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Trauma Therapy

Trauma Therapy in Sacramento

Past traumas can play a significant role in drug and alcohol addiction. And while these substances might seem to numb the hurt you feel for a while, they also prevent your mind from finding the healing you need for a full recovery. Addressing your trauma through a trauma therapy program allows for total healing, and Diamond House Detox is here to help. When you admit yourself as a guest at our facility, our team will help you learn to navigate life and cope with your past without the need for alcohol or drugs.

Types of Trauma

Trauma is the damage a mind experiences in the aftermath of an extremely stressful, distressing event that exceeds a person’s ability to cope with or process the related emotions. Trauma is highly subjective, and while an event might be easy for one person to deal with, another person might experience severe and long-lasting effects.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5), outlines five different trauma-and-stressor-related disorders.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): This disorder develops after someone has been through a traumatic experience like witnessing a violent event or undergoing a physical assault. Characteristics include flashbacks, nightmares, fear and avoidance.

Acute stress disorder (ASD): ASD produces symptoms that are much more sudden and quicker-passing than PTSD. These symptoms usually last between a few days and one month.

Adjustment disorder (AD): These disorders cause people to react excessively to stress or troubling experiences such as a lost relationship or the death of a family member. The stress of someone struggling with an AD is much more significant than one would expect, indicative of their inability to cope effectively.

Reactive attachment disorder (RAD): RAD is specific to children who never develop a healthy attachment to a parent or caregiver and do not have their needs met. The long-term neglect is a form of trauma.

Disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED): DSED is another attachment disorder that arises from neglect or other trauma. It is less severe than RAD, but does cause difficulty in forming relationships and engaging appropriately with others.

Other and unspecified disorders: If a person meets some, but not all, symptoms of one condition or there isn’t enough information to make a specific diagnosis, a psychiatrist may diagnose them with an unspecified disorder.

Although dissociative disorders get a dedicated chapter in the DSM-5, they often relate to or get triggered by trauma. Characteristics of the experience of dissociation include feeling out of touch with the real world, and feeling disconnected from thoughts, memories and a person’s consciousness. Some people describe a dissociative state as a type of “out-of-body” experience.

Trauma can occur at any point in a person’s life. Adults with agency in their lives are less likely than children to develop trauma from long-term situations like neglect or abuse by authority figures. Deeply rooted childhood trauma is often more challenging to resolve. Regardless of age, these are the most common sources of trauma:
 – Combat exposure
 – Childhood physical abuse
 – Sexual violence
 – Accidents
 – Being threatened with a weapon

How Trauma Affects a Person

Every person reacts to trauma differently, whether it is a one-time event or a series of repetitive events over time. Some people develop textbook symptoms of PTSD, while others will display resilience or some brief symptoms that do not meet diagnostic criteria. Trauma’s impact can range from very subtle to extremely destructive, but anyone who wants to live a happy and healthy life in recovery should undergo trauma treatment. These are some of the most common effects of trauma:

  • Nightmares
  • Intrusive thoughts and flashbacks
  • Avoidance of any reminders of the trauma
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Social withdrawal from friends and family
  • Emotional numbness
  • Anhedonia, or difficulty feeling pleasure
  • Sleep disturbance and insomnia
  • Reduced appetite
  • Outbursts of anger or violence
  • Difficulty thinking and concentrating
  • Feeling constantly on edge and easily startled
  • Difficulty controlling impulses
  • Difficulty engaging with others and forming relationships
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors

There is no question that trauma, no matter when the experience occurs, sticks with people and makes it difficult, if not impossible, to live a typical life. Trauma robs people of their ability to cope, which makes it harder to live with disorders like depression and anxiety, as well as rarer conditions like schizophrenia.

How Trauma Relates to Addiction

There is a close link between trauma and addiction, and their relationship is a two-way street. A traumatized person is at an increased risk of developing a substance use disorder (SUD), and substance abuse leads to high-risk behavior that may increase the likelihood of being re-traumatized. Drug and alcohol use also impairs cognition and emotional thinking in ways that decrease a person’s ability to cope with traumatic events, new or old.

People struggling with addiction are extraordinarily likely to have suffered from childhood trauma. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is the term given to potentially traumatic events that might occur to children under 18. They include abuse, neglect and “household challenges” such as mental illness in the family, divorce, parental violence or substance abuse. Studies on ACEs reveal clear causal links between trauma and addiction:

  • For each noted adversity, the risk of early substance abuse increases two- to fourfold.
  • People who list five or more ACEs are seven to 10 times likelier to develop an SUD.

Studies of people currently in treatment also show the profound impact of trauma on the development of addiction:

  • Up to 75% of women in treatment have a history of physical or sexual abuse.
  • Approximately half of people seeking addiction treatment meet the criteria for PTSD — more than five times the prevalence in the general population.

In people with both trauma and addiction, getting to the root of the trauma is essential to recovery.

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What Is Trauma Therapy?

As the name suggests, trauma therapy is a form of therapy designed to help people process and cope with traumatic events effectively. Traumatic events may stem from childhood or may be current, and may affect a person’s abilities to cope with stress appropriately. These events might also affect a person’s integrity, sanity and overall function of life. Although some individuals turn to substances as a way to cope with the stress and difficulties that come with experiencing a traumatic event, trauma therapy aims to help the individual learn healthier ways to cope with symptoms associated with PTSD.

There are many trauma therapy techniques, including the following:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Group counseling

Within each modality, we understand the importance of information. It is, therefore, a goal of Diamond House Detox to provide you with all the details you need to make an informed decision about what modality you believe best meets your needs. Your therapist will provide you with information about trauma and a safe therapeutic space for you to share the struggles and symptoms associated with your trauma. We will teach you multiple skills that will help you more effectively cope with your emotions.

How Trauma Therapy Works

Trauma-focused CBT is one of the many offshoots of CBT designed to help people whose trauma is interfering with their lives. It encourages individuals to address trauma-related thoughts they would usually avoid, and provide actionable education on trauma and its impact.

With this treatment modality, the counselor instructs clients on methods of relaxation and shares coping techniques to help with the management of trauma’s many symptoms. Trauma-focused CBT teaches trauma survivors how to process thoughts and feelings associated with their traumatic experience through narrative, encouraging them to tell their story.

Trauma treatment may also include psychodynamic therapy. This method has its roots in psychoanalysis and focuses on bringing the unconscious mind to light. Trauma produces an immense number of unconscious thoughts, and psychodynamic therapy helps people gain insight into their symptoms. Some techniques include free association and identification of defense mechanisms.

Emotional trauma therapy often uses EMDR to help people process trauma in healthier ways. The therapist will ask the traumatized person to recall some portion of a traumatic event while instructing them to perform specific eye movements ⁠— such as from side to side ⁠— to reduce the emotional charge of the memories.

Trauma victims also benefit from group therapy, which allows them to explore their trauma in a safe communal setting with others who have gone through similar experiences.

The Goals of Trauma Therapy

Trauma-focused therapy is designed to provide people with skills and strategies to assist in better understanding, coping with and processing the multitude of feelings and memories associated with traumatic experiences. The central goals are to:

  • Learn about trauma
  • Re-establish safety
  • Identify trauma triggers
  • Develop and deploy healthy coping skills
  • Decrease symptoms of traumatic stress
  • Practice trauma processing and integration

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How Can Trauma Therapy Help Addiction?

Learning to effectively cope with your emotions is one of our primary goals here at Diamond House Detox. Without adequate coping skills, breaking the cycle of addiction and trauma is next to impossible.

Instead, trauma therapy in California offers long-term healing by helping clients understand and cope with traumatic events more effectively. With the help of our clinical staff, you will learn different ways to cope, understand and, more importantly, heal from your traumas, without feeling the need to turn to substances for support.

Who Can Benefit From Trauma Therapy?

Trauma therapies are ideal for anyone whose addiction stems from unresolved trauma. Every client who seeks treatment for substance abuse — even those who might not show signs of PTSD — should have the chance to talk about past traumas they might have experienced.

If you do have symptoms of PTSD, trauma therapy is a crucial part of your overall treatment plan. PTSD does not go away on its own when you abstain from substances. You’ll need unique coping strategies to address the effects of your trauma both during and after your stay. Trauma therapy is the best way to help those with PTSD fully recover from their distress without feeling the need to turn to substances.

Receive Trauma Therapy From Sacramento’s Leading Treatment Facility

If you’ve turned to alcohol or drugs to numb the pain of trauma, you must seek the therapy you need for lifelong healing. You’ll find this treatment among the welcoming team at Diamond House Detox. We offer compassionate inpatient and outpatient trauma therapy services to address the individual needs of our clients throughout northern California, and we’d love the chance to help you heal from the past and find hope in the future. Contact us online or by phone at 888-205-9455 to learn more.

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