Trauma is the leading cause of most if not all, mental health-related issues. The fact remains that everyone has had one traumatic experience in their life. Although some traumatic experiences are short-lived, others affect an individual’s psychological, financial, social, and physical life.
Therapy meant for managing traumatic experiences has many uses. This is because there are different types of trauma, and different people react differently to different trauma experiences. Hence the rise of trauma counseling techniques.
It is worth noting that trauma is not a mental health challenge. Instead, trauma experiences can lead to mental health challenges like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder, depression disorder, substance abuse, etc. if not managed with psychotherapy.
Trauma entails how uncomfortable or negative events happen to an individual and the individual's response to it. These experiences could include assault, domestic violence, accidents, natural disasters, work stress, bullying, etc.
The following symptoms of traumatic events tell you if you have experienced trauma, and they include
There are other related symptoms, but these are common. If these symptoms have persisted for a long time and are beginning to affect your relationship with others, your job, or your daily activities, you will have to seek professional help.
Trauma counseling techniques will help reduce symptoms of traumatic events, encourage interpersonal skills, manage physiological and emotional reactions to traumatic triggers, and help control mood irregularities.
Effect Of Trauma on Adulthood
Some traumatic events happen during childhood. For example, most people who react to rape triggers were raped in childhood. Also, adults who have anger issues could be traced to unpleasant childhood events.
People who have experienced life-shattering trauma can develop a mental health problem. Examples of these mental challenges include anxiety disorders, depression disorders, stress disorders, dissociative disorders, etc.
Substance abuse, like drugs and alcohol, is another effect of trauma. People who misuse drugs or indulge in drinking alcohol as a result of trauma, do so not to feel the pain, shame, or guilt the traumatic experience has caused. In some cases, people were forced to take these drugs very often. Suicide, or self-harm, is also another painful effect of trauma. This affects not only the traumatic patient but also their family and friends.
Physical health-related issues can also be an effect of traumatic events. Heart attacks and high blood pressure are the most common. Others include the loss of some body parts due to an accident.
Types Of Trauma Counseling Techniques
Trauma counseling techniques are techniques used by mental health professionals to help trauma victims manage their trauma triggers and reactions. These techniques are different and unique for different forms of trauma.
In some cases, two or more trauma counseling techniques will be required to help patients. For example, someone going through post-traumatic stress is offered prolonged exposure therapy for up to 3 sessions, and such therapy is backed up with group therapy.
Here are some of the trauma counseling therapies that mental health professionals used for trauma-living experienced individuals:
EMDR: it is called Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. During the session the mental health professional help the trauma victim to focus on a back-and-forth movement, which could be a ball on a screen moving back and forth. In which the victim tries to remember a traumatic experience. EMDR helps victims to remember uncomfortable experiences they have blocked from their memory. Mental health conditions like PTSD required EMDR.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy: it is a step-by-step approach to facing your traumatic experiences. The therapist assures trauma victims of how safe it is to face their fears, pain, guilt, or shame. Sub techniques such as imaginal and In vivo exposure is used to help victim talk about and identify stimulants of the traumatic experience.
Psychodynamic Therapy: psychodynamic therapy focuses on the unconscious thoughts developed during the traumatic event. The therapy helps bring out and break those unconscious feelings or thoughts housed in the minds of the victims that prevent them from moving forward in life. Psychodynamics helps change behavior and thought patterns.
Hypnotherapy: hypnotherapy is more about using the body and mind in a relaxing and concentrated manner to manage trauma. A mental health practitioner has to have certification in hypnosis to be able to conduct hypnotherapy. A hypnotherapy session includes the victim being in a trance state and shutting out the world, concentrating on the voice of the therapist as they administer to you, and ways to help you manage your trauma.
Group Therapy: it is a therapy session where survivors of trauma come together for more support. Most of the time, trauma victims will go through other trauma counseling techniques and then attend group sessions.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT focuses more on your buildup of emotions and reactions to trauma triggers. It involves action in confronting and managing traumatic effects. Trauma victims get to understand the reality of trauma and change their behavior toward it.
Other forms include the groundbreaking trauma technique, which can be done without the help of a mental health therapist, and they include
Breathing Exercises: breathing exercises help calm your nerves when a traumatic trigger appears. It is better to do this exercise every morning.
Exercises involving moving your whole body: you can dance or take a walk. It helps to improve your physical health, which in turn gives you the physical ability to manage traumatic triggers.
Journaling: write down happy thoughts or what you think about the future to help foster a positive mindset.
Observe your body: this means becoming aware of how your body reacts to trauma triggers.
How Trauma Counseling Techniques Are Administered for Future Purposes.
Most trauma counseling techniques use three stages during administration. The mental health professional, before starting the stages, gets to have a conversation with the traumatic patient, letting them know how the session is going to help. During the introductory session, the mental health practitioner also gets to understand the patient.
Sometimes some of these trauma counseling techniques, like prolonged exposure, can be administered three times a week for thirty minutes to decrease anxiety disorder symptoms.
According to Pierre Janet, a trauma-based psychologist, there are three stages of trauma treatment.
The first stage involves the safety and stabilization of the trauma victim. The stage involves the therapist mapping out a coping strategy to help victims manage their triggers and reactions. This is to help you cope for the time being.
The second and third stages use therapy techniques like CBT, hypnotherapy, etc. to help understand the core cause of the trauma as well as apply what was learned and recommendations to relationships.