A Guide to Trauma Therapy

Trauma therapy can seem complex to navigate, especially for those in need of this support. This blog post will provide an overview guide to trauma therapy for those who are interested in this topic.

Understanding Trauma

There are many different forms of trauma. Some of the differences in trauma include the age of onset. For example, trauma during childhood or adolescence can impact someone different than if the trauma occurred in their mid-20s. How trauma affects someone will also be differentiated by the number of traumatic experiences as well as the length of time someone is exposed to trauma.

  • Little ‘t’ trauma – can include being bullied in school or being cheated on in a relationship
  • Big ‘T’ trauma – criterion A events that can create Post-Traumatic Stress DisordeTrauma can cause many challenges in a person's life. Working with a trauma therapist can help facilitate the healing process.r (PTSD)
  • Developmental Trauma – trauma that occurs during a child’s development that then impacts the child’s ability to form healthy attachment patterns, a sense of safety, and challenges with emotion and nervous system regulation. The National Center for Biotechnology Information has an article here that explains developmental trauma in depth.
  • Relational Trauma – relates to how past trauma influences current relationship dynamics in one’s life
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – can occur from a single traumatic event or from multiple traumatic events
  • Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – typically results from prolonged exposure throughout childhood that results in deficits in interpersonal and cognitive functioning as well as challenges with emotion and nervous system regulation
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder – is a response to severe, prolonged trauma where a person’s psyche structurally creates different identities to cope with trauma

Effects of Trauma on Life

Trauma can impact a person differently depending on the length and severity of traumatic events, their internal coping skills, and the level of support they have in life. General trauma effects include:

  • Challenges with interpersonal dynamics – difficulty maintaining healing relationships with others and oneself
  • View themself as less than – not believing they are worthy or deserving of positive things in life
  • Hypervigilance – always being on guard in case of threat
  • Never feeling safe – having an internal sense either the environment or your body is a threat
  • Emotion and nervous system dysregulation – trauma can impact one’s ability to fluidly move in and out or emotions and nervous system states

How to Heal Trauma?

The first step in the healing process is awareness as to how and the different domains trauma impacts in life. The second step is establishing cues and anchors of safety – both internally and in the external environment. Next is the application of these cues of safety when someone feels dysregulated when triggers or cues to threat appear. Lastly, integration is the last phase and typically needs the supports of a trained, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapist.

Cherry Creek EMDR Therapist

At Revitalize Mental Health PLLC, we offer EMDR therapy via in-person and telehealth therapy sessions. An EMDR therapist can benefit your healing journey by helping you to regulate your emotions, triggers, and nervous system. EMDR therapy will also help to integrate and heal past traumatic experiences so that your life is no longer defined by these events. Call now at, 720.295.6703, or submit an online form here to begin EMDR therapy and your healing process.

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