Many people are afraid to relive painful experiences, but trauma therapy requires a surface view of these events and a recognition that you are not defined by your past, nor does your life moving forward need to be dictated by it.
In order to live free of fear and shame, we learn to create that safe space in our lives where we can work through these past experiences without the threat or worry of reliving them. We cannot control what has already happened to us. What we try to teach through our trauma therapy at The Villa Treatment Center is that we have to disassociate from the hold we have allowed this trauma to take on our lives.
Trauma Therapy and Your Safe Space
We don’t expect or wish for our clients to forget the past to move forward, but we do want them to have a healthy relationship with their experiences. Many of our clients involved in one-on-one therapy with a dedicated counselor are often unaware they have past trauma. It’s our job to work comfortably through these past experiences, to touch on the significance they have had in our client’s lives, and how to understand their impact on their current behaviors.
Many different types of trauma can come from interactions with family members in childhood and adult experiences that have compromised the safe space we have created for ourselves. As we grow and develop into our personality and habits, these experiences can get in the way of healthy progress. These events can either inhibit personal growth or cause some to build resilience to certain situations. Instability in the family and home is often the root cause of these issues in children, but trauma can come from any number of experiences, such as active combat, grief, sexual abuse as a child or adult, problems at school, and domestic violence, to name a few. These interior struggles can be addressed with trauma therapy at The Villa Treatment Center.
Growing Up with an Addict or Living in an Unstable Environment
Those who are children of addicts can suffer from the trauma of events related to their parent or loved one’s addiction. Family arguments, unstable conditions, and a familial structure that deviated from what is socially acceptable can feel unsafe and create anxiety, depression, and feelings of hopelessness depending on the severity of the situation within the home and what harm can come to a child. There can be physical or emotional abuse. In some instances, even sexual abuse. These traumatic events can have a deep impact on memory and social interactions. Addiction may not develop until later in life when seemingly unrelated events can trigger reactions to past trauma and relief is sought in drugs and alcohol.
Whether you are a child of an addict or someone that has grown up in a stressful and traumatic family dynamic, some symptoms of trauma can begin to set into the development process of a child’s personality and behaviors. Such symptoms include:
- Social inability to interact
- Lack of self-confidence
- Inability to trust others
- Traumatic affect on memory
We have often heard the phrase that worrying can make you sick, and there is truth to that; not only for constant worrying, but for psychological stresses as well. When an individual experiences trauma there are reactions within the brain and body. Depending on the type of trauma experienced, the age the event/s took place, and the current emotional state of the person, memories can be altered or completely suppressed. Trauma can change the way we remember particular events and a specific type of trauma therapy is needed to help restore memory and process the events.
The brain will react to a situation by repressing the memory or altering it to help the individual deal comfortably with the experience. This is a defense mechanism that can backfire on someone and block them from having any understanding of why they react to certain stimuli the way they do. When we cannot pinpoint why we behave this way, it makes understanding and working through our issues increasingly difficult.
Well-Being: Physical and Mental Wellness
Behaviors and the physical processing of the body can be compromised when the mind is unwell or off balance. Those that experience uncontrolled anxiety, stress, and depression can attest to this.
These feelings can create serious side effects on our hearts, digestive system, immune system health, and the way our body ages in the process. To promote physical and mental well-being, we must address these traumas and get to the core of the root issues in our lives.
Evidence-Based Trauma Therapy Integration
In order for us to actively treat these childhood experiences, we can employ evidence-based therapies, methods such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EDMR). These therapies will assist our clients in recalling these past experiences so that we can address the connection between their addiction and the experience. Many of our clients find these treatments comforting and effective because we move through these past traumas to work through them in a new way that makes them easier to accept and treat. Our clients will learn their triggers for traumatic experiences, new ways of reacting to those triggers, and how to recognize sensitive moments, all in a safe and healing environment.
Our individual sessions will develop into group therapy at a comfortable pace where each client will feel supported and invited to share their feelings so they may relate to their peers in recovery. We often find that in order for therapy sessions to take effect, it is best for individuals to identify with others that have had similar experiences and to see how they too have benefitted from these therapeutic methods.
For our clients that require different methods of learning and emotional processing, we offer alternative therapies such as equine therapy, music and art therapy, yoga and meditation. To learn more about our trauma therapy or any of our other therapeutic options, please call The Villa Treatment Center today at 1-818-639-7160 and let us help you work through these difficult experiences in a healthy and safe way.