How Trauma-Focused Therapy Treats PTSD

How Trauma-Focused Therapy Treats PTSD

Individuals who experience traumatic events or chronic stress sometimes struggle with long-term side effects. Trauma increases the risk of developing mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), eight percent of women and four percent of men will develop PTSD sometime in their lives.

Alter Wellness Care offers an intensive outpatient program (IOP) and partial hospitalization program (PHP) to help individuals recover from mental health disorders related to trauma and PTSD. We use a trauma-focused approach to care that ensures the best possible outcome.

What Is Trauma-Focused Therapy?

Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience reported,Trauma-focused treatments directly address memories of the traumatic event or thoughts and feeling related to the traumatic event.” During sessions, you will use trauma-focused therapeutic techniques to address the symptoms, side effects, and underlying issues related to trauma. Typical therapy methods used to treat trauma and PTSD include:

  • Exposure therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Experiential therapy
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)

Recovering from the effects of trauma requires evidence-based methods and trauma-focused care to avoid retraumatization. The type of trauma and your current symptoms determine which treatment we use to help you manage symptoms.

Physical Effects of Stress and PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder and the underlying trauma can have an adverse effect on your mental health. According to Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, “traumatic stress can be associated with lasting change” in the following regions of the brain:

  • Amygdala
  • Hippocampus
  • Prefrontal cortex

In addition, individuals diagnosed with PTSD often have increased cortisol and norepinephrine due to chronic or acute stress. Norepinephrine affects blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and heart health. Cortisol plays a critical role in nearly every body system, including:

  • Nervous
  • Immune
  • Cardiovascular
  • Respiratory
  • Reproductive
  • Musculoskeletal

The physiological stress caused by trauma or untreated mental health issues like PTSD can harm your physical and psychological well-being. Symptoms often interfere with everyday life activities, and they can have a profound effect on personal or professional relationships.

Treating Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

The treatment for PTSD varies depending on multiple factors, including:

  • Severity of symptoms
  • Co-occurring disorders
  • Mental health history
  • Genetics and family history

The goal of treatment is to provide emotional relief and increase functionality. Everyone responds differently to trauma and recovery, which is why Alter Wellness Care personalizes IOP and PHP treatment plans. We use trauma-focused therapy to help clients find a healthier way to cope with trauma and related mental health issues.

Many people with PTSD who attend programs incorporating trauma-focused therapy have better outcomes. In most cases, prescription medications are used alongside talk therapy and alternative holistic therapies to help clients manage their conditions. Medications often enhance the effectiveness of other treatments by decreasing symptoms related to the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Flashbacks and dissociation
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Angry outbursts and mood swings

Integrating medications into trauma-focused therapy can help you maintain emotional stability and reduce stress during recovery.

How Does Trauma-Focused Therapy Treat PTSD?

Trauma-focused therapy takes into account all the factors that impact recovery from mental health issues, including:

  • Co-occurring conditions
  • Family dynamics
  • Cultural, religious, and personal beliefs

You may struggle with maladaptive behaviors or thought patterns that contribute to the development of PTSD. Treatment involves challenging these unhealthy beliefs and making connections between thoughts, behaviors, and trauma responses.

The Benefits of Trauma-Focused Therapy

Trauma-focused therapy protects individuals from retraumatization while allowing them to learn more about their condition and providing essential recovery tools. During therapy sessions, a counselor or therapist trained to treat trauma assists clients by doing the following:

  • Educating about the effects of trauma
  • Providing insights on triggers and ways to cope with them
  • Teaching healthy coping mechanisms
  • Lowering overall stress through evidence-based methods
  • Helping clients create a safety plan for crisis management
  • Facilitating trauma memory processing and integration

Trauma-focused therapy gives you the confidence and skills necessary to cope with stressors and symptoms related to your condition. Some of the benefits of attending programs that offer this form of therapy include the following:

  • Less severe and shorter-lasting symptoms and side effects
  • Increased self-efficacy
  • Improved relationships
  • More restful sleep
  • Mood stabilization

Coping With Trauma During Mental Health Recovery

Recovery from trauma sometimes takes months or years. Trauma-focused therapy and a personalized care plan effectively treat PTSD and co-occurring mental health issues. Trauma treatment at Alter Wellness Care encourages clients to develop essential coping skills and increase self-efficacy. Our program helps clients cope with daily stressors and manage their symptoms long-term. Feeling confident in your ability to overcome daily stressors decreases depression, anxiety, and panic symptoms.

Trauma-focused therapy will motivate you to make positive lifestyle changes that decrease your risk of witnessing or experiencing traumatic events in the future. The mental health experts at Alter Wellness Care give our clients all the resources they need to achieve and maintain emotional stability during treatment and ongoing recovery.

PTSD is a common mental health disorder experienced by individuals who witness or live through traumatic events. Untreated PTSD can significantly affect a person’s quality of life and ability to cope with daily stressors. Trauma-focused therapy provides essential skill development and the opportunity to process and integrate traumatic memories in a healthy way. Alter Wellness Care offers IOP and PHP programs that incorporate trauma-informed therapy. We believe that personalized mental health treatment ensures the best possible outcome. Our team assesses each client to determine the best possible approach to treatment. Trauma-informed therapy plays a vital role in creating individualized treatment plans for clients with PTSD. To learn more about our services and programs, call us at (866) 311-3510.

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