Counselors and psychotherapists are experienced at hearing people out and provide 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. Sometimes, they need to think twice or thrice about how they will live their lives and what is most vital.
Speaking with a counselor or psychotherapist can be very beneficial. These may offer answers and suggestions for managing certain problems and issues that they may be going through.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
The emphasis of CBT 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 no one I can trust,” and modifying challenging coping mechanisms, like ruminating on unpleasant outcomes, entertaining threats, and thought suppression.
CBT is performed over a brief time, typically between 8 and 12 sessions for a span of months. It is a dynamic type of therapy targeted at helping people learn ways to face and gradually get over their anxiety, fear, and depression. Strategies include journaling, challenging stressful thoughts, and facing feared circumstances in a safe space.
People who have anxiety, mood changes, or panic episodes are commonly prescribed medications in conjunction with talk therapy or counseling. In these circumstances, the therapist 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, mental health 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
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 some self-help strategies that might help alleviate the anxiety, stress, and sadness you face following the 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.
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.