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What Is Trauma Therapy?

therapist and teen discuss what is trauma therapy

Trauma is a response to an extremely stressful event, examples of which include being in a war zone, experiencing a natural disaster, or being part of a violent accident. Trauma can cause a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms, instances of which may be reduced with trauma therapy sessions.

However, not everyone who experiences an extremely stressful event will develop trauma that needs professional help to process. Some people will develop symptoms that resolve after a few weeks, while others will have symptoms that can arise months after the event.

With trauma therapy, people can address the root cause of the trauma and find constructive ways to manage their symptoms. Searching for trauma therapy options for teens near Denver, CO? Reach out to Imagine Fort Collins today by calling 970.680.5887 or contacting our team online.

What Is Trauma?

To go by the definition of the American Psychological Association (APA), trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event. The latter can include accidents, natural disasters, and any form of abuse. Trauma therapy is what healthcare experts created and developed to help patients deal with those emotional responses.

A traumatized person can feel a range of emotions both immediately after the terrible event and in the long term. They may feel helpless, overwhelmed, shocked, or have difficulty processing their stressful experiences. Trauma can also cause physical symptoms and can have long-term effects on well-being. If symptoms persist and don’t decrease in severity over time, it can indicate that the trauma has developed into a mental health disorder called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Family members, mental health professionals, and others who care for those who have experienced a traumatic event are also at risk of vicarious trauma. The symptoms often mirror those of PTSD.

Trauma therapy, otherwise called trauma-focused therapy, may be needed to properly process trauma.

What Is Trauma-Focused Therapy?

First of all, trauma therapy and trauma-focused therapy can be slightly different. Trauma therapy programs often deal directly with the patient’s trauma and its various symptoms. Trauma-focused therapy can also do this, but sometimes the focus can be on a co-occurring issue. Basically, trauma-focused therapy programs can use a trauma-focused approach to treat other issues like anxiety or depression. However, both types of therapy do consider the patient’s trauma before any technique or strategy of treatment is used.

This type of therapy is rooted in understanding the connection between the emotion and behavior of a patient and their trauma experience. The purpose of trauma-focused therapy is to offer skills and tools to assist a patient in better coping with, processing, and understanding emotions and memories tied to traumatic experiences. The end goal is typically to enable the patient to create a healthier and more adaptive meaning of the experience.

Why Is Trauma Therapy for Teens Essential?

Now that you know what trauma-focused therapy is, it may be easier to understand why it’s essential to provide teens access to it. Teen trauma is difficult to face. In many cases, both caregivers and children can be overwhelmed by traumatic events and their consequences. Parents and guardians must take the first steps to address trauma within the family.

Teen trauma can be healed only when it’s acknowledged and faced. Don’t be embarrassed when recognizing that your teen may have trauma. It’s not rare, at all—in fact, in a recent study it was found that more than 60% of teens had been exposed to at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. When you consider the challenging lives of teenagers, these numbers are not surprising. Adolescence, after all, is a time of transitions and growth.

And even in a sheltered environment and with caregivers with the best intentions, accidental trauma can still occur. There is no way to completely shield your teen from trauma, but you can always make sure that they have access to professional help if they can’t process trauma by themselves.

Learn More About Imagine Fort Collins’s Behavior Therapy Options for Teens

If you’re looking for trauma therapy options for teens near Denver, CO, contact Imagine Fort Collins today. Reach out to our team online or call 970.680.5887.