Trauma Therapy for Women in Addiction Recovery
At Willow Place for Women, we focus our trauma therapy treatment on coping mechanisms to deal with emotions brought on by trauma. These coping strategies help individuals deal with triggered responses to trauma as they relate to addiction. We comprehend the need to resolve underlying emotions that may stem from traumatic events. The resolution of these repressed feelings is vital to the recovery process for an addict since they may relate to each other. Willow Place for Women provides a safe environment for addicts to be able to plunge deep into the source of emotional, mental, and physical torment brought on by addiction and trauma.
Trauma and Addiction
For many women that seed help with addiction treatment, there are causes to that led up to their addictive behaviors. Often times, addiction is a result of self-medicating negative emotions brought on by trauma. Trauma is a psychological response to an event. Trauma can be a result of sexual assault, domestic abuse, childhood abuse, the loss of a loved one, natural disaster, witnessing violence, or being the victim of violence. Trauma is a direct result of not being prepared for a situation, not being able to prevent a situation or experiencing shock from a situation that took place. Those that struggle with long-term trauma and addiction are at risk for long-term illness if the symptoms of their trauma are not treated. Symptoms of trauma may include flashbacks of the events, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, anxiety, and exhaustion. The effects of trauma can be debilitating, leaving a woman struggling with it incapable of performing daily tasks and activities. For those who have developed an addiction to a substance as a result of attempting to numb the emotions brought on by trauma, the effects of trauma can be magnified and harder to overcome. The emotions brought on by trauma must be identified and confronted so that an individual can move forward. Addiction prevents this from happening since substances can modify a person’s response to emotion.
Types of Trauma
Complex Trauma: This type of trauma is the type that has spanned over a long period of time. Those that experience symptoms of complex trauma have repeated visions of the traumatic event and are affected by the trauma they lived with on a constant basis.
Social trauma: Trauma resulting from something a community of people were involved with, whether church, school, or surrounding community.
Impersonal Trauma: This type of trauma is a result of something that no one could have caused or prevented like natural disasters, accidents, and illness.
Interpersonal Trauma: Trauma as a result of an action of another like committed violence, sexual assault, or domestic abuse.
Trauma is different for everyone individually. Some people may come out of a traumatic experience and never experience the effects of trauma. But, for those who struggle with dealing with the effects of trauma, treatment may be necessary. For those who have formed an addiction as a result of a traumatic experience, trauma therapy is even more important so that individual can learn to deal with the reactions to trauma without the crutch of substance abuse.
Identifying PTSD and Addiction
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a trauma-related mental illness. It is prolonged chronic trauma after a traumatic event that lasts for a longer period than 3 months. The effects of PTSD are severe and can cause a person to not be able to live their daily and routine lifestyles. Those struggling with PTSD experience vivid flashbacks of the event, aggressive behaviors, depression, trouble concentrating, nightmares, sleeplessness, and extreme anxiety. The effects of PTSD seem to be even more debilitating than chronic trauma. Struggling with PTSD often leads to the development of an addiction through self-medicating. The specialists at The Willow Place for Women understand the severity of PTSD as it relates to addiction, and work to uncover the causes of both in our trauma recovery, trauma therapy, trauma education, and dual diagnosis programs for such patients.
Trauma Therapy Program
Women enrolled in our trauma therapy programs will experience group and individual therapy that provides vital skill development for:
- Identifying the effects of trauma
- Setting and maintaining personal boundaries
- Communication of honest emotions and feelings
- Healthy relationship building
- Handling grief in everyday life
- Grasping the importance of self-care
- Recognizing and dealing with triggers
Seeking Safety Method of Trauma Therapy
Trauma therapy at The Willow Place for Women involves the approach of Seeking Safety. This method of trauma therapy instead of utilizing narrative therapy utilizes the approach to safety. Understanding, picturing, and preparing for safety measures allows patients struggling with both trauma and addiction to feel safe during treatment. Also, it provides women with the skills to safely cope with their reactions to trauma. Trauma experiences can make individuals feel unsafe, and as a result of this unsafety, prolong the effects of trauma. The method of Seeking Safety includes 25 coping skills for increasing safety and ensuring ways to help cope with trauma and addiction concurrently.
Trauma-Informed Approach to Trauma Therapy
Along with the Seeking Safety techniques, the specialists at The Willow Place for Women also utilize a trauma-informed approach to trauma therapy. This focuses on the intrapersonal and impersonal traumatic experiences that a woman in addiction recovery may have encountered. This allows patients to examine the emotions they have as a result of trauma like shame, guilt, hopelessness, trust issues, and spirituality. Trauma-informed approaches can be offered in a number of different ways. At The Willow Place for Women, cognitive behavioral therapies, medication management, and holistic therapies are all used in the process of the trauma-informed approach to trauma therapy.
Trauma therapy at Willow Place for Women specializes in introducing the correlation of addiction and trauma to each client that opts into the program. Understanding the effects of trauma as they relate to addiction gives a recovering addict the motivation needed to tackle the symptoms and recovery from both afflictions. You don’t have to live with the debilitating effects of both your addiction and traumatic experience. You can overcome them and live a life full of well-being and happiness!