Why is Trauma Important?
Family Pride makes concerted efforts to bring on staff who have history and background in trauma-informed models. As an agency, we continually engage our staff in education efforts to increase awareness of effects of trauma, along with appropriate ways to engage and help heal this population. Listed below are descriptions of the models of trauma informed therapy which Family Pride offers in house.
The word “trauma” is used to describe experiences or situations that are emotionally painful and distressing, and that overwhelm people’s ability to cope, leaving them powerless.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a form of therapy that focuses on our information processing and our body’s natural want to heal. An EMDR therapist sees trauma symptoms as an outcome from a wound that has not properly healed that spreads to other aspects of our life. With EMDR, the therapist builds and practices skills with the client to use inside and outside of sessions. Once the client is ready, bilateral stimulation—through eye movements or another sensory intervention—will be used to help a client reprocess a negative self-belief connected to trauma memory through the emotional, cognitive and physical channels experiencing the trauma. EMDR allows a client to naturally find a way to replace the negative self-belief with a more positive belief, i.e. “I am not safe” can be turned into, “I know now how to keep myself safe.” EMDR empowers the client to take the healing process in their hands, with the therapist there to provide guidance and safety through the process.
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT) is a trauma informed care that is based on the cognitive behavioral therapy protocols. As other therapies, TF-CBT works on educating clients on symptoms, triggers, and skills to assist with understanding control of body and self to reduce symptoms. TF-CBT works on finding and building a supportive network around an individual to assist and support skills learned in treatment while building a connection which often gets lost after a trauma. TF-CBT works to assist a client in sharing their story in a safe and controlled environment, until there is no longer activation connected to the memory, allowing the client to gain control of their symptoms and their story.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy
Prolonged exposure therapy (PE) is a form of behavioral and cognitive behavioral therapy that reduces activation to triggers by exposing the client to them in a safe and controlled environment. This therapy starts with building education and skills in the client to understand their symptoms and identifying how to control symptoms. Once ready, the client is expected to engage in once triggering events or recite the trauma memory until the trigger or memory is no longer distressing. The therapist and client approach these situations at a comfortable pace to assist a client in gaining control of the trauma memory vs. letting the memory have control of the client.
Trauma Informed Care
Many of Family Pride’s employees went through the certification process from the TLC institute. TLC’s trauma informed caremodel helps clients focus on the physical and emotional part of the trauma versus looking at the behavior resulting from the post-traumatic growth. TLC takes understanding of how a trauma memory is stored to assist in developing interventions which focus on the sensory experience of trauma and trauma memories. This program assists clinicians in developing interventions which help clients develop a language where there is none available to communicate fears, feelings, and sensations in order define and conquer their trauma symptoms and story.
In recent history, increased research has highlighted the importance of trauma and the effects of trauma on our children and families. It has been found that up to a quarter of the population has experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. Studies of trauma prove that it not only affects the emotional well-being of our loved ones, but that it creates a physical change in the body and the brain to make lasting affects throughout the lifespan. It has also been found that trauma can be compounding, which means the more adverse life events that happen, the more detriment to the brain and body of the individual. This is why early and well informed intervention is necessary.
What is Trauma?
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