What Kind of Therapy is Right for Trauma Survivors?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to treating trauma. It requires preparation, practice, courage, determination, and the support of others, including a professional coach or therapist. Behavioral therapy is one of the most common forms of treatment for trauma survivors. Exposure therapy is a type of behavioral therapy that involves gradually facing fears without the dreaded consequences.

Stress inoculation training (SIT), also known as relaxation training, teaches people to manage stress and anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps patients identify behaviors and attitudes that reflect negatively on their lives and replace them with positive ones. Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) helps teach patients new and more positive ways to address trauma-related beliefs and emotions. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) helps regulate emotions and has been effective in helping those with thoughts of suicide.

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is designed for children and adolescents and works to improve a variety of trauma-related outcomes. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy helps a person quickly resolve traumatic memories without having to explain them in detail.When looking for a therapist, it's important to find one who is trained in working with patients with trauma. It's also important to find a therapist who will empower you and collaborate with you in your treatment, rather than trying to impose control. The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) provides practical guidelines for PTSD that include suggestions for evaluation and treatment.

Ultimately, there is no single “best” trauma therapy; people may find that they respond better to one type of treatment than another.

Ruth Bupp
Ruth Bupp

Total music maven. Infuriatingly humble pop culture advocate. Proud coffee enthusiast. Infuriatingly humble food scholar. Freelance twitter guru. Evil beer junkie.

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