Are There Effective Treatments for PTSD and Trauma Disorders?
Absolutely. In fact, trauma treatment is more advanced and effective today than it has ever been. Great progress has been made in effectively treating trauma over just the past few decades. Various treatment options are available to help individuals cope with and recover from trauma disorders, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and residential mental health treatment.
What Are Trauma Disorders Exactly?
Trauma disorders, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), are mental health conditions that can develop after experiencing or witnessing traumatic event(s). These events can range from natural disasters and accidents to violence and abuse. Trauma disorders can have long-lasting effects on a person’s emotional, psychological, and physical well-being.
According to the National Center for PTSD, approximately 7-8% of the population will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. Trauma treatment is often necessary for a person with a trauma disorder to be able to manage their symptoms and make progress. The impact of trauma is generally not something that simply “heals itself” over time. This JourneyPure post will provide an overview of trauma treatments and focus on EMDR as an innovative and effective therapy for trauma recovery.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Trauma
CBT is a widely used form of therapy that helps individuals change negative thought patterns and behaviors. It involves identifying and challenging unhelpful thoughts and beliefs related to the traumatic event. CBT also teaches coping skills and strategies to manage symptoms of trauma disorders, such as relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and problem-solving skills.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Trauma
DBT is a type of CBT that focuses on teaching individuals how to regulate their emotions, tolerate distress, and improve interpersonal relationships. DBT is particularly helpful for those who struggle with emotional dysregulation and self-destructive behaviors as a result of trauma. This therapy incorporates both individual and group sessions, where participants learn and practice new skills.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is an innovative therapy that has gained recognition for its effectiveness in treating trauma disorders. It was developed in the late 1980s by psychologist Dr. Francine Shapiro and is now recognized as an evidence-based treatment for PTSD. In fact, EMDR is arguably one of the single most effective treatments we have available for PTSD today. EMDR is not only effective for most patients, it also begins to deliver results more quickly than most other trauma therapy methods.
How EMDR Works
EMDR focuses on processing traumatic memories and changing the way these memories are stored in the brain. The therapy involves recalling the traumatic event while engaging in bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements, tapping, or auditory tones. This process helps the brain reprocess the memory and integrate it into the individual’s overall life experiences, reducing the emotional distress associated with the memory.
What to Expect During EMDR Sessions
EMDR therapy typically consists of eight phases: history-taking, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation. The therapist will guide the client through each phase, ensuring they feel safe and supported throughout the process.
During the desensitization phase, clients will be asked to focus on the traumatic memory while engaging in bilateral stimulation. The therapist will monitor the client’s reactions and adjust the process accordingly, helping the client reprocess the memory and reduce its emotional impact.
EMDR Success Stories
Several studies have shown just how effective EMDR is in treating trauma disorders. For example, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that EMDR was more effective in treating PTSD symptoms than traditional therapy methods. Many individuals who have undergone EMDR therapy report significant reductions in trauma-related symptoms and improved overall quality of life.
Residential Mental Health Treatment for PTSD and Other Trauma Disorders
Residential mental health treatment offers intensive care for individuals who require more support than outpatient therapy can provide. In a residential setting, patients have access to a full team of mental health professionals, including therapists, psychiatrists, and mental health counselors (LMHC). This type of treatment can be especially helpful for people with severe trauma-related conditions or co-occurring disorders that may require substance use treatment and/or medication management, 24-hour supervision, and a structured environment.
Residential care is appropriate for individuals who have not responded to outpatient treatments. The immersive nature of residential treatment allows patients to focus on their recovery completely without the stress and triggers of everyday life. Remember that residential or inpatient mental health isn’t the only option or the only way to receive EMDR for trauma or any of the other trauma treatments listed above. But, when appropriate and necessary, residential care tends to be the most effective treatment option for trauma-related conditions.
Finding Treatment for Trauma or PTSD
In conclusion, various treatment options are available for individuals struggling with trauma disorders, including PTSD. While therapies like CBT and DBT can be highly effective, EMDR offers a highly-effective evidence-based approach to trauma recovery. JourneyPure offers mental health treatment, including treatment for addiction and co-occurring disorders at our locations across the eastern seaboard. If you or someone you care about needs trauma or substance abuse treatment, JourneyPure wants to help. Please call us at (888) 985-2207 for more information.
- years in the field