Trauma is a term that can mean different things in different contexts. In the mental health field, a trauma refers to a painful and overwhelming event or series of events that has a long lasting negative impact on a person emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually. Different people experience events and situations in different ways so the focus isn’t as much on what occurred as it is how it has impacted you and your life.
Whether or not something you experienced was overwhelming is not a reflection of weakness or strength. Just like some people find roller coasters exhilarating and some people find them terrifying, the way you experienced events in your life is a valid and appropriate response that should be respected. If something has happened in your life that has made you feel overwhelming negative feelings after the event was over, it is important to get support and care.
Just like the body response to life-threatening injuries, the mind responds to traumatic experiences. This could be flashbacks, nightmares, feelings of panic or anger that are hard to control or predict, feeling cut off from people or that you always have to be on guard, or many other symptoms as your mind tries to understand what happened and how to keep it from happening again. It’s important to get the support and care needed to heal from the event so you can enjoy life.
Trauma informed care is the idea that people who have experienced trauma deserve to have care that is tailored to their needs. It is a guide for professionals to make sure that we support people who have survived traumas in respectful and appropriate manners that do not re-traumatize the survivor.
Why is it Important?
Trauma informed care is so important because so many people have experienced traumas that have had devastating impacts on their lives. People who have a substance use disorder are more likely than the general public to have experienced traumas in their life. Many people who had traumatic experiences when they were young begin using substances to try and cope with the effects of those experiences.
People who have addictions to drugs or alcohol often find themselves in dangerous situations where traumatic events are more likely to occur. The most important reason that trauma informed care is important is that recovery is possible with support and time. You don’t have to just survive. You can thrive!
In the office, trauma informed care means that our providers will be respectful of you and your experience. They might check in with you to see if you are starting to feel overwhelmed and need a break or ask what will help you feel safe. Sometimes, talking about the traumatic events makes people feel too overwhelmed and unsafe. To help process those events and begin healing, our providers might recommend that you see our specialists for EMDR or Equine assisted therapies.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an innovative psychotherapeutic intervention that takes a collaborative approach which facilitates the trauma informed care needed to assist many men and women truly heal each person's mind, body and spirit.
This research informed protocols focus on three prongs: the past, present and future utilizing bilateral stimulation. EMDR is supported by an integrated system of evidence based practices for emotional, physical and spiritual healing of individuals and families.
Recovery can ultimately be achieved and maintained for a lifetime.
EMDR is based on the theory that our mind processes our memories during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep so that when physically these eye movements occur during an 8 phase treatment protocol activates the body's own natural healing system in the brain and as the memory are processed, distress can be alleviated and generalized to other past, present and future situations enabling for a healthier response.
Each individual has different needs so the amount of time needed does vary from client to client but EMDR therapy produces results more rapidly than previous forms of therapy.
Our specialist uses the EAGALA method of Equine Assisted Therapy. This model involves no riding or horsemanship, making it both safe and effective. Clients work directly with horses face-to-face on the same footing. This ground level work enables clients to better perceive the horses' actions and reactions as they work to process and solve their life challenges.
Under the trained eye of the EAGALA Treatment Team, horses offer clients honest feedback and usable information that helps them understand how their process and actions affect others and impacts their lives.