Posted by Alyssa Bishop
Moving on after a traumatic experience is a struggle. It can be hard to know where to turn to or where to get the right help. Strong emotional distress can have a lasting impact on a person’s mental health. It can also influence the physical health of many people as well.
Trauma is also referred to as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.) Many people associate PTSD with those who were in a war or experienced sexual abuse. However, anyone, at any age, can suffer from PTSD. Actually, any event, if it was the cause of extreme emotional distress, can be considered traumatic. Furthermore, not everyone will react in the same ways to traumatic events.
Some other common traumatic events can be:
Domestic or emotional abuse
Witnessing a crime
In the aftermath of a traumatic event, it is common for people to try and push their feelings and memories away. It is a coping method that people assume will help them recover because they aren’t actively thinking about the painful memory. However, our bodies and minds have a way of storing trauma and remembering it, even if we do not actively think upon it. Because the memory is being ignored, it is actually just worsening the symptoms someone may experience from PTSD.
While trauma can have negative impact on a person’s life, it doesn’t always have to be this way. Thankfully, there are many ways to treat trauma through different types of therapy. Here are three of them.
Traditional Talk Therapy
One way that a person can begin to heal from trauma is through traditional talk therapy, or psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is one of the most common forms of therapy that people will use to receive help for a variety of issues they are facing. It gives clients the opportunity to sit down with a licensed therapist and work through their traumatic experiences.
Because people have a tendency to ignore something in the hopes that it will go away, opening up about it in a safe place can help them start the healing process. Talk therapy is a great way to start acknowledging the trauma so they can heal from it.
In recent years, this has become a very popular and effective method for treating trauma. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a scientifically proven method to treat trauma.
Working with a trained EMDR therapist, clients will focus on the painful memories while their brains and eyes are visually stimulated. With guidance from their therapist, they will work through certain eye movements. This helps to active certain parts of the brain so that thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations are experienced safely.
The science behind this is that this stimulation helps to reduce the reactions, both emotional and physical, that happen because of trauma. While this is done, negative thoughts and beliefs about the traumatic experience are reprocessed and replaced with positive ones.
This works to truly help with trauma because it lessens the effects of PTSD symptoms over time.
While group therapy is a type of talk therapy, it deserves a category on all its own. After a traumatic experience, it can make someone feel alone. As if no one really gets what they went through. This makes someone feel even more isolated and withdrawn.
With group therapy, clients are in a safe environment where they share the story of what happened to them. Through a process of bonding and talking with each other, members of a therapy group will begin to open up more to one another.Trauma can have a long-lasting impact on a person’s psyche, but it doesn’t mean it needs to stay that way. Through different types of therapy, healing is possible.
If you are ready to begin processing your trauma in a healthy and proactive way, reach out to our office to begin.