Trauma-focused therapy provides a space for you to learn about normal responses to trauma and specifically how a traumatic event has impacted you and your family. This type of discovery and learning helps you to understand why certain thoughts, feelings, and behaviors might occur, gives names and explanations to your experiences, and remind your that you are not alone in your experience.
What does trauma-focused therapy do?
Helps Re-establish Safety
A traumatic experience violates of your sense of safety. This includes violations of physical, emotional, psychological, and/or relational safety. A benefit of trauma-focused therapy is to assist you in re-developing internal (emotional, psychological, relational) and physical (touch, the environment) senses of safety, through activities and discussions that target these domains.
Participating in trauma-focused therapy can help you learn to identify, understand, explore and express memories and feelings related to the trauma. Often times, you may show reactions that appear to “come out of nowhere” or are out of proportion for an experience, but it may be that these are actually reactions to trauma reminders. Another benefit of treatment is that you can learn to recognize what experiences or feelings may be associated with traumatic reminders (also known as triggers) and work to be able to more appropriately adapt your response over time.
Develop Healthy Coping Skills
Trauma-focused therapy sessions aim to help you discover skills and improve coping strategies to better respond to reminders and emotions associated with the traumatic event. Some of these skills include anxiety management and relaxation strategies. Developing these types of skills in response to trauma supports resiliency or assists you with “bouncing back” from your traumatic experience.
Decrease in Traumatic Stress Symptoms
Engaging in trauma-focused therapy and working closely with the therapist can help you develop and practice skills that help decrease traumatic stress symptoms and other mental health symptoms associated with the trauma. You may experience decreases in depression, anxiety, dissociation, trauma-related shame or guilt, and/or intrusive symptoms such as flashbacks and nightmares.
One goal of a trauma-informed therapy is to help you regain power and control over past experiences by sensitively assisting the you to re-narrate your story. Over time you will have the opportunity to “process” or organize these unique experiences into your everyday life and, make meaning of the event(s) and how they relate to your view of yourself and the world around.
----Taken from Center for Child Trauma Assessment Services and Interventions