Traumatic experiences can be incredibly difficult to process and can leave lasting effects on individuals. For many people who have experienced trauma, drinking or taking drugs can provide temporary relief but this can often lead to addiction which in turn makes traumatic symptoms worse. Trauma therapy is a crucial part of rehab treatment at Banbury Lodge because it can help you manage and heal from your past experiences and free you from the grips of addiction.
What is trauma therapy?
Trauma therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on helping you heal from the effects of traumatic past experiences. Its goal is to provide a safe and supportive space where you can process past trauma and understand how it has impacted your life and contributed to your addiction.
Trauma therapy can also help you to learn new coping skills to manage the difficult thoughts and feelings that may arise as a result of the trauma, including those which are fuelling your addictive behaviours. It can be used for all types of addiction including substance abuse disorders and behavioural/process addictions.
Trauma therapy at Banbury Lodge
At Banbury Lodge, we understand that talking about traumatic experiences can be difficult and that is why we offer trauma therapy as part of our comprehensive addiction counselling programmes. Our experienced trauma therapists provide a personalised and holistic approach to healing, taking into account your unique experiences and needs and utilising various forms of trauma therapy.
Our trauma therapy programme is based on post-induction therapy (PIT) – a model developed by Pia Mellody in the 1970s. The aim of PIT is to help you understand how your past traumatic experiences are affecting your present, and how this can lead to negative emotions. By working through these emotions with our trained therapists, you can learn new coping skills and ways of dealing with these emotions without turning to drugs or alcohol to soothe them.
The four stages of trauma therapy for addiction
At Banbury Lodge, our trauma therapy sessions follow four important stages:
1. Building trust and establishing a safe environment…
Building a strong and trusting relationship between you and your therapist is very important because it will help you to feel comfortable and secure exploring your traumatic experiences. Your therapist may use a range of techniques to establish this trust including active listening, empathy and non-judgmental support.
2. Uncovering and working through past trauma…
The second stage of trauma therapy involves your therapist helping you to open up and address your past trauma. This may involve using techniques such as “imaginal exposure” to help you vividly recall traumatic events in a safe and controlled environment. Your therapist can then work with you to develop healthy coping strategies to help you manage your emotions and responses to the trauma without relying on substances or addictive behaviours.
3. Writing an impact statement…
Your impact statement is a letter addressed to the perpetrators of your trauma and is a way for you to express how the traumatic events have affected your life, relationships and led to addiction. Writing an impact statement can help you gain clarity and perspective on the trauma and help you identify areas where you may need additional support in your addiction recovery.
4. Confronting the perpetrators…
The fourth and final stage of trauma therapy involves confronting the perpetrators of your trauma with your impact statement. This is a difficult and emotional experience, but it can also be incredibly empowering and cathartic. This stage is often done in group therapy where the support and validation of others who have experienced trauma can provide you with a sense of community and help you let go of the pain and anger. This stage can be a vital step towards breaking the cycle of addiction and moving on with your life.
How does trauma therapy complement other addiction therapies?
At Banbury Lodge, trauma therapy is often combined with other evidence-based therapies to provide a holistic approach to addiction treatment. Here are some of the ways that trauma therapy can work in conjunction with other addiction therapies:
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)
CBT is a popular therapy that helps you identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours. Combining trauma therapy with CBT can be especially effective as trauma can often lead to negative thought patterns and maladaptive coping mechanisms. CBT can help you reframe your thoughts and develop healthy coping strategies that can support your addiction recovery.
Mindfulness and meditation
Mindfulness and meditation are practices that encourage you to focus on the present moment and cultivate a sense of inner peace and calm. These practices can be especially helpful for those dealing with trauma and addiction as they can help you manage related emotions and reduce stress and anxiety during rehab and beyond.
Group therapy provides a supportive and non-judgmental environment for you to share your experiences with other people who are going through the same recovery process. Combining trauma therapy with group therapy can be especially effective as it can help you feel less isolated and more connected to others who have also experienced trauma and addiction.
Family therapy can be an important part of addiction treatment, as it can help you and your loved ones work through issues that may have contributed to the addiction. Combining trauma therapy with family therapy can help bring forgiveness and understand and enable you to rebuild relationships so that loved ones can support your recovery.
How to start trauma therapy for addiction
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and trauma, know that you are not alone. Banbury Lodge offers evidence-based addiction treatment that includes trauma therapy and other therapies that can support your recovery journey. With a team of compassionate and experienced therapists, we can help you address the root causes of your addiction and move towards a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Don’t let addiction and trauma hold you back any longer. Take the first step towards healing by reaching out to Banbury Lodge today.
Frequently asked questions
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Domestic violence
- Military combat
- Natural disasters
- Serious accidents or injuries
- Sudden loss of a loved one