Those who have lived through a terrible event in their lives understand what it is like to live with trauma. Trauma is like a wound but in your mind, continuing to cause pain long after the event that caused it has passed. Natural disasters, abuse, deaths, war, and many other things can cause trauma. This pain can lead to numerous symptoms that can grow worse in time, keeping someone from living life to the very fullest. Trauma can sometimes lead to depression, heightened anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Sometimes, people turn to substance abuse to help them cope with their traumas, which is not a healthy and productive way to overcome their troubles. This can sometimes turn into a dual diagnosis, which can complicate things even further. However, there is a way to learn to cope with the effects of trauma, and that is through therapy. There are many kinds of therapy, all of which can be used to help someone in their recovery process.
Therapists Offer Help Without Judgement
Perhaps the best thing about therapy is that you will never be judged on why you are pursuing it. Whatever happened to cause your trauma is not your fault, and a therapist will never blame you for your trauma. In therapy, you can expect to be treated with respect and compassion and never be belittled or judged. Therapists do not become therapists unless they have the drive and capacity needed to treat those who need help the most. In a society that often judges mental illnesses, in a therapist’s office, you can always find safety. Sometimes, just being believed and heard is enough to get you started on the path toward recovery.
Coping Skills Are Life Skills
In therapy, we learn ways to cope with negative feelings in a safe and productive way. This is an effective method to help treat trauma symptoms and, in time, can be used for any event in life. For example, learning to cope with your pain by expressing yourself through art or music can bring more than just comfort; it can bring joy to your life. Learning how to deal with your triggers effectively can help you navigate life outside a therapist’s office. Once you have your toolkit of skills assembled, you can take that with you anywhere, no matter where you end up in life.
Learning to Let Go of Self-Blame
Perhaps the hardest lesson to learn for any individual experiencing trauma is that they are not to blame for the trauma they endured. Nobody asks to be harmed in such a way, and the knee-jerk reaction to blame the victim is quite common in our society. Such a feeling can be deeply ingrained and can trouble one constantly with “what if” and “if only.” With therapy, you will learn to find peace by learning to let go of self-blame. It is difficult, especially if you have tried to self-medicate by abusing substances. However, with time and a treatment plan, you will finally put those feelings to rest, and enjoy a sense of peace and freedom.
Catching You When You Fall
Relapses can happen during the recovery process. The benefit of receiving therapy is that there will always be someone there to help you get back on track. There is a lot of relief in knowing that someone will be there to support you. Should you decide to enter a residential treatment facility or even join a partial-hospitalization program, not only will there be therapists and doctors on standby, but there are also fellow clients who understand what you are going through. Having a support network is vital for the best chance of recovery. Therapy will give you tools to help build a support network.
Perhaps the hardest thing people have to do at times is to ask for help. Gathering the courage needed is a monumental task in itself, let alone the perseverance it takes to see the treatment through to its end. At the end of therapy, you will realize that you are much stronger than you think. With that comes the confidence and the realization that you have grown as a person. Knowing that you have taken control of your life is a powerful thing.
Remember, the most important benefits are the ones that allow you to find inner strength. Such strength can be used to not only begin a journey of recovery but also to remind you that you are just as worthy of love and care as anyone else.
If you have experienced a traumatic event, you probably understand that sometimes the pain becomes too much to deal with. You may turn to abusing substances to help control this pain, which is not a healthy way to cope with trauma. You may not know where to turn for help.
At Acera Health in Costa Mesa, California, we are uniquely equipped to treat not only someone’s trauma but also the substance abuse that may also come from the trauma. If you or a loved one is struggling with the effects of trauma in their life, don’t wait in hopes that it will get better on its own. Compassionate professionals are waiting to help you take back your life and learn to live without fear and pain.
Don’t let trauma and substances control your life; call (949) 647-4090 to take the first step in your journey of recovery.
Melody is a highly skilled proactive clinical administrator, with more than 17 years of experience serving the community in the behavioral health field.
Her clinical management career started in 2011 as a compliance manager and program director. In 2018, she became an executive as chief clinical officer (CCO). She is a seasoned licensed marriage & family therapist.