Why is trauma informed care important? By Empower Counseling

At some point in our lives, we can all face traumatic experiences that affect us deeply. Trauma experienced in childhood or adulthood has a lasting impact on our mental and physical wellbeing – but the good news is that you don‘t have to manage it alone. Trauma-informed care (TIC) is an approach to treatment and therapy designed to provide specialized support for those who’ve been affected by trauma. It focuses on creating emotional safety, respect, trust, understanding and partnership between provider and client while supporting changes necessary for recovery from life’s difficult experiences. In this blog post, we’ll go over why TIC is so important and why seeking out professional help if needed can make all the difference when it comes to healing from socioemotional distress resulting from past or current traumatic events.

Collective Trauma

As the COVID-19 Pandemic comes to an end, many of us are still coping with the challenges it presented over the last three years- both “Big T” or “Little T” traumas (previous blog posts). Despite our shared experience, we rarely respond to trauma in the exact same ways. However, there are more common responses that impact our mind, emotions, and behaviors.

  • Cognitive responses to trauma
    • Feeling alert or on guard all of the time
    • Having upsetting dreams
    • Avoiding anything that triggers thinking about the event(s) which caused the trauma
    • Problems doing your work
    • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
    • Feeling separated or detached from others
    • Loss of hope regarding the future
    • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
    • Emotional responses to trauma
      • Shocked or numb
      • Nervous, anxious, helpless
      • Easily irritated
      • Abandoned, lonely, rejected
      • Fearful, scared
      • Like you are to blame (Seeing yourself, others, and the world in negative way)
      • Unable to believe or trust other people.
    • Physical responses to trauma
      • Rapid heartrate and rapid breathing
      • Headaches when you have thoughts about the trauma
      • Not taking care of yourself the way you used to with diet and exercise, etc.
      • Using drugs, alcohol, or food more than you did before the traumatic event(s)
      • Having previous medical issues worsen
      • Having difficulty sleeping or staying asleep

trauma informed care Treating the Full Spectrum of Trauma

As discussed in previous article “Trauma from COVID,” you may recognize your own traumatic responses related to the virus itself, lockdown, vaccines, or perhaps related to current events like the overturning of Roe v. Wade, George Floyd Protests, the 2020 presidential election, mass shootings, the list goes on.

While you may not have been directly impacted by a traumatic event, being exposed to firsthand traumatic experiences of others can result in secondary traumatic stress. Due to the traumatic nature of the pandemic, trauma-informed approaches to therapy are more relevant than ever before.

Because our reactions to traumatic events are unique from person to person and may range in complexity, it is especially important for those suffering to receive treatment that is appropriate for their unique experience and current symptoms. Trauma informed care includes sensitivity to these specific conditions, ensures client safety and influences the efficacy of treatment.

Trauma informed care: Acceptance Commitment Therapy for trauma and PTSD

Empower Counseling, through knowledgeable and compassionate counselors, offers Trauma-Focused Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Trauma-Focused Acceptance Commitment Therapy is an evidence-based approach used to treat the full spectrum of trauma related issues, like PTSD, addiction, depression, anxiety, moral injury, chronic pain, suicidality, insomnia, grief, attachment issues, sexual problems, and more. The goal of TF-ACT is to make space for painful experiences instead of trying to avoid them.

This compassion based, exposure centered approach allows clients to reclaim their power over traumatic experiences, choosing values, and build a future according to those values to create a rich, fulfilling life. Our trauma informed counselors will assist clients in learning and applying these key components of TF-ACT:

  • Find safety within the body.
  • Respond more flexibly to hyperarousal, hypoarousal, and dissociation.
  • Shift from self-hatred to self-compassion.
  • Ground themselves and re-engage in life.
  • Unhook from difficult thoughts and emotions.
  • Develop an integrated sense of self.
  • Resolve trauma through inner child work and flexible exposure.
  • Connect with and live by values.
  • Experience post-traumatic growth.
  • Engage fully in the here and now.

trauma focused care: how do I get started with Empower counseling?

It is so each to get started with trauma informed care trauma therapy with Empower CounselingSavannahKathryn, and Marti, our knowledgeable and compassionate counselors, are here for you. To get started:

  1. Click here and scroll down the home page to request an appointment.
  2. Get to know your counselor.
  3. Begin healing.

Trauma-informed care trauma therapy is not the only service we offer at Empower Counseling. At our counseling clinic in Birmingham, Al, Kathryn, Savannah, and Marti offer Acceptance Commitment Therapy for anxiety counseling, counseling for depression, and counseling for difficult life transitions. If you are going through a break up or divorce, graduating college, retiring, or simply facing difficulties in life, Empower Counseling can help. We offer in person and online counseling for teens, college students, young adults and professionals. Reach out to Empower Counseling today and begin toward your best life.

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