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Gloria Detox and Rehab Center

How Trauma Therapy Aids in Addiction Recovery

What is Trauma Therapy?

Trauma can be experienced by anyone. It has been proven that every person will survive at least one traumatic event in their lives, from military combat to sexual assault.

Trauma-informed care, specifically in relation to mental health, works to draw connections between a traumatic experience and a person’s emotional and behavioral health. The goal is to give a person the opportunity to face past emotional pain or painful memories of childhood trauma. This is done through a variety of therapy methods, from talk therapy to eye movement desensitization.

Examples of traumatic events that can be addressed during trauma-informed therapy include:

  • A life-threatening injury or past intense physical pain
  • Sexual abuse or domestic violence
  • Adverse childhood experiences, like physical abuse or neglect
  • The experience of being unhoused
  • Surviving a natural disaster

What is Addiction Treatment?

The American Psychiatric Association defines substance use disorder as mental disorders that are best diagnosed through drug and alcohol addiction. It has been proven there are genetic factors that cause the nervous system of some individuals to be more susceptible to addiction than others. Past trauma can also play a major role in a person’s struggle with addiction.

Through substance abuse treatment and a variety of other treatment options, it has been proven a person can recover from active addiction. However, just as addiction looks different for each person, every addict will have their own process and steps on their recovery journey. It is up to the person struggling with substance abuse to choose addiction recovery.

Trauma and Addiction

The connection between trauma and addiction is strong. Oftentimes, those who have survived a traumatic event will self medicate and start abusing drugs to help numb the painful events of their past trauma. When traumatic memories leave a person seeking safety through escape, substance use feels like an effective treatment.

At Gloria Rehab, our goal is to not only treat addiction. We strive to treat the whole patient by making space for the intense emotions carried by trauma survivors. Treating trauma means we hear the negative beliefs in a person’s head that they are beyond hope. But we believe with the right treatment provider and a dual diagnosis of trauma and addiction, anyone can live a life of sobriety and inner peace.

Trauma-Informed Care

Examples of trauma therapy that can also be used as part of addiction treatment include:

  • Cognitive processing therapy – This method creates a neutral place for a patient to bring their negative thoughts and behaviors. By addressing them, we believe they can be changed for the better.
  • Prolonged exposure therapy – This is a type of cognitive restructuring that allows patients to confront their fears and work on emotional regulation in the future.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) – Through eye movement exercises we create a safe space for you to process post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. By facing traumatic experiences in this way, you can learn to control your response to the memory of these events.
  • Experiential therapy – Through expressive outlets (like art, narrative writing, or music) patients are encouraged to revisit past or current painful events in their lives. This helps them to better bring awareness to the intense emotions of these traumatic events.
  • Family therapy – Trauma and addiction do not solely affect trauma survivors or the person struggling with substance abuse. Family therapy starts the conversation for everyone to share their feelings and move toward recovery together.

With the help of our specialists at Gloria Rehab, we can help you find the best treatment provider for your needs. There are both intensive outpatient and inpatient treatment options for trauma and addiction care. Contact us today to learn more.

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