Whether a traumatic event lasts a few moments or goes on for years, the ramifications endure long after the event has ended. The aftermath of trauma impacts every area of a survivor’s life, and can lead to mental health issues such as PTSD, addiction, anxiety or depression. Trauma also affects our physiology: studies have found that the brains of children who experienced trauma work differently from those without a history of trauma.
Treatment methods often focus on treating the symptoms of trauma, but for a survivor to truly heal, deeply held trauma must be addressed directly and processed.
Breaking Free from PTSD
Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) has been shown to be effective in treating the trauma at the root of mental health conditions and addiction.
TF-CBT uses cognitive behavioral techniques specifically geared towards resolving trauma. It was developed as a way to treat children and adolescents suffering from PTSD triggered by sexual abuse, but it’s now gaining traction as an evidence-based treatment option for survivors of all types of trauma, regardless of age.
TF-CBT helps trauma survivors heal from symptoms like depression, behavioral problems, cognitive distortions, shame and guilt. This treatment method also teaches survivors coping and relaxation skills that help them to break free of negative thought patterns.
How Does TF-CBT Work?
TF-CBT normally lasts for eight to 25 sessions, and gradual exposure is incorporated into all eight steps of the process. The steps are normally followed in order:
Psychoeducation – Clients are taught problem-solving, assertiveness and communication skills, and learn more about the nature of their mental health conditions.
Relaxation – Clients learn techniques to regulate emotions.
Affective regulation – Clients learn how to express emotions in a healthy way and manage negative emotions.
Cognitive processing of trauma – Clients learn to identify connections between thoughts, feelings and behaviors and replace unhelpful thinking with accurate perception.
Trauma narrative – In this phase, the client talks through the trauma and learns how to achieve mastery over their trauma rather than avoiding it.
In vivo mastery of trauma reminders – This phase involves exposing the client to situations they associate with the trauma, but are not inherently dangerous.
Conjoint sessions – This phase can involve family members who want to learn how to communicate more effectively about the trauma, as well as any other difficult topics.
Enhancing future safety – The client develops strategies to keep safe; when treating children, this process involves the family.
How to Access Trauma-Focused CBT
When seeking treatment, look for a therapist who’s certified in TF-CBT. You may also want to consider an immersive treatment program where you can work through trauma or PTSD without the added worry of everyday stressors.
The Sanctuary offers a holistic PTSD treatment program that combines TF-CBT with ancient healing methods and advanced neuroscience to heal your mind, body, soul and spirit, so you can feel well and be recovered.
Read more about holistically recovering from PTSD in our article, Effective PTSD Recovery with Shamanic Soul Retrieval.
If the treatment methods you’ve tried aren’t working, call us at (877) 710-3385 or email us at [email protected] to find out more about our unique approach.