The clients at Everlast recovering from a substance use disorder often have a history of trauma. At Everlast, we recognize that our clients use substances to cope with the overwhelming emotions that stem from past trauma. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that a history of trauma makes a person more likely to use substances in the future. When past trauma continues to trigger these painful emotions, therapy for substance use must also address the underlying trauma. Addressing the emotional and behavioral results of trauma helps our clients recover from substance abuse and achieve long-term sobriety.
What Is Trauma Therapy?
The Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines trauma as an event that a person experiences where they perceive themselves to be in immediate danger. A person who goes through a traumatic experience will experience harmful effects on their lives and ability to function. Not everyone who survives the same event will suffer the same degree of trauma. Everyone responds differently to these experiences.
From early childhood to adulthood, trauma can occur at any time in a person’s life. Many of the types of therapies used with adults direct their treatment focus toward coping with trauma. Some therapists also only work with certain types of trauma. Trauma can come from an artificial or natural disaster or life-threatening event, the constant presence of danger, or a long-term result of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
Everlast Recovery Centers offers several therapy modalities to address trauma. The coping skills and emotional self-regulation learned in various types of therapy apply to many symptoms of trauma. However, trauma therapy must also help the person understand how their past trauma affects their current behavior and how to start moving past it.
How Do We Teach Trauma Therapy?
SAMHSA notes that harmful traumatic experiences happen often, and many children and adults should get therapy for their trauma but do not choose to do so. Many people have buried traumatic experiences as much as possible to try and live a normal life. When entering treatment, talking about trauma can trigger upsetting emotions.
Trauma experiences may arise in other types of therapy if people do not disclose a traumatic experience right away.
These people might have sought treatment for things like anger management, substance abuse, depression, or anxiety.
Methods of addressing trauma vary, but therapists at Everlast may use:
Trauma Therapy and Addiction
Substance abuse helps people cope with the pain of trauma by numbing the emotions behind the experience or helping them not think about what happened. For some people, what begins as an attempt to function normally leads to substance abuse and addiction. For example, someone who experienced trauma in a crowded place and now fears crowds might have a few drinks to keep their fear under control if they have to go to a crowded place. After a while, this can develop into dependency. Instead of dealing with the trauma that made them fear crowded areas in the first place, they continue to use substances until they are addicted.
Trauma leaves a legacy of emotional damage that people struggle to cope with. Substance use disorders and trauma often repeat themselves in generations of the same family, as noted by NIDA. While some people live with raw feelings, others bury them, only to have them emerge as anger or other harmful behaviors.
Trauma Therapy in Residential Treatment
Our clients dealing with trauma and a substance use disorder must treat both issues together. Our residential treatment program provides a safe and comfortable setting to be able to work through trauma and substance abuse addiction. Digging up old, buried trauma can overwhelm a person who has used substances to avoid it for an extended period of time. In residential treatment at Everlast Recovery Centers, our exceptional therapists and staff are always available to assist our clients to cope with trauma when they need help processing their feelings.
Our residential program also provides group therapy sessions that let our clients share experiences and learn from each other. In group therapy sessions, many of our clients find comfort in the fact that others have survived similar trauma, helping them feel less isolated and ashamed. Group therapy also provides the space needed for specific therapeutic modalities for treating trauma such as psychodrama or experiential therapy.
By offering trauma therapy at Everlast, our qualified therapists have the chance to break a cycle of trauma and substance abuse going back generations. Our residential treatment program gives people the time and intensive therapy they need to open up about trauma and start working through it.
SAMHSA encourages residential programs to offer the following steps as part of comprehensive trauma care:
In residential treatment at Everlast, clients have the time to learn critical coping skills that may be hard to teach in outpatient settings. Our clients have the opportunity to practice these skills in a residential treatment setting while our staff works with them throughout the week in groups and therapy sessions.
Most importantly, Everlast Recovery Centers offers a place where people can address trauma and substance use disorders together in a holistic environment. Untreated trauma may sidetrack a successful recovery unless both problems get the treatment they need. With our clinical programming at Everlast, you can be sure to address everything needed to achieve a happy, healthy, sober life.