Trauma resolution therapy and addiction treatment have long gone hand-in-hand. Trauma, whether it is as a result of something that happened in childhood or an event that caused PTSD is widely recognized to be a huge contributing factor to addiction. Whether it was a single event or a sequence of repeated events, the effects vary and are completely individual. We treat each client on a case-by-case business and individual treatment plans are created for each person who comes through the doors of The Florida House Experience.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is defined as an event that is so overwhelming it causes lasting effects on either the person it happened to or the witness. It can also be an experience, such as rejection, neglect, or emotional abuse of a child. For example, one client can have trauma-related addiction as the result of a divorce they can’t fathom. Another may have witnessed a murder and their brain cannot process what they saw, so they turn to drugs or drinking to cope. Either way, the end result is the same – the dangerous path to addiction.
Trauma plays a huge part in contributing to addiction. At The Florida House Experience, we recognize the importance of bringing significant trauma to light as part of addiction treatment. In order for our clients to move forward and heal, it is essential to face issues from the past with trauma resolution therapy. We address trauma in a comfortable, caring, and compassionate setting. This allows our clients to feel comfortable processing events of the past and learning how to move forward.
Trauma can stem from a number of things. Every person handles trauma differently. Some examples include:
- A Significant Injury or Accident
- Loss of home
- Loss of job
- Physical, Sexual or Emotional Abuse
Many people who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction have significant trauma that has occurred in their past. Many times, this trauma isn’t dealt with. Keeping feelings bottled up and suppressed doesn’t make them go away, but rather they end up bubbling it up and manifesting it in negative ways like with addiction. People turn to substance abuse in order to numb their pain, without realizing that all they are really doing is making it even worse.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Sometimes traumatic events occur in a person’s life, and the after-effects are crippling enough to cause debilitating symptoms. There are four distinct criteria for PTSD symptoms that differentiate it, such as the following:
- Flashbacks of the traumatic event
- Avoidance of people, places, and things that remind the person of the event
- Using addiction or other distractions as a coping mechanism
- Being on-edge and exhibiting signs of paranoia
In addiction treatment, it is important to identify trauma and bring it to light. While this process can be painful, getting through it while in addiction treatment is the safest place it can be done. With the help of our compassionate therapists, our clients can work through their trauma and learn healthy ways to cope without turning to drugs or alcohol. Getting closure on traumatic events is the best way to move forward into a sober and happy lifestyle.
Trauma resolution therapy helps our clients learn how to deal with problems instead of bottling them up and ignoring them. We have our clients face their trauma and speak about it out loud. Once it is in the open, we teach healthy ways to cope so that the person can move forward in life without trauma from the past affecting their future.
We have a number of medical and clinical treatments to help people work through their trauma. They include:
We approach each client individually and understand that no two addictions or traumas are the same. Our well-rounded approach to healing helps clients rebuild their lives and be able to move forward, making peace with the past without having to turn to addiction.
Trauma Resolution Therapy
Trauma Resolution therapy, in addiction treatment, is geared towards identifying trauma and directing focus towards its resolution to help people learn new ways to deal with life circumstances without addiction. It’s also about learning a sense of acceptance of the past and learning ways to move forward without reliving the traumatic event over and over.
Addiction is a symptom of trauma. Our goal is to treat the trauma directly to help alleviate symptoms. Trauma can shape a person in a negative way and is central to addiction for many people. Our trauma therapy program focuses on the traumatic events that occurred. Sometimes it is more difficult for a person to identify a traumatic event, especially if it was something from their early childhood. Other times, the event is clear, like a car accident or sexual assault. Either way, the first step of therapy is to identify the event and bring it to the surface.
Many people who come to addiction therapy with a history of trauma have pushed away from their feelings and emotions about the event for months or years. Bottling things up and ignoring them like this almost always ends in emotions surfacing in negative ways, and in this case, addiction. At first, many people are resistant to speak of their trauma, but once they do a floodgate opens and all stifled emotions can come pouring out. Our therapists are specially trained in this kind of trauma therapy and offer unwavering support and comfort during this process.
Next, it is important to process the event. To identify the negative thoughts around it and how it has impacted the client’s life. Part of processing the event may include various activities like:
- Acting out parts of the event in a controlled environment
- Writing about the event or to a person who caused the event
- Expressing emotion through art
Once the traumatic event is brought to the surface, various therapies are used to come to grips with the situation and put it where it belongs – in the past. Clients realize that if they no longer allow the event to have control over their actions, they can finally be free. By using therapy and other methods like EMDR and DBT, we work with the client to retrain the brain to come up with healthy coping mechanisms so that addiction relapse can be avoided in the future.
Trauma doesn’t need to dictate the rest of your life. It is unfortunate when bad things happen, and especially that they contribute to addiction. However, with the right therapy and treatment, trauma can become a part of the past and healthy coping mechanisms can be put into practice for a happy, healthy, and sober future.