Treating Trauma and PTSD

Trauma can bring a range of responses including shame, guilt, self-loathing, fear, anxiety and daily struggle. While no treatment can erase what happened, there are effective treatments that can help you heal from trauma and move towards taking your life back.

Everyone’s experience of trauma is different, and therefore, it is important that your provider work collaboratively with you to customize treatment to meet your unique needs. Someone who experiences a singular trauma in adulthood will likely have a very different course of treatment compared to someone who experienced multiple traumas dating back to their childhood.

How long does treatment take?

The length of treatment can vary widely depending on each individual’s circumstance. Many people find significant relief in as little as 3-4 months. For others, the road to recovery may be longer and more winding. It is important that you and your therapist have an open dialogue about how things are going and adjust treatment based on what is and what is not working.

What kind of treatments do you use?

We utilize evidence-based practices in working with trauma, including those treatments most strongly recommended by the American Psychological Association (APA) in their Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of PTSD. Our therapists routinely incorporate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Exposure Therapy when working with clients who have experienced a traumatic event. Click here for more information on treatments for PTSD and APA recommendations.

Our therapist may also use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy when helping clients recover from the effects of trauma. ACT (pronounced as one word, “act”) is a treatment in the cognitive behavioral tradition that focuses on learning to more effectively manage our distress and to move towards living a more meaningful life.

In ACT, we begin by looking at the ways we relate to painful or uncomfortable experiences and how they may be creating more pain for us. As human beings, we possess an incredible ability to think about all sorts of things, to reflect upon and recreate the past, or to imagine the future. This remarkable ability is a double-edged sword: we may spend a lot of time thinking about what’s wrong with us, why we think we can never be better, and what should be different about our lives or our histories. We can re-experience painful or shameful memories in any moment. In ACT, we practice contacting and moving towards what’s important to us while learning ways to deal with what gets in our way–especially uncomfortable thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations.

ACT has a strong and growing research base. Click here for more information about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.