough is enough for your patient.

Study the symptoms of the activation of the somatic, autonomic, sympathetic, and parasympathetic nervous systems. This is imperative, and if you cannot slowly uncover the stressful situations in a way that the patient can manage it without engaging shutdown mode, you will end up doing more damage than good.

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