Although they produce severe short and long-term emotional pain and mental distress, reactions to trauma are normal. Fear, paranoia, anger, isolation, anxiety, and depression are ways of dealing with a traumatic event. However, the healing process can take years. In some cases, the person who experienced the trauma never heals from it.
Unfortunately, many of the methods that therapists use to treat clients affected by trauma can potentially do more harm than good. Therapy often asks clients to recall painful events of the past. As a result, the client must relive the trauma over and again. Trauma-informed care can help clients heal from past traumas without reliving the painful past. To learn more about this treatment option, please contact The Willows at Red Oak today at 855.773.0614.
Emotional or mental trauma is a person’s response to a deeply disturbing or distressing event. Examples of traumatic events include:
- Death of a loved one
- Natural disaster
- Physical pain or injury
A person who has been traumatized by the event is unable to cope. They may experience feelings of helplessness or fear with a diminished sense of self. Although responses to traumatic events vary from person to person, the common factor is the person’s inability to manage the symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition develops through the years after the event.
What is Retraumatization?
One of the challenges of treatment specialists in addiction treatment centers is identifying the root cause of an addiction or mental health issue. Treating an individual who has suffered from trauma becomes more difficult because identifying the root cause of their condition means subjecting the client to memories and feelings. This method of digging into the past to determine the current problem can trigger retraumatization.
Retraumatization is any situation that triggers painful reactions and feelings associated with past trauma. Standard treatment methods, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy, can help clients in recovery. However, they may retraumatize a person with PTSD because they often probe the client’s past.
The Benefits of Trauma-Informed Care
Trauma-informed care is an approach that assumes a person has a history of trauma. A treatment specialist may recognize the symptoms of PTSD or a similar condition after a comprehensive assessment of the client. The focus of treatment is to determine what has happened to the person instead of what is wrong.
The purpose of trauma-informed care is to develop a support system for the client instead of treating the trauma symptoms. A therapist may focus on where the client is now and help them move forward. There are several benefits of trauma-informed care, including:
- Ensuring physical and emotional safety for the client
- Giving the client more control and choice
- Providing treatment around collaboration and sharing power
- Respecting boundaries and developing trust
- Prioritizing empowerment and skill-building as a path to healing
The core elements of trauma-informed care are safety, empowerment, boundaries, autonomy, and choice. Each of these elements is practiced in a collaborative relationship between the client and the therapist. Substance abuse treatment programs integrate trauma-informed care as a form of dual diagnosis. The client learns how to manage PTSD while overcoming addiction at the same time.
Trauma-Informed Care is Available at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery
The effects of trauma can be devastating. However, with the right help, you can recover from a traumatic event and conquer your addiction to drugs or alcohol. If you are ready to move forward with treatment, contact The Willows at Red Oak Recovery at 855.773.0614. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to help you get on the path to a lasting recovery.