Trauma is defined as any type of distressing event or experience that can have an impact on a person’s ability to cope and function. Trauma can affect the innerworkings of one’s brain. For example, research indicates that traumatic stress can result in increased cortisol and norepinephrine responses to subsequent stressors, whereby the brain learns to associate certain stimuli with the traumatic event. Endorphins (the hormones in one’s body associated with feeling pleasure) also play an essential role in trauma exposure. An increase in the level of endorphins in the brain occur during trauma, and the levels remain elevated to help numb the emotional and physical pain of the trauma. For some, exposure to trauma can lead to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is a diagnosable mental illness that is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). PTSD is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event—either experiencing it or witnessing it.” There are many treatment options for trauma and PTSD, and there is no single method of treatment for trauma that is universally recognized as more effective than others.
Therapeutic Treatment Options
Every person is different and will require a customized treatment plan to ensure all nuanced needs are properly addressed. Common psychotherapeutic interventions that may be included in one’s treatment plan could include one or more of the following, provided by the American Psychological Association (APA):
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): uses mindfulness skills to help an individual focus on accepting their emotions, while also helping to adjust the unhealthy behaviors that arise from the emotions.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): this can help correct irrational and/ or inaccurate thoughts a person may have regarding the trauma as well as help him or her develop skills and healthy coping mechanisms for reducing anxiety and stress.
- Expressive arts therapy (play therapy, art therapy, music therapy, drama therapy, sand therapy, etc.): provides an alternative medium to express, process and integrate one’s thoughts and feelings surrounding trauma.
- Cognitive processing therapy (CPT): helps individuals learn how to modify and challenge unhelpful beliefs related to trauma.
- Group therapy: participating in group therapy sessions can help an individual learn from peers that are navigating thoughts and emotions related to trauma.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): utilizes guided eye movement techniques to help process one’s memories, thoughts, and emotional associations in relation to the experienced trauma.
The outcomes associated with untreated trauma span a wide range of psychiatric diagnoses and misdiagnoses, functional impairments, and evolving educational, vocational, relational and health problems. Through working with the individual, mental health professionals can identify which therapeutic tactics are helpful to the recovery process and which may need to be altered during treatment.
Treatment In Calabasas
Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.
The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.