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Trauma-Informed Therapy: A New Approach to Addiction Treatment

What is Trauma-Informed Therapy?

Most people will go through their life and experience highs and lows and some of the lows that you encounter can be traumatic. These traumas that you may face in your life can have significant impacts on your emotional, mental, and physical health. When you hear the word trauma, most will think of significant events that have drastically impacted your life. While this can be true for some individuals and their experiences with trauma, there can be others that have trauma from other incidents and experiences such as living in poverty, facing discrimination, abuse, or neglect. Individual trauma can occur as the result after an event, a series of events, or specific circumstances that have been physically or emotionally harmful or, in some cases, were life-threatening. Trauma is known to have adverse effects on a person’s individual functioning and emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental health. Trauma-informed therapy is centered around an approach to support patients in their healing process while recognizing the impacts of trauma and how it influences your life and day-to-day life and functioning.

Contact The Detox Center of Los Angeles today at (888) 346-4350 to learn how to access our addiction treatment programs.

While working through your treatment program, therapists will be cognizant of how your trauma has influenced you and your overall health and well-being in order to create a treatment plan that is safe and respectful of your journey and any presenting triggers. Those living with trauma will often have triggers and associations that are known to create challenges within your daily functioning and ability to talk about your traumas. Throughout a trauma informed therapy session, patients are to process your trauma at a pace that is comfortable for you without risking any further re-traumatization. Individuals will be able to understand the correlation between behaviors and previous trauma and begin to develop new coping skills and techniques that will help you overcome trauma responses and behaviors. The goal of trauma informed therapy is to empower patients to be able to voice their concerns and emotions within a safe, supportive environment. Oftentimes, when someone has experienced trauma, they experience feelings of distrust with others or feel that their feelings and experiences are not worthy of a listening ear. Trauma informed therapy helps to remove any sense of victim shaming by shifting the dialogue from an approach of what is wrong with you to a conversation based on what has happened to you and how has your trauma impacted you. These person centered approaches help to validate the person’s emotions and experiences without placing any shame or guilt on the person about the trauma that they have experienced. 

How is it Used in Addiction Treatment?

Individuals living with an active addiction to drugs and alcohol often begin their substance abuse as a way to manage any unpleasant emotions or thoughts that derive from emotional wounds or traumas. Rarely would you meet someone who had the intention of becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol but rather, in most cases, substance abusers have turned to drugs and alcohol as a way to cope with the traumatic memories and thoughts to be able to function throughout the day without experiencing severe trauma responses and flashbacks. While substance abuse can feel like a temporary solution to ease the mind and numb any emotions, the longer someone turns to drugs and alcohol as a means of coping, the more likely they are to develop an addiction to drugs and alcohol. This can create a vicious cycle of substance abuse and trauma responses that are difficult to manage and overcome without the support of licensed therapists. 


During an addiction treatment program, patients are provided with an individualized treatment plan that will incorporate trauma informed therapy approaches. As you begin to explore the underlying causes of your addictive behaviors, patients will be able to engage in various forms of evidence based therapy methods that will support you in understanding how your emotions, thoughts, and actions have contributed to your addictive behaviors while at the same time gaining the ability to overcome any presenting triggers through healthy coping skills and tools for relapse prevention. A trauma informed therapy approach supports patients to feel safe and comfortable within their treatment program. Emotional and physical safety is crucial when you are beginning the process of exploring your traumas. Patients within an addiction treatment program are often presented with opportunities to engage in specific forms of trauma therapy that will support you in being able to address your previous trauma and work to release the negative or harsh responses or feelings that are associated with your traumas. As you move through trauma therapy, you will be able to safely overcome any triggers or responses that will support you in abstaining from drugs and alcohol as a means of coping. 

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Why Trauma-Informed Care is Important

Addiction treatment has shifted to using a trauma informed care approach that has had high success rates among patients. Addressing your root causes of addiction including deep emotional wounds or traumas is a vulnerable place to be and, for many, there are often fears or hesitations about diving deep into the root causes due to the trauma responses and experiences that patients have had in the past. Trauma informed care approach fosters safety within addiction therapy sessions that will allow patients to feel validated in their experiences and emotions while knowing that they are in an empathic and understanding environment that is free of judgment. Therapists using a trauma informed care method will work with each patient to feel empowered to voice your concerns and emotions and empower you to know that your voice matters regardless of what your past experiences were. This is critical for individuals living with trauma as many times their history of traumatic events has diminished their confidence and self worth and a trauma informed care approach validates and empowers patients to regain a sense of purpose and self worth. This model works within a collaborative approach that helps patients become the leader in their healing journey by working together with your therapist to develop a healing plan that fits best with your needs and comfort. When patients are able to contribute and lead your treatment process it brings a sense of autonomy and validation that your voice, opinions, and experiences are important and worthy. 

How to Find a Therapist Near Me

Before beginning your treatment process, there are steps you can take to find a treatment center that offers you the levels of care that you require and desire for your healing process. There are methods of treatment that therapists will use that will indicate that they use a trauma informed care lens. As you prepare to begin your treatment process, it is important to take the time to speak with the rehab center that you are looking to attend and ask questions about the forms of therapy offered and if the therapists are trained in trauma informed therapy. Gaining a better understanding of treatment plans created for patients and how your recovery process will be formulated will help you determine if the therapist is the appropriate fit for you and your goals for addiction recovery. 

Get the Help You Need for Recovery at The Detox Center of L.A.

The Detox Center of LA offers patients a comprehensive treatment plan that supports you to overcome your drug or alcohol addiction while healing from the root causes of your addictive behaviors including emotional wounds and trauma. Patients within our recovery center are offered top tier evidence based therapy methods that will support you in healing from the physical and emotional dependence to drugs and alcohol and begin developing the essential tools for relapse prevention. We understand the nature of addiction and that underneath most addictive behaviors contributing emotions and traumas that deserve to be treated with a trauma informed therapy approach that will validate your experiences and emotions while collaborating with you to safely and effectively process your history of trauma. Through our whole person integrated approach to healing, patients are able to safely heal from your addiction and trauma within your body, mind, and spirit. 


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Will my insurance cover treatment for addiction?

The Detox Center of L.A. accepts most major insurance providers and private healthcare policies. We offer free insurance verification as well as eligibility and benefits for both behavioral and mental health treatment services. Please fill out our insurance verification form here to verify your insurance.

What happens in addiction

Effective addiction treatment programs are tailored to each individual. Because of this, it will be a different experience for everyone. However, it generally involves a combination of detoxification, group and individual therapy, educational presentations, and aftercare planning in order to ensure long-term recovery. Upon arrival at The Detox Center of L.A., you can expect our professionally trained staff to create an individualized treatment plan based on your needs and treatment goals.