Common Therapy Approaches to Help You Heal from Trauma

Experiencing trauma can be one of the most challenging and heartbreaking experiences an individual can go through.

Though it may not always seem like it, healing is possible with the right therapy approaches. This post will provide information on standard therapeutic practices that you or a loved one can use to begin the healing journey from traumatic experience.

1.   Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy

EMDR, or Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a type of therapy that incorporates eye movements, sound, and other forms of rhythmic stimulation to help people heal from trauma. It is believed that these therapies help to desensitize the brain from negative memories and change how an individual responds to them.

This type of therapy has proven effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EMDR treatment can help the individual target the traumatic event or experiences and work to change how they react and think about them. Eye movements or other forms of stimulation help to replace negative thought patterns with more positive ones and reduce the associated anxiety and distress.

2.   Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on changing an individual’s thoughts and beliefs to alter their behaviors. It is used to treat numerous mental health disorders, especially trauma-related ones. In CBT, the therapist will work with the individual to identify and challenge the negative thought patterns associated with their traumatic experience. This can be done in various ways, such as role-playing, journaling, or mindfulness techniques. CBT is an effective tool in managing stress and anxiety caused by trauma, as well as helping individuals cope with the physical symptoms of PTSD.

3.   Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is a cognitive-behavioral therapy initially designed to help people suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). It has since been adapted to help people with various mental health issues, including those experiencing trauma.

DBT focuses on helping individuals learn how to regulate their emotions and manage destructive behaviors. It also emphasizes the importance of developing a solid working relationship between therapist and client to find healthier coping mechanisms. This therapy is particularly effective in helping individuals with PTSD learn how better to manage their emotions and reactions to stressful situations.

4.   Psychodynamic Therapy

Some therapists may also utilize psychodynamic therapy to help individuals heal from trauma. Psychodynamic therapy is based on the idea that experiences from our past shape our current behaviors and reactions.

It involves exploring a person’s past experiences to understand how they currently think and act in certain situations. Through this exploration, the therapist can help individuals better understand their thoughts and feelings, ultimately improving mental health. Psychodynamic therapy effectively treats trauma-related mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. This type of therapy may be recommended for those struggling with more complex issues.

5.   Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)

Accelerated Resolution Therapy is a relatively new type of trauma therapy that has been found to be incredibly effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It uses eye movements and storytelling techniques to desensitize the brain’s fears and anxieties related to traumatic experiences.

During ART, the therapist will ask the individual to think of a traumatic experience while following specific eye movements. This helps to break down the trauma and replace it with more positive thoughts and feelings. ART can be highly successful in reducing symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other trauma-related mental health issues. It is ideal for quick and effective relief from trauma symptoms, which is why it is so popular with those looking for an alternative to traditional types of therapy.

6.   Hypnotherapy

Since hypnosis has been used for years to treat physical, mental, and emotional disorders, it is also an effective tool in treating trauma. It starts by identifying the underlying, unconscious beliefs that keep you stuck in unhealthy negative feelings, thoughts, and behavior patterns. The therapist then works with the patient to create new, positive beliefs and behaviors to help them heal.

While it cannot get rid of traumatic events, it can help you identify your anxiety triggers, see things in perspective, make space for a sense of safety, and reduce your response to them. During therapy, you do not relive the events; instead, you learn to cope healthily.

7.   Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE)

Prolonged exposure therapy is a cognitive-behavioral therapy that helps individuals cope with post-traumatic stress disorder by gradually exposing them to the memories and situations they have been avoiding. Therapists use this technique to help individuals healthily process their traumatic experiences and slowly acclimate themselves to the environment they once feared.

The goal is to help individuals become desensitized to anxiety-provoking situations and eventually gain control over their fear. Prolonged exposure therapy can be incredibly effective in treating PTSD, especially when combined with other therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

There are a variety of different therapies that can be used to help individuals cope with the effects of trauma. Depending on the individual and the severity of their mental health issues, therapists may recommend one or a combination of these therapies. No matter which therapy is chosen, it is crucial that individuals work closely with qualified professionals to achieve the best possible outcome.