Trauma therapy

Trauma and addiction are two intertwined issues that can create a seemingly endless cycle of suffering. When individuals experience trauma, they often turn to substance abuse as a way to cope with the pain. Unfortunately, this can quickly lead to addiction which only compounds the pain and suffering. At Recovery Lighthouse, we understand that addressing trauma is a crucial part of addiction treatment which is why trauma therapy is such an important part of our rehab treatment programmes. It can help you overcome addiction, get much-needed closure and go on to live a healthier, happier life.

Trauma therapy - session

What is trauma therapy?

Trauma therapy is a specialised form of therapy designed to help individuals confront, process and ultimately heal from traumatic experiences. The goals of trauma therapy include:

  • Identifying the underlying sources of trauma
  • Processing the emotions tied to these experiences
  • Developing healthy coping mechanisms
  • Building resilience and fostering personal growth

At Recovery Lighthouse, we see all too often how traumatic events can leave lasting emotional and psychological scars, driving individuals to seek solace in addictive substances. In addiction treatment, trauma therapy plays a crucial role in addressing these traumatic root causes of substance abuse and dependency, facilitating a more profound and enduring recovery.

What does trauma therapy at Recovery Lighthouse involve?

At Recovery Lighthouse, we understand that every person’s journey to recovery is unique so our trauma therapy approach accounts for your individual circumstances, needs and personal history. By helping you explore and understand the sources of your trauma, our team of experts works to empower you in resolving these deep-seated issues, which is vital in the process of addiction recovery.

Our approach to trauma therapy is based on post-induction therapy (PIT), a model that focuses on the impact of developmental trauma and emotional pain on an individual’s life. PIT is designed to help you uncover the origins of your addiction, allowing for a more targeted, effective and, crucially, lifelong recovery process.

The four stages of trauma therapy at Recovery Lighthouse

Our trauma therapy process is loosely divided into four essential stages to ensure a comprehensive and structured approach to healing:

Stage one: Building trust with your therapist…

The foundation of effective trauma therapy lies in a strong therapeutic relationship. At Recovery Lighthouse, our therapists work diligently to establish trust and rapport with you, creating a safe and supportive environment where you can comfortably share your experiences. This initial stage focuses on understanding your background, exploring your addiction history and identifying the goals you wish to achieve in therapy.

Stage two: Revealing and addressing past trauma…

During this stage, you’ll delve into the past to identify and address the traumatic experiences that have contributed to your addiction. Your therapist will guide you through the process of exploring and understanding these events, using various techniques such as “imaginal exposure”. This stage aims to help you process the emotions tied to your past traumas, allowing you to release pent-up feelings and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

Stage three: Creating an impact statement…

An impact statement is a powerful tool for acknowledging the effects of trauma on your life. You will work with your therapist to create a comprehensive statement that outlines the consequences of your traumatic experiences, allowing you to recognise and accept the reality of your past. This will help you to clarify how your past trauma led to your substance abuse and ultimate addiction and will also highlight any areas where you may need additional support going forward.

Stage four: Confronting the people who caused your trauma…

The final stage of trauma therapy involves confronting those responsible for your trauma in a safe and controlled environment. This process allows for closure and helps you reclaim your power, fostering personal growth and resilience. As the actual perpetrators will not be present, this stage involves you reading out your impact statement during a group therapy session so you can benefit from peer support.

How trauma therapy complements other addiction therapies

At Recovery Lighthouse, we believe in a holistic approach to addiction recovery. Trauma therapy is just one component of our comprehensive rehab treatment programmes, designed to complement other therapies effectively. By integrating various therapeutic modalities, we can address the multidimensional aspects of addiction and provide a well-rounded recovery experience.

Some of the therapies that work synergistically with trauma therapy include:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): Trauma therapy helps uncover the root causes of addiction by addressing unresolved emotional issues and traumatic experiences. CBT, on the other hand, equips you with the tools to reframe negative thought patterns and develop healthier coping strategies. By combining these two approaches, you can gain a better understanding of how your past experiences influence your current behaviour and learn practical techniques to break free from destructive patterns like substance abuse.
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is a powerful therapy that focuses on reducing the emotional distress tied to traumatic memories. In combination with trauma therapy, EMDR can further facilitate the healing process by targeting specific traumatic experiences and helping you process and integrate them. This integration allows for a more complete resolution of the emotional pain that fuels your addiction.
  • Family therapy: As you work through your trauma, it’s essential to involve your loved ones in your recovery journey. Family therapy provides a supportive environment for your family members to understand your experiences and participate in the healing process actively. This fosters improved communication, stronger relationships and a more stable support system, all crucial elements for long-term recovery success.
  • Group therapy: Group therapy offers a unique opportunity to connect with peers who share similar experiences and challenges. In a supportive group setting, you can discuss your traumatic experiences, learn from others and develop healthy interpersonal skills. This sense of connection and shared understanding can be invaluable in your recovery journey, providing an additional layer of support and motivation.
  • 12-Step programmes: The principles of 12-step programmes provide a structured framework for recovery, offering guidance, support and accountability. While trauma therapy addresses the underlying emotional issues driving addiction, the 12-step programme focuses on fostering personal growth, spiritual development and commitment to sobriety. Together, they create a comprehensive and balanced approach to healing and personal growth, promoting long-lasting recovery.

Trauma therapy - group therapy

Start trauma therapy today

Embarking on a journey to recovery can be an intimidating process, but you don’t have to face it alone. At Recovery Lighthouse, our compassionate and experienced team is here to guide and support you every step of the way. With the help of our amazing trauma therapists, you can confront the roots of your addiction, heal from past traumas and ultimately build a brighter, healthier future.

Take the first step towards lasting recovery – contact Recovery Lighthouse today and begin your journey to a life free from addiction.

Frequently asked questions

What are common sources of trauma?
Common sources of trauma can vary widely and what may be traumatic for one person may not be for another. However, some typical sources of trauma include physical, emotional or sexual abuse, witnessing or experiencing violence, natural disasters, accidents, the sudden death of a loved one, war or combat exposure and severe illness or injury.
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop in individuals who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. PTSD is characterised by symptoms such as intrusive thoughts and memories, flashbacks, nightmares, emotional numbness, avoidance of reminders of the traumatic event, difficulty sleeping, irritability and feelings of guilt or shame. These symptoms can significantly impact an individual’s daily life, relationships and overall well-being.
Can trauma ever be completely cured?
The term “cured” may not be the most accurate way to describe the healing process when it comes to trauma. While it may not be possible to entirely erase the memories or effects of a traumatic experience, the goal of trauma therapy is to reduce the emotional distress, negative thoughts and dysfunctional behaviours associated with the trauma, allowing individuals to develop healthier coping strategies, build resilience and move forward. In this sense, while a complete “cure” may not be attainable, significant healing and personal growth are possible.