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Trauma Focused Counseling

Trauma focused counseling is used when a client has a dual-diagnosis. This means that a client will be suffering from substance abuse, as well as a mental health disorder. Our clients that suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), often receive this treatment, in addition to addiction-specific therapy.

The Connection Between PTSD and Addiction

For some, a traumatic experience can change their lives. Some clients are psychologically overwhelmed, as they struggle to cope. PTSD is most commonly seen in individuals who have been exposed to war and abuse (emotional, sexual, or physical).

These individuals often resort to substance abuse, as it helps them self-medicate. It’s a coping mechanism that is unproductive, which is why changes need to be made. Some of the key symptoms related to PTSD include:

 

  1. Flashbacks of the traumatic event
  2. Experiencing states of hyper-arousal and hyper-vigilance
  3. Disrupted sleeping patterns, often including vivid nightmares
  4. Feeling numb in terms of emotion
  5. Difficulty maintaining long-term relationships
  6. Clinically depressed
  7. Experience panic attacks
  8. Physical symptoms such as weight-loss, anxiety, cardiovascular issues, and hypertension

 

These individuals turn to drugs and alcohol, as they cope and treat themselves. Since the relief they experience is temporary, their substance use, quickly turns into an addiction. When these individuals aren’t using, they experience heightened symptoms. This is due to fluctuations in brain chemistry.

At Weston Rehab Christian Rehab, we offer our clients trauma focused counseling. This helps our clients overcome their addiction, while they learn to effectively manage stress and thoughts that are creating destructive effects. We help our clients every step of the way, so there’s nothing to fear.

What Can I Expect From Trauma Focused Counseling?

At Weston Rehab, we help our clients overcome their addictions, while treating underlying conditions. Although we generally use CBT to deal with trauma, individuals that suffer from PTSD and addiction, benefit from trauma focused counseling.

This therapy has the client focus on a series of ‘exposures’ to their feelings and thoughts. Based off of these thoughts, the client then explains how they feel. Therapists gently encourage the individual to confront the trauma they experienced. Within a controlled setting, the therapist will encourage more productive coping techniques.

We help our clients see that trauma does not mean that something bad will happen to them. They need to confront and process their memories, leading to more positive behaviors. This has been highly beneficial for many clients. Not only do we help eliminate symptoms of PTSD, but we help them recover from addiction as well.

Therapists help clients change their perceptions, as they replace feelings of anxiety and depression with more positive emotions. In turn, this helps eliminate the use of drugs or alcohol. This therapy allows clients to see that the event itself does not create fear, but one’s interpretation of that event.

Group Therapy for PTSD and Addiction Patients

Those that have a dual-diagnosis, highly benefit from group therapy. This provides incredible support for those that suffer from both PTSD and addiction. This allows individuals to meet, who have all had similar experiences. This helps deal with their trauma, as they discuss events with other like-minded individuals.

Clients talk about their feelings, with people that can empathize and understand what they’re going through. Since many individuals suffering from PTSD remain isolated, this helps encourage effective communication. This therapy encourages individuals to build relationships, while re-building their self-esteem.