Have you tried psychotherapy? Psychotherapy or talk therapy is a commonly used therapy to address and hear out inner thoughts and emotions. Let’s find out more as we go through this article.

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Counseling and psychotherapy experts are experienced at hearing people out and providing them significant help in dealing with trauma and how it has affected the lives of those who have gone through it. Among the most relevant areas of trauma is acknowledging that life for these trauma victims has changed, and their previous ways of viewing the world often do not seem to be as meaningful anymore. Psychotherapy is an effective way of trying to bring back meaning to their lives. Through psychotherapy, these victims will have a better mindset and outlook for their futures.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The emphasis of CBT which is a type of psychotherapy is on recognizing the damaging beliefs and expectations and repairing them through restructuring, meaning that striving to aid people can think differently and learn new and positive meanings. CBT that is focused on trauma attempts to modify difficult meanings of the sad experiences, like, “What happened to me proved that I am useless, insecure, and corrupt. There’s no one I can trust,” and modifying challenging coping mechanisms, like ruminating on unpleasant outcomes, entertaining threats, and thought suppression.

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CBT is performed over a brief time, typically between 8 and 12 sessions for a span of months. It is a dynamic type of psychotherapy targeted at helping people learn ways to face and gradually get over their anxiety, fear, and depression.

Medication – Psychotherapy

People who have anxiety, mood changes, or panic episodes are commonly prescribed medications in conjunction with talk therapy or psychotherapy. In these circumstances, the psychotherapist or counselor could suggest that trauma victims talk with their primary care physician about the possibility of taking antidepressants or other forms of medication. Some individuals find relief in taking them, but not everyone, though. They must talk with their counselor or physician.

In many cases, psychotherapy help is necessary for these victims to recover from the devastating experiences. Medication is always considered at some point in the counseling, particularly if additional help is needed.

Trauma In Children

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Kids, adolescents, and teens may also go through trauma and developmental health conditions. They could present with the same reactions as adults, but there are distinctions. For younger kids, repetitive play can be done where themes associated with the event are acted out. There could be a relapse of behaviors that are common when the victim was younger. Adults need to be careful to listen to their kids and monitor what they do because they might not be capable of verbally expressing their emotions and the challenges that they are experiencing. Other means that trauma is presented in younger kids is by:

  • Temper or aggression problems at preschool
  • Fear of loneliness, of the dark, and monsters become worse
  • Hyperactivity or being extremely energetic
  • Somatization (complaining of headaches or stomach problems)
  • A combination of all symptoms mentioned above

Below are strategies psychotherapists say might help alleviate the psychological anxiety, stress, and sadness following a traumatic experience.

  • Take time for yourself so that you can deal with your emotions or thoughts. Sometimes, though, you may need to reach out to your family or close friends to feel less lonely.
  • Stay active. Exercise is vital for your mind and body, as these two are intimately connected. However, it is unhealthy to be obsessed with exercise and overdo it, as often exercise masks coping challenges.
  • Facing the aftermath of the trauma. Confronting the pain and misery of what happened could help you accept and come to terms with the traumatic experience.
  • Receiving help and support from others. Getting help from other people is very beneficial. You may try to be strong, but sometimes it helps if someone provides you with the support and encouragement you need. Talking to family, friends, and significant others and being with them takes a major load off of your shoulders – and your mind.
  • Find ways to deal with your emotions. Learn relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga to help you calm down when you have bouts of anxiety or panic attacks.
  • Express how you feel. Find time to recall the experience by yourself and then with others. Lean on your family and significant others and share your sadness with them. People of all ages require opportunities to let go of their feelings through storytelling and role-playing, among others.

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Final Thoughts: Psychotherapy and Psychotherapists

In the aftermath of a devastating event, it is typical for people to be depressed and bothered by recollections of what occurred and to feel awkward and guarded. Some people’s miseries progress for months, leading them or their families to seek help from a therapist or counselor. These professionals utilize a range of methods that may or may not be done uniformly. Nevertheless, they have the same goals: to help these troubled souls regain their self-worth, self-esteem, and self-respect to continue living life with hope and positivity.



What Counselors Say About Pet Counseling

Animal Assisted Therapy Helps

The connection between animals and people is formidable, and the constructive link between mental health and pets is undisputable. Adults, adolescents, children, and the elderly all find happiness in their animal pets. Thus, mental health and pets go together. Additionally, research has proven the benefits of animal-assisted therapy for improving one’s mental health. Numerous scientific researches have recognized the benefits of having a dog, cat, or even a hamster.

family animal assisted therapy



The Best Things That Everyone Loved About It

Animals indeed help with anxiety, stress, and depression. Furthermore, they offer company and alleviate loneliness. Finally, pets add delight and absolute love.

Experts have learned a lot more regarding the link between mental health and pets for the past years. Because of this, animal-assisted therapy plans have become a significant aspect of mental health management. Also, people benefit from having mental health pets, like an emotional support dog.

During the 90s, mental health programs for teenagers have integrated equine therapy. This type of therapy dynamically utilizes horses in their treatments. The horse-human bond permits teenagers to express their issues and emotions. They do this by using an effective and personal knowledge of nonverbal communication.   But we can take advantage of animal-assisted therapy daily in the comfort of our own homes.

Below are some counselor-approved ways that our pets can support mental health.

Animal Assisted Therapy Benefits

Mental Health And Pets: Alleviating Stress

Animal-assisted therapy focuses on the interaction with a kind and loving dog that decreases one’s cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone. Having a pet also causes a surge of oxytocin, which is another chemical that decreases stress. This is why animal-assisted therapy is so effective. Moreover, the act of touching a pet decreases blood pressure. Hence, it lowers stress. Subsequently, studies have revealed that dogs can tremendously assist in pacifying aggressive and hyperactive kids.

Animals Make Us Feel Important And Loved

Animal-assisted therapy makes us feel more important and wanted. The simple act of taking care of a pet has great mental health benefits. Taking care of another living being provides us with a sense of meaning and commitment.

lady attending animal assisted therapy


Additionally, even if your pets do not mingle so much with their owners, this is a fact. In a previous study on mental health and animals, seniors were given hamsters to care for. Researchers kept track of their moods for more than two months. Also, they compared the participants of the study and a group who did not care for pets. Consequently, the participants assigned to care for the hamsters were less anxious and depressed after two weeks than those outside of the control group. Thus, researchers validated that animal-assisted therapy yielded mental health benefits.

Pet Counseling Reduces Stress

Research around mental health and pets revealed that playing and interacting with animals significantly lowers stress hormones. This animal-assisted therapy can happen just after a few minutes of mingling with a pet. So pets are indeed very beneficial for depression sufferers.

Animal-assisted therapy increases one’s dopamine and serotonin levels. These two hormones pacify and calm the nervous system. When you laugh or smile at your pet’s loving gestures, you are already activating your happy hormones.

It Prevents Anxiety

Animal-assisted therapy can protect kids from anxiety, states a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A study was performed on 640 kids, half of which took care of pets at home. The researchers gauged their physical activity, anxiety levels, screen time, BMI, or body mass index. At the end of the study, it was found that all the kids had the same BMIs, physical activity, and screen time, regardless if they had pets or not. However, they had differing anxiety levels. More than 20% of the kids who had no pet dogs were positive for anxiety in their screening tests, and only 12% of those who had pets experienced anxiety.

Thus, animal-assisted therapy obviously produces a positive impact on childhood anxiety and stress. Consequently, kids who grow up with pet dogs or cats have a higher likelihood of becoming healthy and joyful teenagers.

Animal Assisted Therapy Improve One’s Overall Well-Being

At present, Miami and Saint Louis University psychologists performed several experiments around the advantages of animal-assisted therapy. Subsequently, the results revealed that owners of pets had alleviated their well-being in various aspects, including improved physical fitness, decreased loneliness and misery, increased self-confidence, improved social skills, and less fear and anxiety.

petting horse during animal assisted therapy


Animals Are Good Models Of Being In The Present

Animals thrive at the moment. This means that they do not stress over what occurred yesterday. Also, they are not scared about what could happen in the future.


As a consequence, pets can aid individuals in becoming more attentive. Mindfulness is the mental process of focusing on the present. Thus, they significantly help adolescents and teenagers appreciate and seize the present moments. Additionally, pets are a great distraction for teens from the things that bother them. Finally, spending time with pets helps kids of all ages to be more lighthearted and playful.