Network with hundreds of behavioral healthcare professionals and earn up to 5 CEU's.

Call Now

What Is Trauma-Informed Therapy?

Trauma-informed therapy can help people overcome the effects of trauma and enhance other related therapies.

What Is Trauma?

Experiencing intense, dramatic, or emotional events can result in trauma. This is a normal psychological reaction to abnormal situations that often includes feeling withdrawn, anxious, or fearful. When these symptoms persist for months or years, psychologists label the cumulative effects as resulting in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Coping with Trauma

Trauma-informed therapy is a therapeutic approach that can make treatment more accessible for people who have undergone traumatic experiences or who have developed PTSD. Also known as trauma-informed care, therapy done in this style serves to minimize the risk of re-traumatization while recognizing the effects that trauma can have on people. It also helps people overcome the symptoms of trauma that are negatively affecting their lives.

These are the key concepts of trauma-informed care. The best therapy for trauma is the one that you or your loved one can actively participate in. That is the long-term goal of trauma-informed psychotherapy.1

What Is Trauma-Informed Therapy?

Trauma-informed psychotherapy is not a direct therapeutic approach but rather an overarching therapeutic mindset adopted by clinicians and counselors. The key components are establishing safety in trauma therapy, being aware of the client’s traumas, and working diligently to avoid causing situations and emotions that may interfere with treatment.2 

What Trauma-Informed Therapy Can Help With

With trauma-informed care, therapy is more beneficial for those that deal with the ramifications of PTSD or other trauma. It can help people with a variety of different issues using specialized, trauma-informed care therapy techniques that allow people to open up and feel comfortable during treatment.

Acute Trauma

Acute trauma refers to the emotions and behaviors of people who have just recently gone through a traumatic event. This could include any number of experiences, including:

  • Witnessing or being the victim of a violent event
  • Losing a loved one unexpectedly
  • Being involved in a car accident
  • Living through a natural disaster

No matter what the cause, the symptoms of acute trauma can take a severe psychological toll. Trauma-informed therapy can help patients cope with these symptoms in a healthy way and potentially prevent the trauma from developing into PTSD.3

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder is oftentimes a debilitating mental illness that affects millions of people each year. A trauma-informed therapist is acutely aware of how post-traumatic stress affects individuals and will be able to assist you or your loved ones through these symptoms and work towards recovery.4

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders can also result from experiencing trauma. A trauma-informed therapist will work with people who have anxiety disorders to uncover the root cause of their anxiety while using a trauma-informed approach to help them cope with the symptoms and signs.

Other Mental Illnesses

A person with a mental illness like depression or bipolar disorder may be dealing with trauma from their past but aren’t quite ready to work on it yet. Trauma-informed care therapy means that a therapist can help the patient with these issues without them having to relive the traumatic experiences. This enhances the effectiveness of treatment and helps them to recover.

Techniques of Trauma-Informed Therapy

During trauma-informed therapy or trauma-based therapy, a therapist will emphasize several key points in a trauma-informed intervention. These are all utilized in order to help the patient with any underlying symptoms or overarching tolls that trauma may still be enacting on them. Therapists are there to assist patients with many different techniques to allow the patient to feel safe as well. These can include:

  • Physical and emotional safety
  • Collaboration
  • Transparency about treatment
  • Peer support
  • Cultural, historical, and gender awareness
  • Humility and responsiveness to any issues the patient has with treatment

Establishing a Secure Environment During Therapy

Establishing safety in trauma therapy is essential for treatment success. If people aren’t comfortable opening up because of previous traumatic events, therapy can grind to an unexpected halt. A trauma-informed therapist works diligently toward establishing safety in emotional trauma therapy, taking the client’s input into consideration and being aware of the unique culture and situation of each client.

Benefits of Trauma-Informed Therapy

Trauma-informed counseling is about much more than simply helping people heal from trauma. It enhances the effectiveness of treating all types of mental health disorders with trauma-informed therapy activities and acute awareness on the part of the therapist.

Developing a Sense of Self, Safety, and Stability

Trauma-based therapy can help clients learn about trauma, identify their trauma causes, re-establish a sense of safety and security, and develop a set of healthy coping skills to manage the effects of trauma. In so doing, the trauma-informed approach can reduce traumatic stress or symptoms and aid in processing and integrating the patient’s traumas.

Potential Challenges

With that being said, there are a few barriers to trauma-informed care. Oftentimes, people fear that entering treatment means that they will immediately be talking about trauma in therapy and reliving the terrible event or series of events. That isn’t necessarily the case — in therapy, bringing up trauma is sometimes counterproductive. The symptoms of trauma can often be addressed without having to relive the experience over and over again in treatment, and the patient can still receive effective mental health care despite having trauma causes or worries.

Things to Consider When Starting Trauma Therapy

Trauma Informed Therapy

If you or a loved one are considering entering trauma-informed treatment, there are a few things to consider. First, not all therapists work in this specialization, which means they might not be equipped to handle clients who are experiencing the effects of trauma. A therapist dealing with trauma who uses a trauma-informed intervention can be trusted to support mindfulness of trauma causes and symptoms.

Secondly, meeting with a trauma-informed therapist means that you may be asked about your trauma history during the first session. While the goal isn’t necessarily to start diving into the details of traumatic events, your therapist needs to know what might cause your traumas and how they can best help you through the treatment process. In order to do so, they need to have a better understanding of exactly what type of trauma you experienced.

Trauma-Informed Therapy at Anew Treatment Center

When you’re ready to start receiving high-quality mental health care that is truly trauma informed, reach out to the experts at Anew Treatment Center. We understand how devastating the effects of trauma can be, and we go to great lengths to ensure that our entire treatment process is informed by the principles of trauma-based therapy.

From the very moment you first call, we strive to make sure you feel comfortable, safe, and secure. We want you to feel ready to work through your trauma and overcome the symptoms. No matter what your mental health difficulties are, we believe that recovery is possible, and the team at Anew Treatment center can help show you the way. 

Learn More About Our Treatment Programs

Our team is ready to talk and determine how we can help. Rest assured your call is confidential. We're here for you.