Threatening or scary events in life can damage the mind of a person in an extreme way. The resulting trauma makes a therapeutical intervention necessary to restore the mental health of the affected patient. Using different trauma therapy techniques can help this.
The American Psychological Association (APA) names two main therapies in cases of mental trauma. These are exposure therapy and cognitive therapy.
Proven Trauma Therapy Techniques
One approach therapists use is exposure therapy, which utilizes techniques that expose the patient with reminders and memory of the trauma. By doing so the patient can learn to deal with the feelings connected with the memories and reminders better. The more often he does so the easier it becomes to deal with his situation.
Another approach is cognitive therapy. In contrast to exposure therapy, it focuses on the beliefs of the sufferer. The patient writes down the story of his traumatic events. This helps him to process what happened and become able to deal with it in a healthy way.
Exposure therapy and cognitive therapy both typically take 8-25 sessions to heal the patient. In extremely severe cases the duration of therapy can be extended. They follow the same goals which are:
Help the patient to face the reality of what happened
Eliminate or reduce the symptoms of trauma
Shifting the focus from the past back to the present
Improve the daily functioning of the patient
Reclaim the personal power of the sufferer
Overcome addictions that associate with traumatic stress
Show the sufferer skills that prevent a relapse
The therapy is successful if most of the above-mentioned goals are met afterward. In most cases, these therapies are successful in healing the trauma the patient suffers from. When these classical approaches fail other techniques can be applied.
What Other Therapies Could Be Right for Me?
Besides these classic approaches there a new trauma therapy practices, like eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). In this therapy, the patient has to recall distressing thoughts and images while he generates bilateral sensory input. This is typically hand tapping or a side-to-side eye movement.
Recent studies have shown that EMDR is as efficient as exposure therapy and cognitive therapy. It is, therefore, a good alternative when the classical approaches fail in healing the patient’s trauma 🙂 🙂