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Childhood trauma is an experience of an event by a child that is emotionally painful or distressing—the result of this exposure to trauma results in lasting mental and physical effects. A way to overcome these effects is through childhood trauma therapy, conducted under the guidance of a licensed trauma-informed therapist.

What Does Childhood Trauma Look Like in Adults?

Adults with childhood trauma can have difficulty forming relationships with others. The feelings of shame and guilt hold them back from expressing their true selves to other people. Childhood trauma can leave the traumatized person feeling disconnected and unable to empathize or relate to others. Other symptoms of childhood trauma include:

 

  • Emotional dysregulation or angry outbursts
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Shakiness
  • Night terrors or other sleep disturbances
  • Lack of energy or physical illness
  • Compulsions
  • Impulsiveness
  • Social Withdrawl
  • Numbness or Callousness
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    Childhood Trauma Therapy Treatments

    Trauma therapy involves identifying triggers and developing coping strategies. Over time, you learn to decrease symptoms in a safe environment. Everyone is different, and there are many other treatment options available. Here are some  trauma-focused therapy options:

    Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

    CPT is effective for those who struggle with fears related to encountering additional traumatic events. For example, many people who have served in the military or emergency workers can benefit from this treatment. CPT is conducted in individual or group sessions or some combination. Your therapist will work with you to identify and explore ways that the trauma may have altered your thoughts or beliefs about the world. In addition, you will learn how your behavior is affected by your traumatic experience.

    Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

    TF-CBT is tailored towards those experiencing emotional and psychological difficulties as a result of a trauma. TF-CBT uses a skill-based model to teach communication and coping skills. This method is particularly effective for children and adolescents. 

    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

    EMDR is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress associated with traumatic life events. Eye moments (also called bilateral stimulation) are used during EMDR to reprocess a traumatic event. Many people report feeling significant benefits from EMDR after only a few sessions.

    Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)

    NET is a treatment used for survivors of multiple and complex trauma. You work with a therapist to construct a chronological narrative of your life, focusing on the traumatic experiences. The therapist will ask you to fully describe emotions, cognitions, and sensory information to flesh out the traumatic experience. Through reliving these traumatic events, you will learn to reprocess and derive meaning from the experiences to facilitate healing.

    Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE)

    Prolonged Exposure Therapy teaches individuals to approach their trauma-related memories, feelings, and situations gradually. The goal is to teach that trauma-related memories and cues are not dangerous and do not need to be avoided. For example, the therapist might ask you to describe the traumatic event and process the emotion associated with it. You are recorded during the session, so you may listen to it between sessions and continue to reprocess the event.

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    Conclusion

    An effective method to overcome the effects of trauma is through childhood trauma therapy, conducted under the guidance of a licensed trauma-informed therapist. Adults with childhood trauma can have difficulty forming relationships with others. Trauma therapy involves identifying triggers and developing coping strategies. Over time, you learn to decrease symptoms in a safe environment.

    Family Strategies Counseling & Mediation is a therapy office serving the Chicagoland Area. We offer couples counseling and mental health services. Our therapists are skilled at working with those who are struggling to process traumatic events. Give our office a call at (708) 798-5433 or email us a info@Family-Strategy.com for appointment details.