Trauma therapy can mean many things in terms of what will happen in a therapy session since there are numerous approaches to helping people overcome traumatic experience and post traumatic stress syndrome. In all instances, the term applies to undertaking therapeutic endeavors aimed at relieving the aftereffects of trauma. When people have experienced trauma, they are advised to seek help with a therapist who has worked in this area, since many people will not fully recover from the feelings trauma has caused without some of processing.
A person looking for trauma therapy can hear a lot of different terms describing the approaches of a counselor. Some specialize in EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing), which use recollection of some aspect of the trauma at the same time a person follows a moving object with the eyes. Another term becoming increasingly common is somatic experiencing, a system developed by Dr. Peter Levine, which uses body awareness at different levels to reprogram the body out of the trauma state.
Other trauma therapy methods include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), hypnosis, and a variety of body therapy approaches. Some degree of talk therapy is typically involved too. In children, especially those who can’t stay too focused or discuss at length, play therapy and art therapy are utilized frequently.
Occasionally, people describe therapeutic approaches to trauma as occurring in three stages. The first goal is to deal with the way trauma changes emotional responses and how these altered responses can impact behavior; getting responses to an acceptable level and reducing the negative emotional and/or physical aspects of post traumatic stress to provide more comfort is greatly important. As therapy progresses, the actual trauma must be discussed or in some manner dealt with by techniques like CBT, EMDR, or others. However part of the trauma means people can’t have processed or truly grieved, and there is a grief period as the matter is discussed in full. Once grieving occurs, many people need to start the work of learning how to be a part of the world again.
Each therapist can suggest slightly different models, and simplifying it too much would downplay the serious and difficult work that most people in trauma therapy undergo. The pay off of this therapy, when it is effective, is that people are no longer victims to the experiences that caused them to seek therapy. Those who have had positive experiences with trauma therapy attest the hard work is very much worth the outcome.