Many people have heard about it, but they may wonder, “what is trauma?” Willow Place for Women includes trauma education programs to provide information on the effects of trauma as they relate to addiction. Additionally, trauma education addresses the effects of addiction as they relate to trauma. With knowledge of how trauma and addiction correlate, our clients leave treatment with a higher possibility of success in recovery. Women who understand how their addiction and traumatic experience play off one another through our trauma education programs are able to identify more clearly how to manage the symptoms of both trauma and addiction once treatment ends.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is a psychological reaction to an event that has happened to an individual. Experiencing trauma is normal after an unexpected, unplanned, and unstoppable event. But, for some, the effects of trauma last longer than they would normally. For those addicted to drugs or alcohol, the response of trauma is numbed over and over again with every use. This prevents the individual from working through their feelings and eventually healing from trauma. A cycle of addiction can prolong the effects of trauma, and trauma education can help to bring this to light for the patients at The Willow Place for Women.
Types of Trauma:
- Sexual abuse
- Natural disaster
- Victim of criminal behavior
- Childhood abuse
- Loss of a loved one
Women that are affected by trauma have flashbacks of the traumatic experience, feel shame and guilt, and find it hard to perform daily tasks because of the weight that trauma brings. Those struggling with the effects of trauma experience anxiety, paranoia, depression, and can even develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a type of mood disorder, if the symptoms of their trauma last longer than 3 months. If trauma is left untreated it can be the result of damaging physical illness caused by long-term depression and high levels of stress. Additional to the health effects, struggling with trauma is tiresome and frustrating. The Willow Place for Women understands that traumatic experiences are especially hard to deal with, and even more challenging when paired with a drug or alcohol addiction.
Studies show that addicts who suffer from trauma-related symptoms have a higher possibility of relapse after treatment. Informing our clients on the causes, effects, and healing of trauma and addiction gives them the knowledge they need to prevent unwanted behaviors and emotions in the future. Furthermore, education on the relationships between trauma and addiction prepare the women in our program for trauma counseling that can help them handle the stresses of trauma that may lead to relapse in the future.
What is Trauma Education?
The Willow Place for Women understands that addicts come from all walks of life, and many times those walks have not been easy. One of the main causes of addiction is self-medication. People can self-medicate for a number of reasons, but those that have suffered from a traumatic event self-medicate with drugs or alcohol so that they no longer feel the emotional pain that comes along with their trauma. Trauma can be a life-altering experience, and it can last years if not treated. Soothing a loss or sorrow with drugs or alcohol may numb the pain for a while, but as the cycle of addiction starts to consume an individual, the weight of both trauma and addiction are hard to bare. An approach to addiction treatment with a focus on trauma education means that individuals who have developed the disease of addiction based off of a traumatic experience can have the chance to identify how addiction and trauma affect each other in their own lives.
Trauma education programs help addicted individuals take their lives back from trauma by providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to confront the causes of their symptoms. We know that our patients struggling with trauma and addiction are resilient, strong survivors of their past. We aim to merely enhance these characteristics through information that can help keep our patients from relapsing outside of treatment and develop a life of well-being and contentedness. The atmosphere of respect, compassion, and empathy at The Willow Place for Women is a vital part of our trauma education programs to help our patients focus on healing, learning, and developing coping skills important for long-term recovery success.
Upon enrolling into treatment, each woman at The Willow Place for Women is evaluated in depth both clinically and psychologically. Our team of highly trained psychologists provides a mental evaluation that explores the history of trauma in each patient. Our specialists understand the relationship between trauma and addiction and are trained in how to recognize and treat both ailments concurrently. Along with trauma education, patients who have been affected by traumatic experiences are invited to take part in the trauma therapy, which aims to help women heal from their trauma and identify underlying causes of their addiction based on cognitive behavioral approaches, individual, and group therapy.
Informational Trauma Education Programs Include:
- Realization of the presence of emotions that stem from trauma
- Awareness of the effects and behaviors brought on by trauma
- The practice of the knowledge of trauma in recovery programs
- Active resistance of future re-traumatization
Trauma education differs from therapy in that the client is made aware of the effects of trauma and addiction as they correlate to each other. Therapy focuses specifically on healing and coping strategies for the effects of trauma as they relate to addiction. Clients benefit from trauma therapy programs by gaining skills for recognizing symptoms and triggers of emotions brought on by traumatic events. But education on trauma and how it relates to addiction is vital to gaining the healing that is possible through trauma therapy programs. Without knowledge of how trauma affects addiction, recovering individuals will not be able to correctly identify how trauma affects their life, sobriety, and well-being once treatment concludes.