4 forms of trauma therapy and how they help
Experiencing and working through trauma is challenging. But, it can be done. Especially, if you seek support. One form of support to consider is individual therapy. Therapy can serve as an invaluable tool to ease the effects of trauma. Depending on what you’re experiencing and what you feel most comfortable with, there are multiple forms of therapy to choose from. Here we want to introduce you to what therapy is and 4 trauma-focused forms it can take.
What is therapy?
After a traumatic experience, it helps to seek support from a professional. Therapy is one option. It’s a way to work with a professional to help guide you through the mental and emotional distress you may be experiencing. This includes seeing a counselor or a psychologist.
An effective counselor is someone that you trust and are able to connect with. While it may take some time to find someone who is the right fit for you (remember, you should feel comfortable with whoever you’re seeing!). Also, while therapy tends to get a bad reputation (especially in the media…ever heard it being called “seeing a shrink?”), in reality, it’s actually an incredible resource for you to use to heal. And, while there might be some stigma around it in our culture, don’t let that deter you from trying it out. Even if you feel the need to keep it to yourself.
4 Different types of therapy
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This includes trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. CBT works with survivors of PTSD to help them rethink their thought patterns to help them identify their negative thoughts and help create a more balanced perspective of future events. CBT has shown to be fairly effective and useful for survivors of trauma. Especially helpful because one of the impacts of trauma can be being stuck in negative thought loops or patterns. This can help you discover tools to break out of them that will work just for you.
2. Art therapy
Whether you consider yourself a creative or not, art therapy is a great option for releasing and expressing yourself. It involves various medium such as painting, coloring, drawing, photography, and sculpting to express feelings and emotions. This allows people to process traumatic events non-verbally. I can be useful because sometimes it’s difficult to express what we’re thinking and how we’re feeling through words.
Also known as forest bathing, this form of therapy reconnects you with nature. A hike, trek or walk through the forest. It has been understood that people who spend time in nature have lower cortisol levels, thereby experience lower levels of stress. (Cortisol is the stress hormone in our body, so less of it means less stress.) How does nature help? It’s because trees release phytoncides which boosts our immune systems, enabling us to fight off illness. Interacting with nature can also help with the healing process for survivors of PTSD.
4. Play therapy
Play therapy is typically targeted towards children. Like art therapy, play therapy allows children to express what they are unable to verbalize. It also allows children to portray unconscious feelings and thoughts by projecting their feelings onto their dolls or puppets. Play therapy allows children to release emotions they may have bottled up inside them, that may have been difficult for them to express. This can be quite cathartic for the child.
Trying to recover from trauma on your own is incredibly challenging. Using therapy as a tool, to help you navigate the effects of trauma is a great way to help yourself heal.
As we’ve mentioned in our previous post on the effects of Trauma, if you’re in Bangkok you can consider a few counseling services including Psychological Services International, Bangkok Counselling Service, NCS Counseling, or Bangkok Supportive Counseling.
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