Trauma Treatment at Promises
Trauma and PTSD underlie many of the challenges facing our clients. Unaddressed trauma and PTSD can fuel drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, intimacy disorders, sexual addiction and other destructive behaviors. Promises Treatment Centers offers safe, nurturing environments where clients with histories of trauma can begin their journey to trauma recovery.
Our multidisciplinary team of therapists treats all forms of trauma using a broad array of interventions that have been found effective in addressing trauma-related conditions. Depending on the treatment center, trauma therapies may include dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapies, acceptance and commitment therapy, Somatic Experiencing®, neurofeedback, EMDR and medication as appropriate.
We understand how trauma inflicts its damage and 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 it from all angles. That’s why we offer comprehensive trauma recovery programs in a highly supportive, deeply validating environment of respect and care.
When a person is traumatized, the system becomes shocked and dysregulated; the experiences split off from consciousness and are held in different pockets of memory in neural networks. If the experience is not retriggered, the person goes through life fairly successfully. But if the memories are activated by a situation, person, place, thing, smell, etc., then the person becomes overwhelmed and may not know how to self-soothe. For people who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, this can lead to relapse.
For some people, the panic of the 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—whether through affect (emotion), smell or body sensation—the memory network will light up as if they’re back in the original moment. However, in the initial experience, the person was not safe, the environment was not safe, and the people he or she was with were not safe. But when the memory is brought up again during trauma-focused therapies like EMDR, the person realizes 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 and learn how to tap into their own innate ability to heal and self-soothe.
Causes of Trauma
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, for example, are all traumatic events that can cause a short-term or long-term physical or emotional reaction. 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.
Causes of trauma include:
- Physical or sexual abuse or assault
- Witnessing or experiencing domestic violence
- Emotional or psychological abuse
- Neglect (failure of primary caregiver to provide basic needs)
- Victim of terrorist attack or war
- Combat experience
- Serious or chronic illness or medical problem
- Witnessing or being a victim of violent crime
- Natural disasters
- Forced removal from home
- Loss of — or separation from — a loved one
- Being bullied as a child or an adult or witnessing bullying
Although some people can experience a traumatic event and move on without apparent long-term impact, others will experience lingering effects, either large or small. For some trauma victims, certain events, objects or sounds will trigger a re-experiencing of the trauma or prompt an extreme attempt to avoid remembering. Some relive the trauma repeatedly, and suffer from physical symptoms like sweating, muscle tension and racing heart. Others feel continuously anxious and stressed and find it difficult to concentrate, eat, sleep and manage emotions. Trauma therapy or time at a trauma recovery center can help people with PTSD address these experiences and better manage the after effects of trauma.
Types of Trauma
Just as there are many different types of traumatic experiences, there are also many different ways that people respond to it and many different disorders that arise from it. Thus, trauma recovery can be complex.
Acute trauma, also known as acute stress disorder, is usually caused by a one-time terrifying or threatening event, such as an accident, assault or catastrophic occurrence that causes intense emotional pain or physical duress. The traumatic event sparks feelings of extreme fear that persist for up to a month after the event is over. Acute stress disorder can interfere with relationships and job functioning and cause general withdrawal, as the person begins to perceive social and work situations as suddenly threatening. In some cases, acute trauma will go away on its own, but in other cases the symptoms will linger, worsen over time and evolve into anxiety, depression or PTSD.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is a severe form of anxiety triggered by a terrifying or threatening event. The normal reaction to danger is “fight or flight,” which ensures our safety and survival and dissipates when the crisis is over. With PTSD, rather than getting better over time, symptoms get worse or linger for months or more, making it difficult to function day-to-day. The stress and fear persist even when the danger is gone.
PTSD can develop at any age. Some of the events that can lead to PTSD include military service, a serious accident, being diagnosed with a serious illness, sudden loss of a loved one, a natural or manmade disaster, physical or emotional abuse and sexual assault.
For some, symptoms of PTSD are ongoing, and for others, symptoms occur sporadically, sometimes triggered when the individual encounters reminders of the traumatic event (e.g., seeing a story in the news about a natural disaster or an assault may be a reminder of one’s own experience), although symptoms can also arise when the person suffering from PTSD feels alone, overwhelmed or at risk of harm. People who have PTSD run a greater risk of substance abuse, depression, eating disorders and other mental health issues, as well as physical illnesses such as heart disease and chronic pain.
Ongoing traumatic events, such as lengthy combat experience, long-term physical or emotional abuse, particularly if it’s at the hands of a parent or caregiver, chronic illness or even a series of unrelated traumatic events, can cause complex trauma, also known as complex PTSD. If left untreated, complex trauma can lead to mood disorders, chronic depression or other mental health problems.
Complex trauma tends to become more deeply rooted with each traumatic event, as the individual experiencing the trauma resorts to more and more maladaptive coping skills. People might respond to repeated trauma by shutting down emotions, closing off others, or drowning intense feelings in drugs, alcohol or some other form of escape
Can You Benefit From a Trauma Recovery Center?
Symptoms of trauma can range from temporary anxiety to profound psychological distress. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms enough that they are having a negative impact on your life and relationships, you may need to consider specialized trauma treatment at a trauma recovery center:
- Anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions
- Insomnia, sleep disturbances or recurrent nightmares
- Physical pain and ailments
- Substance abuse
- Sexual addiction
- Disordered eating behaviors
- Recurrent, involuntary memories of traumatic events
- Altered sense of reality, in a daze
- Inability to remember parts or all of a traumatic event
- Irritability or unprovoked angry outbursts
- Panic attacks
- Chaotic or impulsive behavior
- Avoiding reminders of a traumatic experience, including thinking or talking about it
- Feeling disconnected or emotionally numb
- Feelings of anger, guilt, worry or depression
- Difficulty forming close relationships
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
- Being easily startled
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 and help you reclaim your life. Call us today for a free, confidential consultation: 844-876-5568
To learn more about Trauma Recovery, call 844-876-5568