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Many people diagnosed with substance use disorder (SUD) have co-occurring trauma-related mental health issues. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Research has shown that traumatic experiences are associated with both behavioral health and chronic physical health conditions, especially those traumatic events that occur during childhood.” In addition, “Because these behavioral health concerns can present challenges in relationships, careers, and other aspects of life, it is important to understand the nature and impact of trauma, and to explore healing.” West Coast Recovery Centers uses trauma-informed care and trauma therapy to help people heal from trauma during early recovery.

What Is Trauma Therapy? 

Trauma therapy is a form of psychotherapy used to address mental health issues caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. During sessions, clients discuss thoughts, feelings, and memories related to the trauma and how it has impacted their lives. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), “Evidence shows trauma-focused psychotherapies are the most effective treatments for [post-traumatic stress disorder]” and other trauma-related disorders. Trauma therapy involves a wide range of activities and techniques. The clinical team collaborates with clients to determine which treatment approach best meets their unique needs. 

Trauma therapy is often used to treat disorders related to panic and anxiety, including: 

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Panic disorder 
  • Specific phobias 

Trauma therapy reduces symptoms, develops essential coping skills, and helps people in recovery gain confidence in their ability to manage their condition. Clients in treatment for SUD can rely on their care team at West Coast Recovery Centers to provide trauma-informed care.  

Who Benefits Most From Trauma Therapy? 

Many people with SUD and co-occurring trauma struggle with low self-esteem and internalized stigmas. In addition, individuals with untreated trauma may have difficulty trusting others or feel “unfixable” and avoid seeking help. Trauma-informed care reduces the risk of re-traumatization and provides a safe space where clients feel comfortable asking for help and accepting guidance from trained mental health professionals. Trauma therapy is an excellent resource for anyone who has been living with the side effects of untreated trauma.

People who benefit most from trauma therapy include: 

  • Individuals who have specific phobias and are diagnosed with trauma-related disorders 
  • Anyone experiencing disruptive symptoms related to past trauma 
  • Individuals who respond well to cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other forms of talk therapy 

Trauma therapy encapsulates a wide range of therapeutic methods and techniques. Often, the therapist chooses aspects of different therapy models to create a tailored treatment plan for clients in recovery to ensure they receive the support and guidance they need to manage both SUD and trauma recovery. 

How Does Trauma Affect Recovery?

Trauma therapy and trauma-informed care allow clients to heal and grow in a way that feels safe and natural. Clinicians must be mindful of how actions, language, and everyday interactions may affect individuals recovering from substance misuse. It is important for both the client and care team to fully understand how trauma may impact treatment and long-term sobriety.

Trauma can significantly affect recovery by doing the following: 

  • Making it more difficult for clients to build trusting relationships with peers and clinicians 
  • Increasing the severity of mental health symptoms 
  • Making it more difficult for clients to focus on treatment 
  • Increasing stress and anxiety

Trauma has the potential to affect all areas of a person’s life. Some trauma symptoms may worsen during detox and early recovery as the body works to regain internal balance. Mood swings and other side effects of SUD may temporarily trigger trauma responses in some people. The care team at West Coast Recovery Centers uses trauma-informed care to help clients achieve emotional stability.

West Coast Recovery Centers Uses Trauma Treatment to Reduce the Risk of Relapse

Trauma treatment at West Coast Recovery Centers addresses the causes and effects of trauma. People in recovery may not realize how much trauma has impacted their mental and physical health. Trauma therapy and other trauma-focused treatments reduce the risk of relapse by decreasing stress, anxiety, depression, and symptoms related to SUD and co-occurring trauma-related issues. According to SAMHSA, “Many different interventions and modalities are available for the treatment of trauma-related behavioral health problems.” West Coast Recovery Centers uses CBT, exposure therapy, experiential therapy, and other treatments to treat SUD and trauma. 

Finding a Path Forward Through Trauma Therapy

Trauma therapy allows people to face their fears and heal. The care team guides clients through finding healthy ways to manage their trauma responses and thrive in recovery. Trauma therapy is used alongside other therapeutic tools to ensure a holistic healing experience. West Coast Recovery Centers also offers referrals and other resources to clients who may need additional trauma therapy after completing treatment for SUD. Clients can rely on their care team to help them process trauma and move forward.

Trauma-informed care and trauma therapy provide people in recovery with a safe space to explore and process their past. Many people with substance use disorder (SUD) have experienced various traumas throughout their lifetime. Outpatient programs allow clients to work through any lingering issues caused by previously untreated traumas. The clinical team at West Coast Recovery Centers is trained to provide trauma-informed care, reducing the risk of re-traumatization and relapse during early recovery. The compassionate care team helps clients find healthy ways to overcome their trauma and build healthier lives. To learn more about our services and programs, contact West Coast Recovery Centers today by calling our office at (760) 492-6509.