Trauma-Informed Therapy for Mental Health

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Trauma-Informed Therapy for Mental Health

Trauma-informed therapy for mental health involves accounting for a person’s trauma with their behaviors, mental health, and ability to engage in treatment.  

 

As the world experiences a global crisis and collective trauma related to COVID-19, trauma therapy can help individuals cope in a healthier way.

What is Trauma?

As defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), trauma is exposure to actual or threatened events involving death, serious injury, or sexual violation in one or more of the following ways: 

 

  • Directly experiencing the event. 
  • Witnessing the events in person as they occurred to others.
  • Learning that the events occurred to a close family member or friend. 
  • Experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to adverse details of the event. 

 

Basically, trauma is the result of events that seriously threaten or violate the safety of a person or their loved ones. 

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What Is Trauma-Informed Care?

Trauma-informed care is where mental healthcare providers engage with a person to allow effective treatment without retraumatization. Trauma-informed care requires understanding that past traumatic experiences can negatively influence a person’s current life. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration outlines the following principles for trauma-informed treatment: 

  1. Safety: treatment providers and organizations should make the physical counseling environment safe and engage in counseling forms that make the client feel safe. 
  1. Trustworthiness and Transparency: For clients to feel safe, counselors should be open and honest about the counseling process and the rules that govern counseling service delivery. 
  1. Peer Support: Incorporating stories of others who have experienced similar traumas in the counseling process can help clients feel safe. This safety then grows a feeling of trust in the counseling process, and clients may begin to feel hopeful about their recovery. 
  1. Collaboration and Mutuality: Counselors should serve as partners, not authorities, who assists rather than direct a client’s healing journey. 
  1. Empowerment, Voice, and Choice: To help clients recover, counselors must recognize and encourage client voices, choices, and strengths. Counselors must work from the belief that patients are resilient and can take charge of their own healing process. 
  1. Cultural, Historical, and Gender Awareness: Counselors must be self-aware of any predetermined bias about a client’s cultural identity. 

 

Trauma-Informed Therapy Techniques

Trauma-informed therapy isn’t one specific intervention but the editing of other interventions in the context of someone’s trauma history, triggers, and specific needs. It is a lens through which a therapist views their clients, taking into account trauma’s impact on emotions, regulation, and behavior. Intergenerational trauma will also be taken into account during mental health treatment.

What Can Trauma-Informed Therapy Help With?

Anyone who has experienced trauma in childhood or adulthood can benefit from trauma therapy. Even if someone enters treatment for another issue outside their trauma, this approach can still ensure their emotional safety inside their treatment sessions. 

 

Trauma-informed care will not harm someone who’s not experienced any trauma in their lives. This is why many providers take this approach in all sessions, not just when presenting with a trauma concern.

How Effective is Trauma-Informed Therapy?

While trauma therapy is not one single set of specific interventions, this treatment has proven to be effective in treating youth and adults with past traumatic experiences. Trauma-informed therapy can also help to address issues of shame and guilt that some trauma survivors often carry.

Discover Trauma-Informed Therapy Near You

Receiving mental health trauma-informed treatment can make a world of difference in someone’s recovery. If you have more questions about the benefits of trauma-informed mental healthcare, the TruHealing team is here to answer them. Call us at (833) 641-0572 24/7.

Lets Recover Together.

Sources: 

National Library of Medicine – Trauma-Informed Care: A Sociocultural Perspective

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services

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