For some people a traumatic experience can impact physical health by making it difficult to sleep, eat, work, learn, or socialize with others. When that happens, the best thing you can do is seek the help of a trained trauma therapist.
Trauma therapy is about more than just deep breathing exercises or talking about a traumatic experience with a therapist. Unfortunately not all therapists understand how to properly work with someone who has been through extreme trauma or is experiencing PTSD. It’s important to find treatment from someone with the right experience.
Diagnosing Trauma and PTSD
One of the most important first steps in trauma therapy is getting a correct diagnosis. This is especially true if there are signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sometimes a person is not aware of the impact an event had on their mental health and may not even identify their experiences as traumatic. While trauma and PTSD can share some signs and symptoms with other conditions like depression and anxiety, a trained therapist can spot the differences and get a proper diagnosis. This is an important first step to finding the right treatments and therapies to address what is going on in your life.
Once a person has been properly diagnosed, the next step is treatment. Therapy after a traumatic experience will be very different from more traditional therapy. At Live Well Counseling Services we focus on evidence-based therapies that are proven to help people recover from trauma. These include:
- Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that works well for PTSD. Trauma can change the way you view safety, trust, control, self-esteem, and intimacy. Negative thoughts in these areas can lead to heightened levels of fear, anxiety, guilt, and anger. CPT addresses those thoughts and helps you find effective ways to challenge the negativity. You will feel more in control of your thoughts and they don’t have as much of an impact on your life.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a psychotherapy that helps you heal from emotional distress. It works by removing the “roadblocks” in your mind preventing you from processing trauma and moving forward. A trained EMDR therapist can help you activate this healing process in your brain after traumatic experiences.