Recovery Strategies for Different Types of Trauma

therapy for trauma

Life can be traumatic at times, and there are different types of trauma with different approaches for healing. It’s important to deal with trauma appropriately, as trauma survivors are at a higher risk for substance use and other harmful coping strategies. 

No matter how strong you are, it’s natural to become vulnerable when experiencing high levels of stress. If you experienced trauma in your past and haven’t yet processed it, you may benefit from trauma-informed care. 

Wolf Creek Recovery is an IOP program in Prescott that works with trauma survivors. We can help you recover from both past trauma and substance use in a safe, supportive environment. 

The Three Main Types of Trauma 

Trauma is an emotional response to a stressful event. Recovering from trauma takes time, and everyone heals at their own pace. But if months have passed and your symptoms are still persistent or getting worse, you may require therapy. There are three main types of trauma: 

  • Acute trauma. This type of trauma refers to a single event, such as a natural disaster. Most people recover from acute trauma on their own with time. 
  • Chronic trauma. Chronic trauma is repeated and prolonged, such as sexual or emotional abuse. People with this type of trauma tend to feel unsafe and unsupported. 
  • Complex trauma. Complex trauma is exposure to varied and multiple traumatic events, like substance use and domestic violence in the home. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder is a treatable condition. 

Complications of Untreated Trauma 

When you experience trauma, an association is made and stored in the brain. This happens because of the sensory perceptions of the trauma, such as certain smells or sounds associated with the event. The brain can retain these sensory perceptions regardless of whether the trauma was acute or complex. 

When trauma is left untreated, it can ‘live’ in the body and surface as nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, phobias, helplessness, anger and irritability. Another problem that can happen is drug and alcohol use. There is a strong link between untreated trauma and substance use. 

Experts believe that when a person is suffering from internal turmoil, they are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol to numb their symptoms and escape their pain. Known as self-medication, this behavior puts a person at risk for addiction and pushes down the trauma, preventing healing. 

Best Treatment Approaches for Trauma 

Wolf Creek Recovery offers dual diagnosis treatment in Arizona. We commonly work with individuals who are dealing with trauma and substance use. We find that these clients benefit from the following types of therapies: 

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT works to minimize problematic beliefs and behaviors while developing healthier thinking and behavioral patterns.  
  • Dialectical behavior therapy. DBT is similar to CBT, though the goals are a bit different. DBT focuses on reducing self-harming behaviors that often accompany mental disorders.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. EMDR therapy helps heal the mind from psychological trauma. It uses eye movements and guided instructions to reprocess what you remember. 
  • Rational emotive behavior therapy. REBT is also well-suited for trauma survivors because it shows people that they have a choice and can think about past traumas and events in a sensible way. 
  • Motivational interviewing. Trauma-informed motivational interviewing can help decrease barriers and increase readiness to make positive changes. 
  • Integrated group therapy. Group therapy is beneficial to those who feel alone. Groups provide a safe and nurturing setting so that members can share their experiences. 
  • Individual psychotherapy. During individual therapy sessions, clients focus on processing trauma while also addressing substance use and other behaviors. 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Arizona 

As you can see, there are many ways to treat trauma and the harmful behaviors that go along with it. Wolf Creek Recovery offers dual diagnosis treatment in Prescott AZ. We will develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses all of your needs, challenges and goals. Contact our admissions team to learn more about our approaches to treating trauma and substance use.