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Trauma Treatment

What Are Trauma Treatments?

In all trauma treatments, informed consent is key. For many who have suffered a trauma or multiple complex traumas and are ready to begin treatment, they need to be fully aware of what the trauma treatment options are. Any treatment for trauma can be challenging and increase one’s natural anxiety level. Treatment occurs in the safety of a supportive clinical relationship with your trauma specialist and in a safe environment. Not everyone is ready to “work on their trauma” and may need more time in treatment to adequately prepare for the anxiety of confronting their fears.

Your therapist will assess for trauma as well as PTSD to make a recommendation and review the treatment options. Everyone is ready at their own pace. Please note that all treatments for trauma typically request that appointments be longer than the standard clinical 45-minute session. The longer treatment time may not be covered by your insurance company. Please check with your therapist if cost is a factor in your choice of treatments.

What Types of Trauma Treatments Do We Offer?



Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a psychotherapy founded by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., in 1987 and is guided by the Adaptive Information Model. Research shows that EMDR is highly effective at alleviating symptoms resulting from a single trauma such as a loss, sexual assault or rape, natural disaster, or combat veteran trauma. EMDR is typically provided as a form of individual therapy one to two times a week over the course of 6-12 sessions. Sessions typically last 60 minutes.

Prolonged Exposure

Prolonged exposure is a specific type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy utilizing the principle of exposure as the primary intervention and technique. Exposure therapy is designed to help people who suffer from anxiety disorders. Patients are taught through exposure therapy to become less afraid, or not afraid at all, of the memories, feelings, or situations related to their traumatic event. It is normal to become anxious when the fear is justified when there is a real reason not to “put your hand on the stove as it will burn you” idea. However, trauma can teach us that it is safer to avoid the memories and anything that may remind us of the trauma, even though we are no longer in that unsafe situation. This may include numbing our emotions and not being able to feel anxiety and fear on a daily basis, preventing you from living your life fully.

There are many symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that your therapist can review with you to assist you in better understanding trauma and the effects trauma can have on you emotionally, behaviorally, and relationally. After the initial assessment, your therapist will explain the use of imaginal and in vivo exposure in your treatment. From there, the patient works with the therapist at a safe, graduated pace that increases exposure to the feared stimuli over time.

Prolonged exposure has been used for many years to treat PTSD that developed from a one-incident trauma and has been available for combat veterans. Prolonged Exposure (PE) is evidence-based to treat active PTSD symptoms and is typically provided over the course of 8-15 weekly sessions ranging from 60-120 minutes. The repeated exposure allows the client to learn more about the trauma in a manner that will decrease their anxiety-based response to the memory, feelings, or situations of the trauma. This treatment offers hope for clients that there may be a period of their lives when they will no longer meet the criteria for PTSD and suffer from the past. Prolonged Exposure is strongly recommended by the APA Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of PTSD.

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DBT Prolonged Exposure

For some with PTSD, they may have other co-occurring diagnoses such as personality disorders, mood disorders such as depression or bipolar, substance abuse, and other eating disorders. Some have previously failed at other trauma-based treatment attempts due to these other co-occurring issues and present a high risk for suicide or significant deterioration if not stabilized prior to entering trauma treatment. The DBT Prolonged Exposure (DBT PE) protocol for PTSD is based on the adaptation by Melanie Harned, Ph.D., of Edna Foa’s initial prolonged exposure work to treat PTSD among those adults with complex trauma who are currently receiving DBT. This protocol allows these clients who may otherwise be poor candidates for trauma treatment to receive intensive stabilization that allows them access to treatment for their PTSD.

Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (TF-CBT)

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) was developed by Drs. Anthony Mannarino, Judith Cohen and Esther Deblinger. TF-CBT is an evidence-based treatment that has been evaluated and refined during the past 30 years to help children to young adults recover after trauma with the inclusion of a parent/caregiver. TF-CBT is a structured, short-term treatment model that effectively improves a range of trauma-related outcomes in 8-25 sessions. It was originally developed as a Cognitive Behavior Therapy adaptation to help children whom had suffered from sexual abuse but it has over 15 years of research that has shown it is effective across diverse, complex traumas for youth up to young adulthood.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

CPT is a type of cognitive behavior therapy that has been shown to be effective to reduce symptoms of PTSD. CPT is delivered in 12 sessions in helping patients formally process their traumatic memories and learn through treatment a new conceptualization of their traumatic event.

What Conditions are Trauma Treatments for?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that develops after exposure to one or more traumas. Trauma may include direct and experienced, witnessed, indirect, traumatic invalidation, or repeated or extreme indirect exposure (such as first responders or ER personnel). Examples can include rape, sexual assault, physical assault or abuse, crime related, combat related, motor vehicle or other accidents, and natural disasters. Symptoms include a re-experiencing of the event(s), efforts to avoid any reminders of the trauma, changes in the thoughts and mood that worsened after the event, trauma related changes to arousal symptoms such as increased irritability and being really jumpy.

Trauma treatment offers evidenced based treatment to heal the PTSD and help individuals move onto living their lives without active symptoms. This treatment is different from that of Trauma Informed Care.

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Take the Next Step

At Beach Therapy & Consulting, our therapists are trained to assess your treatment needs and create your own individualized treatment plan to expedite your healing from PTSD.

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If you or a loved one is in need of our services, please reach out to us today.

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