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Continuum of Trauma: What Is It?

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  • Continuum of Trauma: What Is It?

    A young person learning about the continuum of trauma

    Many people experience trauma but it can occur in a number of different forms and levels of severity. The trauma experienced after the death of a loved one can be very different from trauma experienced during a violent war. Trauma can have negative effects on everyone that goes through it. With that in mind, mental health experts view trauma as a continuum with very distinct symptoms and reactions depending on the event. To learn more about the continuum of trauma and how a trauma therapy program can help you, call us today at 424.235.2009 or reach out online.

    Degrees of Trauma

    Psychologists generally understand that there are multiple facets to trauma experiences. More mild trauma tends to occur when the individual is in an environment where they feel safe. They are traumatized by an experience but do not fear for their own safety and may be better able to internally process the experience.

    Moderate trauma can occur when the individual feels somewhat safe but they may develop certain defense mechanisms as a result of the event. In spite of their defense mechanisms, they are still able to process and resolve their trauma. More severe traumatic events tend to occur when a person has no sense of safety. As a result, this can lead to heavier defense mechanisms including suppression of the traumatic memory.

    In the most difficult cases of trauma where the individual develops PTSD symptoms the person often has repressed traumatic memories that are buried deep in their mind. It can be hard to access these memories and process the event because it has affected them so profoundly. The most extreme form of trauma is complex PTSD where the memory of the event is deeply repressed and may lead to psychological disturbance.

    How Trauma Can Be Treated

    Trauma can be treated through a variety of therapeutic modalities. It is important to seek professional help from a mental health provider who specializes in treating trauma. This provider must also have experience working with your specific cultural background. Treatment options may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, or medication.

    CBT helps individuals identify the connections between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and provides tools to modify negative thought patterns. Psychotherapy can address the underlying causes of trauma and help individuals find new ways to cope with its effects. Medication can be prescribed by a psychiatrist or other medical provider to help manage symptoms that interfere with daily functioning.

    Self-Care Strategies For Dealing With Trauma

    Additionally, there are several self-care strategies that may be beneficial in managing the effects of trauma. These include:

    • Engaging in activities that bring joy or relaxation
    • Practicing mindfulness
    • Connecting with supportive people in one’s life
    • Taking breaks throughout the day
    • Setting boundaries with other people

    Trauma can be complex and difficult to process, but it does not have to define who you are. With the right support system and resources, you can work toward a path of recovery and healing.

    Get the Help You Need Today From Seasons In Malibu

    It is important to remember that trauma affects everyone differently. In fact, no two individuals will have the same experiences or healing process. With professional help and self-care strategies, individuals can learn to cope with their trauma and lead a healthy and fulfilling life.

    At Seasons in Malibu, we understand the importance of trauma recovery. As a result, we provide comprehensive treatment for individuals who have experienced traumatic events. Our compassionate and caring team of mental health professionals is dedicated to helping you find the healing and peace that you deserve.

    Contact us today at 424.235.2009 or reach out online to learn more about the continuum of trauma and our trauma-focused services and how they can help you move forward on your journey toward recovery.