People experience many different types of trauma throughout their lives. Trauma isn’t exclusive to age, gender, profession, or experience. And treating trauma differs for everyone, which makes people wonder, “Can trauma be cured through treatment?”
Facing and overcoming trauma is a brave undertaking. But, with the right help, you can learn how to process your feelings surrounding the trauma and heal.
Traumatic experiences differ. Traumatic experiences frequently involve real or perceived threats to life or safety and trigger a survival response. After the initial reaction subsides, trauma survivors often feel the world is unsafe.
Causes of trauma include:
- One-Time Events. Accidents, life-altering injuries, assaults, or unexpected threats to stability are common events that lead to trauma.
- Relentless Stress. This category deals more with everyday life. Living in a crime-ridden neighborhood, battling or supporting someone with chronic illness, racism, being subjected to repeated bullying or abuse, or neglect can induce trauma.
- Extraordinary Circumstances. The sudden death of a loved one, a painful breakup, or extreme disappointment can also lead to trauma.
People’s responses to trauma vary as much as the traumatic experiences themselves. People who experience the same traumatic event are likely to respond differently. For people who experience emotional trauma, it can range from an adjustment issue that resolves itself quickly to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is a life-altering, severe condition.
Symptoms of trauma include:
- Ruminating. You think about the trauma you experienced seemingly nonstop. You find it difficult to redirect your thoughts to your current surroundings and circumstances.
- Flashbacks. Certain sounds, sights, smells, or locations take you back to the trauma. You have nightmares or trouble sleeping. You don’t feel safe. Any strong reaction that doesn’t seem connected to your present life could be an effect of trauma.
- Loneliness. Persistent feelings of loneliness and failure are frequent symptoms of trauma.
- Overreacting. Do you always seem on guard? Do you startle easily? Do you panic when small things don’t go according to plan? These could be signs of trauma.
Can Trauma Be Cured Through Treatment?
Treatment can’t cure trauma, but it can become another experience in your life with feelings surrounding it that you can regulate and control.
Regardless of the traumatic experience and your response, it’s essential for the survivor to seek professional help if they’re having difficulty processing what they experienced.
Carmen Dominguez, Executive Clinical Director at Integrative Life Center, stated that trauma treatment can help people live authentically and with self-agency. She said:
“Trauma treatment helps to reestablish safety and guide clients back to their inherent worth. You can’t undo a trauma. What happened to you will always be there. But healing from and controlling symptoms of trauma is possible.”
Tips for Healing and Recovering From Trauma
Seeking trauma treatment shouldn’t be done without thought or care. Consider the following tips to guide you through healing and recovery from trauma.
- Get Educated. Learn about trauma, how it can affect you and others, and why it’s important to seek help.
- Avoid Unhealthy Coping. Unhealthy coping mechanisms like self-medicating with drugs or alcohol aren’t helpful. It often only worsens trauma’s effects or creates secondary concerns.
- Connect With Others. Finding someone who understands your experience and will listen without judgment or advice is critical. They should be a safe person you can talk to when you need them most, without fear of judgment or advice on “what you should do.”
- Seek Survivor Support. You don’t have to go through this alone. Although comparing trauma is unhealthy, many people have gone through similar experiences. They can offer support and practical advice on how they handled things afterward that may apply to your situation.
- Seek Treatment. If you’re experiencing trauma symptoms, it’s important to find a mental health professional to help you through them. You’ll be able to more effectively process what happened, learn coping skills, and develop healthier habits to help you deal with future stressors.
Once you’ve determined that you need treatment, it’s essential to explore your options with a trusted therapist and treatment center.
Treatments for Trauma
Finding the right treatment for trauma means exploring your options and considering what might work best for you. There are many therapeutic techniques, some even specifically designed for trauma treatment.
Some treatments to consider are:
- EMDR. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy that uses eye movements or other forms of rhythmic, left-right stimulation to treat trauma. The survivor focuses on an upsetting memory while following a therapist’s hand as it moves back and forth. This approach helps the person reprocess the memory in a new way that doesn’t include fear.
- Brainspotting. Brainspotting is a process in which you visualize your trauma while listening to music. It’s based on a theory that different parts of our brains are affected by different emotions and memories, so you can use music to help access those memories more easily — and then work through them emotionally.
- Group Therapy. Group therapy is when several people with similar issues meet with a therapist to discuss their problems and support each other as they work through them together.
These are just some of the mental health treatments you can explore through a credible mental health professional dedicated to trauma recovery. It’s essential to recognize that treatment helps but understand there is no “cure” for trauma. How can trauma be cured through treatment when it’s not a disease but an experience to heal?
How Trauma Treatment Can Help
Fortunately, recovery from trauma is still possible. Trauma treatment therapy can be an effective way to help you through the aftermath of a traumatic event and assist you in controlling trauma symptoms.
Treatment can help you:
- Develop Coping Skills. Trauma treatment will help you learn how to manage your emotions and stress and develop new skills for dealing with situations that may trigger an emotional response.
- Regain Control. Treatment can help you regain control and make meaning of trauma and your response. This process is perhaps the most important part of trauma treatment, as it allows you to take back control over how you see yourself and your life after trauma.
- Rebuild Relationships. Often trauma survivors find themselves alienated from friends and family members who don’t understand their experience, which can lead to isolation and loneliness. To heal from trauma, it’s important to reestablish these bonds and rebuild trust in others who are there for you during this difficult time.
- Reestablish Your Sense of Safety. This step means taking steps toward creating a new sense of security in your life — whether by finding an environment where you feel safe or by learning new ways to feel safe physically and emotionally.
- Identify and Lessen Triggers. Trauma treatment is a way of treating the effects of trauma by helping you recognize and manage the symptoms that come with it. Trauma treatment can help reduce feelings of distress, anxiety, and depression associated with traumatic events.
Trauma doesn’t have to control your life. You can begin to heal today, even if you’ve been unable to acknowledge your trauma in the past.
Our team of trauma specialists has decades of combined experience in treating trauma, and each member specializes in a specific area connected to trauma. We understand trauma and how your brain and body respond to it.
Contact Integrative Life Center to explore your recovery options and discover effective ways to help you heal from trauma.