What is Holistic Trauma Therapy?
So earlier this month we educated you about holistic therapy. Now we want to discuss holistic trauma therapy. Before we dive into holistic trauma therapy, we have to understand what trauma is. Trauma is a mental health condition in which people experience a variety of symptoms following a traumatic event. These symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, anxiety, avoidance, and changes in mood and thinking. Trauma typically happens due to the experience having an impact on how you cope and function.
There are different types of trauma that can happen throughout one’s life. The different types are as follows:
- Car Accident
- Death of someone close to you
- Natural Disasters
- Serious Illness
- Witnessing any of the different types of trauma already listed
Some of the symptoms of trauma are as follows:
- Intrusive Thoughts: thoughts that continuously occur when you have a reminder of the traumatic event trigger you.
- Hypervigilance: This is when you are very aware of your surroundings. You tend to be more on guard and very protective due to your body trying to protect you from any threats or danger.
- Hyperarousal: This is when you are very on edge. Anxiety is taking over, and you are then put into fight or flight mode. Typically, with this symptom you will have an exaggerated startle response like a loud noise happens and you jump.
- Avoidance: you will avoid any people, places, or events that will trigger any reminder of the traumatic event
- Loss of Interest: you lose interest in things you enjoyed doing before the traumatic event or you will start to push people away due to becoming detached from others.
- Negative Beliefs in Others or the world: You tend to feel as if no one can be trusted, the whole world is dangerous.
- Consistent Negative State: You may feel shame, guilt, sadness, or anger due to the event.
Other symptoms include:
- Sleep Disturbance
- Irritability or Angry Outbursts
- Concentration Issues
- Reckless or Self-Destructive Behaviors
- Blaming Yourself for The Consequences of The Event
- Inability to Feel Positive Emotions
Now that we have an overview on what trauma is and the symptoms you could experience, let's talk about how Enlightenment Counseling can help with your trauma in a holistic way.
First, we focus on holistic care. This means treating you as a whole person with mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs that are also within social and cultural aspects. These different aspects all intersect, interact, and affect each other and need to be treated as a whole rather than individually. We know that there is so much more to you than just your symptoms. We make sure that every part of your life is taken into consideration when treating your trauma.
Next, we are a trauma informed practice. Throughout your treatment with us from start to finish we are mindful that you have experienced trauma that is the cause of what you are experiencing today. We work to heal you in and out rather than just treating your symptoms.
Finally, we are all about healing. We are healing centered in our practice. I mean our slogan is Find Your Path to Healing. We focus on finding your path to healing by helping you understand that trauma doesn’t define you. You have more to offer. We pull in all of your strengths, abilities, and resources to help create a path to a place of enlightenment.
All of these aspects are combined with the therapies that we offer. The therapies we use to treat trauma are exposure therapy, cognitive processing, trauma narrative, trauma release exercises, and combining all of these things with our integrative, mind-body, and somatic therapies.
The following are descriptions of the different types of trauma-based therapies we use in our practice.
- Exposure Therapy: This type of therapy helps you overcome things, activities, or situations that cause fear or anxiety.
- Cognitive Processing: This is a type of cognitive behavioral treatment focused on helping you through your thoughts that are "stuck" about a traumatic experience.
- Trauma Narrative: This is a psychological technique that helps you make sense of the experiences you have suffered.
Check out our Holistic Therapy blog to get more information on our integrative, mind-body, and somatic therapies.
Holistic Trauma Therapy can be very beneficial when someone is dealing with symptoms of trauma. It can help you to process your feelings and emotions and process the event itself. Sometimes facing the trauma head on in a safe space is the most beneficial thing you can do for yourself on top of learning coping skills to help you function better on a daily basis. Some other benefits of holistic trauma therapy are as follows:
- Reduce fear or avoidance
- Improve coping skills
- Build Trust Again
- Challenge Negative Beliefs
- Offer Validation
When you begin holistic trauma therapy there are some things to take into consideration.
- Are you ready: What is your commitment level? You have to be committed to wanting to change your current state in order for the treatment to be effective for you. It takes a lot of work to get back to a stable way of functioning and that work falls on you.
- Risks: Always know that things will get worse before they get better. If you start to open up your trauma and process it, you are going to feel "icky". It will not be a fun time, but it will be therapeutic. Sometimes negative thoughts can take over due to everything being relieved again. Sometimes safety plans (an agreement with therapist if you have plans for suicide) are put in place to help keep you safe from harming yourself.
- It’s a Process: Therapy in general is a process but that is especially so when trauma is involved. We want to make sure that you have a good foundation of coping skills and techniques to help manage your symptoms such as emotions, and behaviors before we dive into the heavy stuff. This is key to making sure you are safe but also to help you function better rather than the trauma taking over, and you lose ability to function.
Overall, we hope that you found this blog beneficial. We hope that it will give you a good idea of what trauma is and how we go about treating it. There is so much that goes into holistic trauma therapy. If you found this blog educational follow us on social media to keep updated on our practice and different holistic therapies that we plan to provide in the future.