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What Can One Expect From a Trauma Treatment Program?

  • Posted at Dec 30, 2021
  • Written by Rebecca
What Can One Expect From a Trauma Treatment Program?

The effects of trauma can lead to the development of mental health issues like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These effects can debilitate daily life and reduce a person’s mental health state. Getting help through trauma treatment programs can give people who have experienced trauma the education, support, and assistance they need to manage symptoms related to trauma. However, there are a number of approaches to treating trauma that depend on an individual’s personal symptoms and diagnosed mental health issues. Finding out more about one’s own experience with trauma and available treatment can help them to find the specific help they need.

Getting a Diagnosis for Trauma-Related Disorders

If you have experienced trauma and think you may be living with a mental health issue as a result of experienced trauma, before treatment can begin, you’ll need an accurate diagnosis. The right diagnosis can mean establishing an individualized treatment plan that’s specific to your needs and is the most helpful in order to reach your mental health wellness goals. Some things you can expect during the trauma diagnosis process include:

  • a medical assessment that involves a physical review and questions about medical history like medications used, family history with physical illness, etc.
  • a psychological assessment that examines the psychological symptoms you may be experiencing due to trauma.
  • matching symptoms you have to diagnostic criteria used to diagnose mental health issues (DSM-5)

Furthermore, during the diagnosis process, you’ll be asked to define your experience of trauma. Some of the defining characteristics of being exposed or experiencing trauma include:

  • personally experiencing trauma
  • being a witness to a traumatic situation
  • being repetitively exposed to traumatic situations or of their circumstances

If, after the diagnostic assessment, you are classified as experiencing negative symptoms of trauma as a result of your experience with a traumatic event or traumatic events for a specific time period (typically, 2 weeks or more), you may be given a diagnosis of PTSD. Once this diagnosis is made, you will be given options of available treatment that can be beneficial to your mental health needs.

What Can You Expect in a Trauma Treatment Program?

During treatment for mental health issues that are associated with trauma, like PTSD, there are a few things you can expect including:

  • learning about ways to accept and cope with the trauma you’ve experienced
  • giving you coping skills to use when experiencing symptoms related to trauma
  • assisting in gaining new perspectives and healthier thought patterns
  • addressing and moderating harmful behaviors developed as a result of trauma
  • identifying and treating other mental health issues developed as the result of trauma

Some Treatment Methods Used in Trauma Treatment Programs

Along with what to expect from trauma treatment programs, there are a number of methods of treatment you can expect to utilize. Different approaches help different individuals depending on their mental health needs, symptoms, and the effectiveness of treatments. Some of the methods you can expect to utilize during a trauma treatment program can include:

Behavioral Therapies: Talk therapy like behavioral therapies can help people who have dealt with trauma to understand how trauma has affected their lifestyle and behaviors. And, develop and practice helpful coping techniques in order to overcome and manage these harmful behaviors.

Medications: Certain prescription medications can help people who are diagnosed with PTSD to better manage moods. These medications can include anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants.

Group Therapy: People who have lived through trauma can benefit from being in supportive atmospheres of peers who have also experienced trauma or developed mental health issues as the result of trauma. During group therapy sessions, individuals can practice newly learned coping techniques, offer their testimonies of trauma, and share what they’ve learned in treatment.

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