Trauma-Focused Therapy

Trauma-focused therapy can help a client recognize and understand how the traumatic experience they experienced can impact their mental, behavioral, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. This concept is rooted in understanding the connection between the traumatic experience and and an individual's emotional and behavioral responses to situations. In therapy, the goal is to offer clients skills and strategies to better understand, cope with, and process emotions and memories that may be attached to memories of the traumatic experience. 

What are the benefits of trauma-focused therapy?

  • Learn about trauma --- it is possible that clients do not understand the full impact that a traumatic experience could have on all facets of their lives. This can help demystify the normal symptoms of having experiencing trauma and understand the reason behind why certain thoughts, feelings, and behaviors might occur; give names and explanations to experiences; and emphasize that they are not alone in how they feel.
  • Re-establish safety --- clients who have experienced a traumatic event often feel as if they have lost a safety net, be it physical, emotional, or both. This can aid clients in re-developing internal and physical senses of safety.
  • Identify triggers --- in order for clients to start to regain a sense of safety, it is important to identify, understand, explore, and express the different memories and feelings associated with the trauma. This involves learning to recognize which experiences/feelings may be associated with traumatic reminders (triggers), which can help clients adapt how they respond to them in the future. 
  • Develop healthy coping skills --- involves helping the client discover skills and improve their coping strategies to better respond to reminders and emotions that may be associated with the traumatic event. In order to aid client resiliency in the face of potentially triggering situations and events, anxiety management and relaxation strategies can be taught and utilized. 
  • Decrease in traumatic stress symptoms --- in order for symptoms relating to trauma to begin to decrease, developing and practicing skills that help decrease these symptoms and other mental health symptoms that can become associated with trauma is necessary. 
  • Practice trauma processing or integration --- if a client feels comfortable and ready, the therapist can tell the client that they can start to regain power and control over their past experiences by assisting them to re-narrate their story (allowing the client to tell it any way they'd like to and to always allow them to stop if needed). In this way, memories, emotions, and behaviors associated with a traumatic experience can begin to be unearthed. 

Here at Madrigal, we are committed to using trauma-focused therapy to help you reach your best potential. 

*This information was adapted from the Center for Child Trauma Assessment, Services and Interventions at Northwestern. Click here to learn more information.*