What Therapies are Best for Trauma? An Expert's Guide

Trauma can be a difficult experience to process and can have long-lasting effects on a person's mental health. Fortunately, there are a variety of evidence-based therapies that can help people who have experienced trauma. In this article, we will explore the different types of therapies that are available and how they can help people who have experienced trauma. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly used evidence-based therapies for trauma.

This type of therapy focuses on recognizing and changing problematic thought patterns, which can then help to change behavior patterns. CBT typically requires weekly appointments and involves learning skills that can be used to manage symptoms. It usually takes 12 to 16 weeks to complete standard CBT. Designed for children and adolescents, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) is another type of therapy that is often used for trauma.

This treatment involves both the child and a trusted caregiver or adult, and typically lasts between 8 and 25 sessions. It works to improve a variety of trauma-related outcomes in children, as well as helping the caregiver or trusted adult to ease their distress over the child's traumatic event and learn effective parenting skills. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is another type of therapy that is often used for trauma. This type of therapy does not require a person to explain their trauma in detail, but instead involves making eye movements or touching with their eyes while focusing on an image related to the trauma.

EMDR therapy helps a person to “unwind” so their brain can go through its natural healing process, and it is often completed in far fewer sessions than other talk therapies. Exposure therapy is another commonly used treatment for trauma. This type of therapy helps people with PTSD deal with their trauma-related memories in a controlled environment, and is effective for those who frequently face traumatic memories or feel that their lives are never free of triggers. Meditation is another form of treatment that can be used for PTSD.

Meditation helps people focus and control their thoughts, which can be helpful for people with intrusive thoughts due to PTSD. In addition to these therapies, there are also other evidence-based practices (EBP) for trauma and PTSD, such as hypnotherapy, psychodynamic therapy, narrative therapy, and Internal Family Systems (IFS). It is important to remember that a big part of therapy is the relationship with your therapist, so it is important to find one who you feel comfortable with and who is specifically trained or certified in one of these methods.

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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