20 Jun The Benefits of Trauma Therapy
Maha Souman, MSW
What is Trauma Therapy?
Trauma therapy or any trauma-focused therapy revolves around the knowledge of how a traumatic experience can affect the individual’s life through mental, emotional and physical aspects. When seeking trauma-focused therapy, you will essentially be receiving guidance specifically toward a goal of healing from the effects of your trauma.
It may be difficult to note what type of trauma you have experienced so keep in mind that there are three main types of trauma that you can be dealing with now:
- Acute Trauma: This trauma is established from a single traumatic experience such as a death, a natural disaster, or maybe a motor vehicle accident.
- Chronic Trauma: This trauma is experienced when you have lived multiple or long-term traumatic events. This may be long-term sexual abuse, domestic violence, addiction, or bullying.
- Complex Trauma: This trauma is typically the result of many different traumatic experiences that lasted for a long period of time similar to childhood abuse/neglect or domestic violence/abuse.
Let’s consider some ways in which these types of trauma can be impacting your current life:
- The amygdala plays a major role in processing memories, making decisions, and responding emotionally. When it’s overstimulated, it can become highly alert and activated, looking for and perceiving threats everywhere.
- The prefrontal cortex impacts decision-making abilities, personality, and even the will to live. When the medial prefrontal cortex is not functioning properly, it negatively affects impulse control, nervous system regulation, the ability to communicate and empathize with others, self-awareness, and fear modulation.
- The hippocampus consolidates short-term memories into long-term memories. Smaller hippocampal volumes indicate that cells in the hippocampus have been killed, and this makes it less effective in making important synaptic connections. When that happens, the sympathetic nervous system stays on high alert, which creates fatigue in the body, particularly in the adrenal system.
So can this be helped or fixed? Absolutely!
There are a couple of therapy techniques that specifically focus on trauma which include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERP), Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), etc. It’s important to find a trauma-focused therapist who understands the nature of your trauma and what needs to be done to overcome the impacts it has left on your life and your brain! When doing so, there can be many benefits to trauma-focused therapy which include:
- Reducing or eliminating the symptoms of trauma
- Shifting your focus from the past and toward your present
- Improving daily functioning
- Improving regulation of the nervous system
- Finding and claiming your personal worth and power
- Learn coping skills and techniques to deal with trauma and prevent it from recurring
If you are struggling with unresolved trauma, seeking trauma-focused therapy can be the very first step you take to begin the healing process, learn coping skills, and begin to rebuild a life free of the symptoms of trauma!
Verne Psychotherapy and Wellness LLC is a private therapy practice in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. Verne has multiple therapists with a wide range of expertise treating anxiety, depression, trauma, and beyond. Verne accepts people of all cultural, racial, and sexual backgrounds. We serve clients ages 12 to 65. We have an in-person office in Montclair, New Jersey and also can see patients virtually. To get matched with one of our therapists, please call our office at 862-330-1727 ext 1 or visit our website: vernewellness.com.