In the last two years, our world has experienced unprecedented changes. Much of which has induced collective trauma within all of us. Counselors and therapists are busier than ever. The utilization of trauma-informed therapy in substance abuse treatment is of utmost importance.
At the core of trauma-informed therapy is the belief that treatment should be deeply personalized. With this in mind, how do we expect to answer the titular question, “What is the one thing all trauma-informed success stories have in common?”
It’s true—trauma can cause a variety of physical and mental health-related reactions. Each individual’s experience of trauma is unique and presents in different ways. For example, some people may become overly stressed or show signs of anxiety or depression. Others can develop anger issues or become completely devoid of emotion. Often people exeriencing trauma struggle with other issues, including addiction, substance abuse or eating disorders. So, what might these stories of various plots and twists and turns have in common? Their beginning.
Every trauma-informed therapy success story began with someone who had the courage to look at their life. This person recognized that it’s not where they want to be and make a change. Their bravery often brought them to the door of a place like The Ranch Tennessee. A safe space for substance abuse and mental health treatment that can help them right the course of their life.
Back to the Basics: What is Trauma?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM5), which professionals use to diagnose individuals with mental health issues, describes trauma as “Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence in one (or more) of the following ways:
- Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s).
- Witnessing, in person, the event(s) as it occurred to others.
- Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend. In cases of actual or threatened death of a family member or friend, the event(s) must have been violent or accidental.
- Experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic event(s) (e.g., first responders collecting human remains; police officers repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse).”
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
“Individual trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.”
To summarize, trauma occurs when an event transpires that can threaten the safety of an individual or their loved ones.
Negative Beliefs About Self, Others and the World
Three common installations of fear often arise in response to traumatic events and include:
Fear of others
Traumatized individuals may struggle to trust others and will dismiss even well-intentioned acts
A belief that the world is unsafe
Trauma survivors will often feel on-edge, constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop or for the dangers around every corner
Lost faith in self
When trauma is in the picture, usually the individual feels on some level that they have failed, that they were unable to protect themselves, that they are broken, defective.
Unsurprisingly, motivation to isolate and shelter from the world (or our trauma reminders) becomes our primary directive when these three beliefs rule our world. However, that is not always possible. What is possible is to work with someone who has the knowledge and resources to approach, discuss and support the way that trauma looks in your life.
What is Trauma-Informed Care?
Centering our understanding of the prevalence of trauma, especially in mental health and addiction communities, is one of the core pillars of trauma-informed care. From this perspective, we recognize that it is not always necessary to ask questions about others’ experiences but rather to act and assume as though they do have a trauma history. We also recognize that trauma presents differently for different people. Trauma-informed care requests consideration for the various ways individuals have learned to survive the challenges in their lives.
While considering the pervasive nature of trauma, trauma-informed care promotes a safe environment for healing. It takes care to ensure that the individual is not retraumatized in their healing process. Trauma-informed care also considers how the history of trauma affects individuals’ lives, choices and healing journey.
Why Trust a Trauma-Informed Care Provider?
Counselors, therapists and clinics that offer trauma-informed care likely have a deeper understanding of the complex nature of trauma. And its effects on the healing journey. Those that offer a trauma-informed care approach have likely attended specific further education programs on the topic. They would have also had to implement changes in their policies and procedures in order to prevent the likelihood of retraumatization for their patients.
The 5 Principles of Trauma-Informed Care
Five principles that care providers need to consider when providing trauma-informed care to reduce the likelihood of retraumatization for their clients.
These pillars include:
Safety: The physical location of counseling/treatment should foster a sense of comfort and allow clients to feel safe. The feeling of safety should not just ensure a strong sense of physical safety for the client but also emotional safety.
Trustworthiness and Transparency: In order to ensure the client’s feel both physical and emotional safety. The service provider should be clear about how sessions will run and about the treatment plan and the counseling process in general.
Peer Support: Another powerful component of trauma-informed care is ensuring peer support, allowing clients to feel safe, not alone, and to have hope. Their counselor may share stories of others and their recovery process while maintaining confidentiality. This kind of support is helpful for clients to begin to feel hopeful about their own journey.
Collaboration and Mutuality: Service providers should conduct themselves equally to their clients rather than as authority figures. Rather than directing their client, they should take an assistant role in supporting their client. Also, the counselor should collaborate with the client’s other health care providers, family and support team to provide an all-around support circle for the client. It also helps to enhance the client’s feeling of physical and emotional safety.
Empowerment, Voice and Choice: The client should feel like their voice matters in their road to recovery and their treatment planning. The counselor should work to empower their client and validate their voice and feelings. Empowerment is important for the client to own and take charge of the recovery process.
Trauma-Informed Treatment at The Ranch Tennessee
The one thing that all trauma-informed therapy success stories have in common is the acceptance of your challenges and the willingness to ask for help. Whenever you are on that journey of acceptance, The Ranch Tennessee supports all clients as they strive to achieve a brighter and healthier future.
The experienced staff at The Ranch Tennessee makes offers consistent support and comprehensive treatment programs. All to ensure clients receive the extensive, all-around treatment necessary to reach their goals.
When working with clients, The Ranch strives to:
- Treat the client as a whole
- Provide individualized treatment plans because they recognize that no two people are the same
- Recognize extreme responses of trauma as attempts to cope
- Remember that anyone can heal given the proper care
- Provide help to those who are ready and willing to do the work
The Ranch Tennessee PTSD Treatment Center
Therapy for trauma helps individuals get to the root of their struggles and build from there to reach their recovery goals. Participants learn coping mechanisms and skills to manage their trauma and symptoms and reach their goal of healing. The Ranch offers residential treatment programs in Tennessee and intensive outpatient offerings for individuals with trauma and those with co-occurring diagnoses.
Trauma-Informed Therapy and Treatment Planning
The combination of individual therapy, group therapy and other offerings provides individuals with a comprehensive support plan.
- Individual therapy offers the participant focused, one-on-one time with their counselor. The focus will be getting to the root of the trauma and learning strategies to manage their feelings and symptoms.
- Group therapy offers the participant the ability to surround themselves with others working through similar issues.
- Other activities like equine therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and motivational interviewing therapy will also be included in your personalized care plan, as determined by your treatment team.
Keeping the goal of starting a journey to healing and reaching recovery at the forefront, The specialized team at The Ranch will work with you or your loved one to decide what the best option and treatment plan would be.
Call us now at (888) 969-7918
If you or a loved one would benefit from a treatment program that includes trauma-informed therapy, call us now. At The Ranch Tennessee, our experienced and friendly team helps clients begin their journey of healing. Our staff not only understand the issues individuals may face when they enter a program, but they take special consideration of any trauma-specific challenges the patient may be facing. Reach out to us for more information on our programs and offerings.