Trauma Focused Therapy
June 30, 2014
Trauma therapy is different from “typical” therapy only in that it oftentimes needs to work through many steps before growth can occur. Therapy that isn’t trauma focused begins with the relationship and progresses as that relationship develops, where trauma therapy needs the relationship, but needs to work sooner on the existing trauma for deeper understanding to occur.
Trauma focused therapy works on creating mindfulness in the patient so that the feelings, thoughts, pattern can be identified not just in thoughts, but in how it feels in the body. Therapy works on what develops wholly in the person so that we can more fully understand it. Thoughts are often the dominating force holding patients back, but once we can identify the whole effects of trauma throughout the body, we can really begin to see the pattern.
How will Trauma Focused Therapy Work?
Trauma therapy works first by identifying what caused of the patients distress. Next, through us working on feeling safe and comfortable together, we will be better able to understand exactly how your thoughts are affecting you. It is common therapeutically to think of thoughts controlling you rather than you controlling them.
Will I be helped with Trauma Focused Therapy?
I try to explain to my patients that their trauma that will never really completely go away, but that we are aware of, but does not control our thoughts or feelings all of the time. Through understanding your trauma, you will be better equipped to control it or keep it at bay. I invite my patients to learn to “hold” their trauma as long as they need to develop a more clear understanding of it and then to learn to place it (feelings, thoughts) on an imaginary shelf, within sight, on display but kept at bay, enough to understand that you are aware of it, but it is not controlling you. Then later you can pick it up to hold it when you need to, but are eventually able to place it back onto your shelf until you need to hold it again.
Our goal in trauma focused therapy is to learn how to understand, forgive and move forward with the knowledge that we can eventually control what is keeping us back from living our life more fully.