man looks into the distance before going to a trauma therapy centerWhen people are traumatized, their system becomes shocked and dysregulated. Their nervous system goes haywire. The experiences split off from consciousness and are held in different pockets of memory in the brain. If the experience is not retriggered, people may go through life fairly successfully. But if the traumatic memories are activated by a situation, person, place, thing or smell, people may become overwhelmed. They may not know how to cope.

We understand how trauma inflicts its damage. It can lead to long-term mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and personality disorders as well as substance abuse and behavioral addictions. We also understand how important it is to address trauma from all angles. That’s why we offer comprehensive trauma recovery programs. We provide a highly supportive, deeply validating environment of respect and care.

What Is Trauma/PTSD Treatment Like?

We help clients address the emotional, psychological and physical symptoms of trauma. We offer a sense of safety during the process of exploring the painful past. This may include addressing unwanted or abusive experiences, traumatic memories or other hurtful childhood experiences. Trauma and PTSD underlie many of the challenges our clients face. Unaddressed trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder can fuel:

  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Intimacy disorders
  • Sexual addiction

Promises Treatment Centers offers safe, nurturing environments where clients with histories of trauma can begin their journey to trauma recovery. We guide you through the recovery process. Our clients learn that recovering from trauma is transformative. Trauma treatment may include:

Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment

An important part of the trauma recovery process is getting to the root causes of destructive behaviors. Trauma is typically a key contributor to our clients’ substance abuse and mental health disorders. Our experienced trauma specialists are trained to treat the range of issues that may hold you hostage. We offer substance abuse treatment that includes medical detox and relapse prevention training. A psychiatrist assesses your mental health to determine if medication is appropriate for your symptoms.

Getting to the Root Cause in Trauma Recovery

Trauma is the emotional and physical reaction caused by witnessing or experiencing deeply disturbing events or behaviors. A natural disaster, emotional or physical abuse or witnessing a violent crime are all traumatic events that can cause emotional or physical symptoms. But origins of trauma can also be more subtle. Discrimination, being bullied or having an alcoholic parent are just a few of the less obvious life experiences that can also lead to trauma.

At Promises, understanding the traumas that have impacted your life is an essential part of healing. In recovery from trauma you will have the chance to explore and begin to heal from post-traumatic stress disorder in a safe environment. We also offer several types of therapies that can transform memories that have plagued you, including cognitive behavioral therapy.

Individual Therapy

One-on-one sessions with an individual therapist help you process the circumstances that led you to this point. You’ll feel safe sharing about difficult topics within a trusting therapeutic relationship. Our therapists are trained in complex trauma and PTSD treatment. We draw on several approaches to help you begin regulating difficult emotions. We may recommend special approaches like EMDR therapy as appropriate.

Group Therapy

Exploring shame can play a large role in healing from trauma. Group therapy is a great place to do this. Feeling unsafe being vulnerable is often a symptom of trauma. Small groups with peers that relate to what you’re going through can provide a sense of safety. You’ll learn how to relate to people openly and honestly. You may see yourself in other group members and gain a new understanding of your challenges.

Family Therapy

People who experience trauma in childhood often turn to destructive behaviors as adults. Family themes and dynamics can contribute to trauma. Childhood experiences like physical and emotional abuse or neglect can have far-reaching effects. An overly enmeshed relationship or unpredictable home environment may also fuel trauma.

At Promises, family therapy is available as appropriate. A trained mental health professional helps guide loved ones through difficult topics. Family members have a chance to heal deep-rooted emotional pain and move forward with more honest and supportive relationships.

Trauma Therapies

For some people, the panic of the traumatic experience is stored in its original form in the memory network. Because it hasn’t been adequately dealt with, whenever another situation that resembles it arises, the person can get triggered back to the original moment. However, in the initial experience, the person was not safe, the environment was not safe, and the people they were with were not safe. But things are very different in treatment.

Our therapists treat all forms of trauma using a range of interventions. Trauma therapies may include:

When someone has suffered trauma, they tend to relive it over and over. It’s as if they are still a child, stuck in a terrible or life-threatening situation. In inpatient trauma treatment, clients can safely recover memories. They learn to experience and deal with the trauma as adults, with adult skills and strength. If the traumatic memories are brought up again during trauma-focused therapies like EMDR, people realize that they are in the present and safe, unlike during the original experience. This helps them begin to transform the way they experience the present. They learn how to tap into their own innate ability to heal, transforming memories of trauma.

Many trauma therapies focus on aspects like the fight/flight response with no need to relive actual traumatic memories.

Aftercare Planning

Recovering from trauma takes time. You’ll continue to work on healing after the first stage of recovery. We’ll craft an aftercare plan that supports recovery from trauma, substance abuse and mental health disorders. This may include:

  • Appointments with mental health professionals
  • Addiction recovery resources like sober-living residences
  • Connections to trauma support groups
  • 12-step groups in your community
  • Promises alumni events

Treating all Kinds of Trauma

Just as there are many different types of traumatic experiences, there are also many different ways that people respond. Thus, trauma recovery can be complex. Kinds of trauma treated at Promises include:

Complex Trauma: Phases of Trauma Recovery

Many complex trauma specialists support the “three phases of trauma recovery” model. Developed by trauma researcher Dr. Judith Herman, the phases of trauma recovery include:

Phase One – Safety and Stabilization

The first stage of trauma recovery is establishing a sense of safety. Many people with complex trauma don’t feel safe physically or emotionally. They have difficulty self-soothing. Learning how to regulate emotions and having a type of “emotional home base” to return to when feeling unsafe is imperative to the work of trauma recovery in phase two and phase three.

Phase Two – Remembrance and Mourning

A sense of loss is associated with all types of trauma. In this stage of treatment, people grieve for what was, what wasn’t and what is. It isn’t always necessary to relive traumatic memories in this phase. It’s more about honoring the emotions that accompany that trauma. Maintaining safety and stabilization is important so the fight/flight response of the nervous system isn’t reactivated.

Phase Three – Reconnection and Integration

The third stage of recovery is about redefining life. People still honor their past experiences, but they no longer define who the person is. This is a time of increasing resilience and empowerment.

There is no set time for moving through the phases of trauma recovery. The process is different for everyone.

Trauma Recovery Is Possible

If you’re struggling with the effects of trauma, we can help. Our clinicians are specially trained to address the complexities of trauma. Recovering from trauma is difficult, but it can change your life in extraordinary ways. We can help you with trauma as well as recovery from addiction. Call us today for a free, confidential consultation.

Posted on July 21, 2017 and modified on April 13, 2019