There are many aspects of addiction that require attention during an individual’s time in treatment. If the underlying causes of addiction are not identified and confronted, recovering individuals may be at risk for relapsing and, in turn, overdosing. While every individual may have their own, individualized causes for developing addictive behaviors, one of the most common underlying conditions is trauma.
What is Trauma Resolution Therapy?
Trauma resolution therapy is a specific type of individual therapy that determines and addresses past traumatic experiences individuals may have experienced. Trauma resolution therapy was created to help individuals manage negative symptoms brought on by trauma, and it has been adopted throughout the years to help a more broad range of patients. There are a number of lingering effects that can occur as a result of trauma which this method of therapy can help to identify and address including:
- Mood swings
- Feelings of shame or guilt
- Avoidance of loved ones/responsibility
- Chronic pain
- Trouble with concentration
- Inability to express intimacy
- Self-harming behaviors
- Panic attacks
What is Trauma?
Essentially, trauma is a psychological response to an emotional, disturbing situation or series of events. Trauma can develop from a range of situations; from getting in a car accident to being physically or sexually assaulted. While traumatic experiences may affect everyone differently, some examples of traumatic situations include:
- Natural disaster
- Car accident
- Loss of loved one
- Witnessing violent crime
- Being a victim of violent crime
- Sexual assault
- Childhood abuse
Cases of traumatic events can either be a singular event, or they can occur over a length of time. When they happen repetitively, it’s known as complex trauma. Complex trauma is defined as a result of recurring traumatic situations that occur within the same setting, relationship, and/or time period. For example, enduring childhood abuse for a series of years would be characterized as complex trauma.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Addiction
When symptoms of traumatic events interfere with everyday life, individuals are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Those diagnosed with PTSD commonly seek therapy or medication to help reduce symptoms of their disorder to no avail. When coping options seem to have been exhausted, those struggling with the effects of PTSD may try various substances to dull emotional pain. While substances may provide relief from symptoms of trauma temporarily, they eventually return. Unfortunately, far too many individuals struggling with PTSD rely on self-medicating and develop dependence and eventual addictive behaviors.
Trauma Resolution Therapy for PTSD and Addiction
If someone comes to addiction treatment, is diagnosed with PTSD, and only gets treatment for addiction, their chances of remaining sober are minimal. The effects of PTSD don’t just go away when someone stops drinking or using drugs. Without disrupting harmful behaviors and thinking patterns through therapy, individuals will likely turn back to their drug of choice when dealing with symptoms of their PTSD once treatment concludes. For these patients, Trauma Resolution Therapy is used throughout treatment to provide the optimal chance for recovery success and long-term wellbeing.
How Does it Work?
While individualized therapy does help treat trauma and is a great tool, Trauma Resolution Therapy works a bit differently. The setting is much of the same; one-on-one sessions with a specialized trauma therapist. However, instead of recounting traumatic events, a Trauma Resolution Therapy therapist guides patients into a state of altered consciousness or hypnosis. Once in this state of hypnosis, patients are slowly guided to recall the events of their traumatic experience. The safety of the environment and the relaxation of hypnosis often allows individuals to recall painful situations in a way that warrants no extreme emotional response. This often results in feelings of acceptance, peace, calm, and composure for patients.
Trauma Resolution Therapy is a way to address and confront trauma as it relates to addiction without the use of intrusive techniques. Each session is based on the patient’s needs and usually doesn’t conclude until the patient responds in a positive way and feels relief from symptoms brought on by trauma.
Who Can Benefit from Trauma Resolution Therapy?
While this type of therapy was designed specifically to help individuals dealing with the emotional effects of trauma, it can help individuals dealing with other issues as well. Many emotional disturbances have an underlying cause, and identifying and confronting these causes through guided therapy helps to reduce symptoms. Patients who can benefit from the advantages of Trauma Resolution Therapy may include those dealing with:
- Low self-regard
- Substance abuse disorder
- Self-destructive behaviors like eating disorders
- Suicidal thoughts/actions
- Compulsive anger
- Obsessive-compulsive disorders
- Various accounts of trauma/PTSD
Trauma Resolution Therapy at Rehab Carolinas
Here at Rehab Carolinas, we want to give every person seeking freedom from addiction the tools to do so. We understand the importance of addressing symptoms of PTSD and trauma, mood disorders, and any other underlying conditions which may affect a person’s chance at obtaining true, lasting recovery. If you think that you could benefit from the many advantages Trauma Resolution Therapy, please contact us today to speak confidentially with an addiction specialist.