Trauma Informed Therapy
Posted by Collaborative Counseling
If you are beginning your search for therapy, it can be hard to know where to start. It can be overwhelming to understand the types of therapy that are offered by therapists, and which one might be a good fit for you. Here we will cover the basics of trauma informed therapy and how this type of therapy may be helpful for you.
What is trauma?
Trauma is any distressing experience. Anyone can deal with trauma and we can experience trauma in varying degrees.
Karen Onderko, the Director of Research and Education at Integrated Listening Systems describes different levels of trauma through large “t” and little “t” trauma.
We often ignore or disregard little trauma, because these are things that do not completely disrupt our daily life. As Onderko puts it, small “t” trauma “seem(s) surmountable”. Life changes, relationship conflict or financial troubles can be trauma. The internalization of these events may be interpreted differently for everyone, so for some, they may not be as distressing.
On the other hand, large trauma sends us into deep distress or helplessness. These tend to be larger experiences, including things like traumatic events or ongoing stressors, such as emotional or physical abuse. These are things that most people think of when they hear the word, “trauma”.
It’s important to acknowledge and understand that we can all experience trauma in many different forms and at different levels. Everyone internalizes life events differently.
What does trauma informed therapy mean?
Trauma informed therapy aims to understand how trauma affects one’s life. This type of therapy is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which sees to identify our thoughts about how we view our current life situation or issue. CBT helps us learn how to change the way we view or think of ourselves.
Trauma informed therapy helps us process events that have happened in our past, how that may be triggering to us, and the effect it may take in our life.
How can it help?
The effectiveness of therapy increases when we discuss and recognize our trauma. It searches to identify and understand the root of our pain or anxiety, and then helps us understand ourselves from that perspective.
This type of therapy is beneficial to anyone who experiences trauma—large or small. Through these traumas, we can see how that may influence our behavior. Understanding our behavior from this perspective may also help us grow into healthier behaviors sooner.
Overall, trauma informed therapy may be a good option for therapy for some, but there are plenty of types of therapy that are beneficial to those seeking help.
To find a list of therapy types, click here.