Importance of Trauma and Therapy
What is Trauma?
Effects of Trauma
Causes of Trauma
There are many forms of trauma, but here is a list of common causes. It’s important to note that trauma can result from anything that causes psychological or emotional distress.
- Victim or witness to a crime or terrorism
- Near-death experience
- Death of a loved one
Symptoms of Trauma
Traumatic events can affect people in a variety of ways. Two people that experience the same trauma may experience different symptoms. These are some common trauma symptoms; however, the list is not exhaustive. Some people can experience all or none of these. And in some cases, their symptoms may manifest differently.
- Intrusive or negative thoughts
- Night sweats and nightmares
- Visual images of the event
- Difficulty concentrating or loss of memory
- Unexplained dramatic mood swings
- Extreme anxiety
- Fear of leaving the home
- Panic attacks and racing heart
- Feeling on edge and jumpy
- Sleep disturbances
- Headaches and digestive issues
Trauma and Therapy
How Therapy Can Help
Prolonged Exposure Therapy is a type of therapy where the patient is exposed to the source of the trauma to overcome it. An example of this could be when someone has a fear of water after a near-death drowning experience. They may avoid water for years until they engage in this type of therapy and are forced into the water to overcome their fear.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT focuses on addressing trauma and false beliefs that lead to unhealthy learned coping behavior. Cognitive behavior therapy sessions are a common form of treatment for PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and addictions. It is usually addressed in 12-16 sessions and can be in individual or group settings.
Cognitive Processing Therapy is similar to CBT, but the aim is to understand why the traumatic event occurred and address the feelings, beliefs, and fears that stem from it.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is interactive psychotherapy that uses rhythmic eye movement (bilateral) stimulation to help release and process emotions stored in the body. This works well with trauma-induced general anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, social anxiety, and OCD.