TRAUMA AND PTSD TREATMENT
Approaching Trauma Treatment from a Christian PerspectiveIdentifying if someone is suffering from trauma and/or if they warrant a diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is difficult because you can’t tell by looking at them. The symptoms of trauma can lay dormant for long periods and then recur very strongly, especially if something in the person’s life triggers the memory of the traumatic event. It is quite common for our center to treat men and women who are exhibiting symptoms of trauma in addition to their chemical dependency. Signs of Trauma • Re-living past events over and over • Strong avoidance of reminders of the event (ie people, places, objects) • Feelings of mistrust or betrayal • Feelings of hopelessness • Using drugs or alcohol to cope with traumatic memories • Sleep disturbances (insomnia, bad dreams) • Fits of anger • Frustration • Isolating oneself when things are stressful
How We Treat TraumaSometimes the person is aware of the trauma they are dealing with, and sometimes they are not aware of how much they are being affected by past events. For this reason we provide a through assessment that takes into account each individual’s: • Personal history • Medical History • Substance abuse history • Family and social history As we inquire about the events that precede drug or alcohol use episodes, we often uncover a link to past events that can be addressed during treatment. We have many tools to help the person address and “process” traumatic events. Our individual therapy sessions are where a lot of this work gets done, and we utilize cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other modalities to address past events. We also often utilize family counseling sessions to help the entire support system heal. Our clients also benefit greatly from understanding the phenomenon of trauma and how it affects people. We provide educational activities to help that explain how to recognize when trauma is affecting oneself and what a person can do to manage the symptoms. During the entire process, all of the clinicians in our treatment program (with a high staff to client ratio) will be closely paying attention to the well-being of the individual in treatment and how they are responding to each component of treatment.
Psychiatric Consultation and MedicationsIf necessary, we will also provide access to our consulting psychiatrist who can also monitor the progress of the client and prescribe medications which may assist in managing the symptoms of the trauma to help the transition to early sobriety go more smoothly.
Why is Treating Trauma With Christian Principles so Effective?Christian principles like practicing forgiveness are very beneficial to the person who is in recovery and dealing with traumatic events. Often, the person in treatment needs to forgive themselves as well. Sharing experiences in process group (when appropriate) and having the loving support of the familiar Christian community around them helps our clients feel secure in their decision to stay sober which is necessary to effectively process traumatic events and address the symptoms of trauma. Engaging in prayer is also a healing practice that is a part of every client’s routine during treatment at our center.
Now is a Great Time for Trauma TreatmentThe good news is that we have more tools at our disposal than ever before to help our clients address and process trauma while remaining abstinent from drugs and alcohol. We are here for you if you would like to get more information about the treatment of trauma and PTSD, and will be happy to provide a confidential and complimentary assessment of your (or your loved one’s) drug or alcohol use and symptoms of trauma. Call us today at (866) 434-1330.
Paul Alexander is the founder of LINKS Christian Drug Rehab Program, the Christian tract of Northbound Treatment. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law, and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from the University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. Paul received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. He believes wholeheartedly in Christian programming that incorporates evidence-based treatment with spiritual teachings as the cornerstone in program structure.