Trauma-Focused Therapies Offered in a PHP
What is Trauma?
Trauma is an emotional response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event. Trauma can be caused by various events including abuse, disasters, accidents, war, or witnessing violence.
- Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, and fatigue
- Emotional symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and anger
- Behavioral symptoms such as isolation, withdrawal, and substance abuse
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition triggered by witnessing or experiencing a terrifying event.
- Intrusive thoughts, such as flashbacks and nightmares
- Avoidance of people, places, or situations that remind them of the trauma
- Negative thoughts and feelings such as guilt, shame, and fear
- Hyperarousal symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, irritability, and difficulty concentrating
Distinguishing Between Trauma and PTSD
What Is a Trauma-Informed Partial Hospitalization Program?
A trauma-informed partial hospitalization program (PHP) is an intensive treatment program that offers structured and comprehensive care for individuals struggling with trauma and related issues. In these programs, clients can attend the program during the day and return home at night.
Comparing Trauma PHP Treatment with Other Treatment Modalities
Inpatient treatment is the most intensive option. It requires clients to stay at a treatment facility 24/7. It’s best suited for those who need constant care and supervision, often immediately following a crisis, or for those with severe symptoms.
Outpatient therapy is a less intensive option than trauma PHP treatment. It allows individuals to live at home and attend treatment a few times a week. It’s a good option for those with mild to moderate symptoms, or for those who need continued support after completing more intensive treatment.
Admission Process and Eligibility for a Trauma PHP
- A detailed interview to discuss past experiences, symptoms, and challenges
- Completion of questionnaires and surveys to evaluate the severity of the individual’s symptoms
- A physical exam and review of medical history
- Assessment of the individual’s current support system and resources
Criteria for Trauma PHP Eligibility
The Severity of Trauma-Related Symptoms
Risk of Harm
Motivation for Treatment
Benefits of Trauma PHP Treatment
The Intensity of Care
Comprehensive Support System
Continuity of Care
Evidence-Based Therapies Utilized in Trauma PHP Treatment
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a widely used therapy for trauma. It is particularly effective for treating PTSD. It focuses on identifying, understanding, and changing thinking and behavior patterns.
- Recognize and reframe irrational or maladaptive thoughts related to the traumatic event
- Gradually confront and desensitize trauma-related memories and feelings
- Develop skills to cope with anxiety and stress
- Break patterns of negative or dangerous behavior
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Learn to accept the thoughts and emotions related to the trauma without trying to suppress or avoid them.
- Focus on mindfulness skills to help them become more aware of the present moment and less entangled in negative thought patterns.
- Helps identify personal values and commit to actions that align with these values, despite painful experiences.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
While recalling the traumatic memory, individuals focus on a back-and-forth movement such as eye movements or hand tapping. This bilateral stimulation helps the brain reprocess the trauma in a safe and controlled environment.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
DBT is a type of therapy that combines cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness practices. This approach can be helpful for individuals struggling with intense emotions and difficulty regulating them after experiencing trauma.
- Teach skills to help cope with intense emotions, such as distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness
- Help individuals understand and accept their experiences
- Provide tools to manage intense emotions and reduce self-destructive behaviors
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
MBSR is effective in reducing symptoms of trauma. It involves incorporating mindfulness practices into daily life and utilizing them to cope with difficult emotions.
- Teach techniques such as meditation, body scans, and yoga to help individuals become more aware of their thoughts and feelings without judgment
- Encourage self-care and stress management techniques such as self-compassion and relaxation exercises
- Help break the cycle of rumination often found in trauma survivors
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
It’s common for individuals who have experienced trauma to also struggle with mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety. MAT can help address these co-occurring disorders.
- Anti-anxiety medications
- Mood stabilizers
Cultural Competence in Trauma PHP Treatment
Incorporating Cultural Sensitivity in Therapy
Importance of Inclusivity in Therapy
- Increased trust and rapport between therapist and client
- More effective communication and understanding of cultural differences
- A deeper understanding of how trauma may be experienced differently in various cultures
- Tailored treatment plans that align with the client’s values and beliefs
Aftercare and Relapse Prevention After a PHP
If medications were prescribed as part of the treatment plan in the PHP, continuing to take these as directed is important. Regular check-ins with a psychiatrist or medical provider can ensure that medications are still effective and that any side effects are managed.
Building a Supportive Network
Being surrounded by those who understand and care about one’s well-being can provide valuable emotional support and accountability. This can include family, friends, or even a support group specifically for trauma survivors.
Individuals can ask for a referral to a support group from their therapist or treatment center. After completing trauma PHP treatment, individuals may also be invited to participate in alumni groups.
Relapse Prevention Plan
- Re-experiencing trauma memories or flashbacks
- Avoiding triggers and isolating oneself from others
- Engaging in self-destructive behaviors as a coping mechanism
- Sensory: This includes smells, sounds, sights, and tastes. For instance, the sound of a car backfiring might trigger someone who has experienced combat trauma.
- Emotional: This involves feelings that were present during the traumatic event, such as intense fear, sadness, or anger.
- Environmental: This includes specific locations, anniversaries of the event, certain people, or situations that remind you of the experience.
Identifying Warning Signs
- Changes in thought patterns and emotions
- Increased avoidance behaviors
- Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Practicing deep breathing exercises to manage acute stress
- Using grounding techniques, such as the 5-4-3-2-1 method, to stay present
- Engaging in a brief physical activity, like a walk or stretching, to help shift focus
- Identifying a safe place to go to, such as a friend’s house or a designated calm space
- Keeping a list of emergency contacts, including a mental health crisis hotline or local emergency services
- A prearranged agreement with a friend, family member, or therapist to check in if certain signs of crisis are observed
How Continuum Outpatient Center’s Trauma PHP Treatment Can Help
Choosing our trauma PHP treatment is the first step toward reclaiming your life from the shadows of trauma. Our focus is not just on overcoming trauma but also on empowering you for future resilience and emotional well-being.
- A Safe Environment: We prioritize creating a safe space for you to explore and heal from your traumatic experiences.
- Active Participation in Recovery: You are at the center of your recovery journey, actively involved in setting and achieving your wellness goals.
- Specialized Therapies: Our therapies are not just evidence-based but also trauma-attuned. Our therapists have specialized training and experience in treating trauma-related disorders.
- Holistic Approach: We understand that trauma affects all aspects of life, so we provide a multidisciplinary treatment approach to address your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
- Continued Access to Care: We provide ongoing access to therapeutic resources and community support. We also offer aftercare services to help you maintain your progress and prevent relapse.
Contact Us Today
Contact us now to learn more about how we can help you on your journey to recovery.