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A Closer Look at Trauma and Its Therapy

Examining Trauma and its impact

Welcome to the Atlantic Behavioral Health Blog. Our commitment to mental wellness extends beyond providing treatment; we aim to educate and empower our readers about various aspects of mental health. Today, we delve into understanding trauma and the therapeutic approaches we use to help our patients navigate and heal from their traumatic experiences.

Understanding Trauma

Trauma can be described as a response to an intensely distressing event or series of events that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope, causing feelings of helplessness, diminishing their sense of self, and their ability to feel a full range of emotions and experiences. Trauma is not defined by the event itself, but rather by the individual’s experience of the event. Events that can lead to trauma include physical or sexual assault, natural disasters, accidents, war, or the sudden loss of a loved one.

Trauma can manifest in various ways, affecting individuals physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, uncontrollable thoughts about the event, and persistent feelings of sadness, anger, fear, or guilt.

Trauma Therapy at Atlantic Behavioral Health

At Atlantic Behavioral Health, we understand the complexity of trauma and its profound impact on an individual’s life. Our approach to trauma therapy is multifaceted, incorporating various therapeutic techniques to address the unique needs of each patient. We primarily use the following types of therapy:

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a widely used therapy that helps individuals recognize and change negative thinking and behavior patterns. In trauma treatment, CBT focuses on identifying and understanding the thoughts and feelings that influence behaviors. It is particularly effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety-related disorders.

  2. Prolonged Exposure Therapy: This therapy involves gradually exposing patients to trauma-related memories, feelings, and situations. The goal is to help them process and reduce the power of trauma-related responses. Prolonged exposure therapy has been shown to be highly effective in reducing the symptoms of PTSD.

  3. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is a unique, interactive psychotherapy technique used to relieve psychological stress. It is an effective treatment for trauma and PTSD. During EMDR therapy sessions, patients briefly relive specific traumatic memories while the therapist directs their eye movements, which helps in processing the trauma and reducing its distressing impact.

  4. Narrative Exposure Therapy: This is a treatment for trauma disorders, particularly in individuals suffering from complex and multiple traumas. It focuses on creating a chronological narrative of the individual’s life, paying particular attention to traumatic experiences and their impact.

  5. Family Therapy: Trauma can affect not only the individual but also their family. Family therapy can be crucial in helping family members understand the impact of trauma and how to support their loved one effectively. This therapy fosters communication, understanding, and healthy family dynamics.

The Impact of Trauma

Trauma can have far-reaching effects on an individual’s life, influencing their relationships, work, and overall well-being. It is not uncommon for individuals with unresolved trauma to develop coping mechanisms that may be maladaptive, such as substance abuse or withdrawal from social interactions. Understanding the impact of trauma is the first step in the healing process.

The Healing Journey

The journey to heal from trauma is deeply personal and can vary greatly from one individual to another. Therapy provides a safe and supportive environment for individuals to process their traumatic experiences, understand their reactions, and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

get help with trauma

The Process of Trauma Therapy

In trauma therapy, the journey begins with creating a safe and trusting relationship between the therapist and the patient. This is crucial, as trauma often leaves individuals feeling vulnerable and exposed. The therapeutic process typically involves the following stages:

  1. Establishing Safety and Trust: Building a safe environment where patients feel comfortable sharing their experiences.
  2. Stabilization: Helping patients develop coping mechanisms to manage their symptoms effectively.
  3. Trauma Processing: Guiding patients through the process of confronting and reprocessing their traumatic memories.
  4. Integration: Assisting patients in integrating their experiences into their lives, empowering them to move forward.

Each therapy type addresses these stages differently, tailored to the patient’s specific needs and responses to treatment.

Success Stories in Trauma Therapy

At Atlantic Behavioral Health, we’ve witnessed many inspiring stories of resilience and recovery. Patients who have engaged in trauma therapy often report a significant reduction in their symptoms and an improved quality of life. One patient remarked, “Therapy helped me reclaim my life from the shadows of my trauma. I learned to process my past and embrace a hopeful future.” These success stories highlight the transformative power of trauma therapy.

Accessing Trauma Therapy at Atlantic Behavioral Health

If you or someone you know is struggling with the effects of trauma, Atlantic Behavioral Health is here to help. We offer a compassionate, individualized approach to trauma therapy. Accessing our services involves a few key steps:

  1. Initial Assessment: A comprehensive evaluation to understand the nature of the trauma and its impact.
  2. Therapeutic Match: Based on the assessment, we match patients with therapists who specialize in the appropriate form of trauma therapy.
  3. Collaborative Treatment Planning: Together with the therapist, patients will develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses their unique needs.
  4. Ongoing Support: We provide continuous support throughout the treatment process, adapting the approach as needed to ensure the best outcomes.

The Importance of Support Systems

Healing from trauma is not a journey that one should undertake alone. A strong support system, including family, friends, and community resources, plays a critical role in the healing process. Family therapy, as part of the treatment plan, can be instrumental in building this support.


Trauma can have a profound impact on an individual’s life, but it does not have to dictate their future. With the right therapeutic approach, individuals can work through their traumatic experiences and move toward a path of recovery and resilience. At Atlantic Behavioral Health, we are committed to providing our patients with the highest quality of care, offering a range of therapies to address the complexities of trauma. Remember, reaching out for help is a courageous first step towards healing. We are here to support you on your journey to recovery.

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Call us today to learn more about trauma and how therapy can be effective way to work through traumatic experiences.

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