Emotional pain caused by a traumatic event can run deep. Unresolved trauma can impact every facet of life, from relationships to career, as well as overall physical and psychological wellness. When unable to recover from trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop, further enhancing the life-disrupting symptoms. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, about 7.7 million Americans are afflicted with PTSD,
Trauma recovery retreats address just this need. Many who have suffered a deeply troubling traumatic event need a little help in overcoming the associated emotional pain. Even therapy may not be sufficient for some with trauma disorder. These trauma recovery retreats offer a peaceful, safe, and supportive space for introspection and healing.
What is Trauma Disorder?
Trauma is the psychological state following experiencing or witnessing an event that is usually unexpected and intensely disturbing. In most cases, the victim felt a sense of danger or threat of bodily harm that they were not in control of. Being a victim of a perpetrated assault, or witnessing someone else’s pain and suffering, can leave deep scars on the soul. Some examples of a traumatic event include:
- Sexual assault
- Physical assault
- Witnessing violence or murder
- Natural disaster
- Witnessing or participating in military combat, first responders or police duty
- Serious injury or illness
- Sudden death of a loved one
- Surviving a serious car accident
For many people, the effects experienced following a traumatic event will resolve on their own over a few weeks or months. However, some individuals will continue to experience suffering due to the trauma for extended periods, causing impairment in their daily lives.
How Does Trauma Disorder Manifest in Daily Life?
People who have lived through traumatic experiences in childhood or adulthood can carry the lasting effects of the trauma into their lives. Depending on the type of trauma and the age at which it was experienced, these effects can have a significant impact on how the victims relate to others.
For example, people who experienced trauma in childhood may repress the memories, but in adulthood will be distrustful of others, hyper-controlling or passive, ultrasensitive to events that happen, or become sexually promiscuous at an early age. For adult trauma, the symptoms seen include:
- Emotionally detached from others
- Sleep disturbances
- Experience constant memories, flashbacks, nightmares about the event
- Avoidance behaviors, attempting to avoid any place or situation that can trigger
- Depression, hopelessness
- Losing interest in usual interests and hobbies
- Withdrawing socially
- Easily frightened, over-reactive to stimuli
- Anger, hostility
- Difficulty concentrating
- Substance use disorder
Trauma can have a profound impact on interpersonal relationships, which is one of the most common reasons that professional help is sought.
Treating a Trauma Disorder
To treat a trauma disorder it takes a blending of a few different approaches. By combining evidence-based therapies with holistic and experiential activities there is a better opportunity for a successful recovery result. This is because the holistic therapies help trauma victims learn to focus on the present instead of the past, as well as give them tools to help reduce anxiety and enhance relaxation. Some of the therapeutic interventions for treating trauma disorder include:
- Exposure therapies. These are specialized therapies that incrementally expose the individual to the memories of the trauma, and then helping them to reshape their responses to it. Exposure therapies include Cognitive Processing Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Prolonged Exposure Therapy.
- EMDR. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an adjunctive therapy used in trauma disorder treatment. During the 8 sessions, the individual will work through the trauma while following with their eyes, back and forth, a finger or other object while discussing and processing the traumatic event.
- Holistic therapies. Holistic therapies that aid in trauma treatment include massage therapy, acupuncture, deep breathing, and Reiki.
- Experiential activities. Experiential activities are just that, experience-oriented. These include meditation, yoga, mindfulness, guided imagery, recreation therapy, equine therapy, art therapy, and journaling.
What Are Trauma Recovery Retreats?
One excellent avenue for enhancing traditional therapy for trauma are trauma recovery retreats, which are retreats specifically designed for people who are needing trauma care. These retreats are often located in a beautiful setting, such as a mountain, beach, lakeside, or desert environment. The setting itself is selected for its inherent relaxation properties that instill tranquility and serenity in the participants.
Trauma recovery venues often combine traditional psychotherapist services with mind, body, and soul-healing activities. These various activities help participants delve into their pain and methodically, through the therapy and activities that promote self-love, overcome the trauma and begin the healing process. Amenities typically include upscale spa-like features, such as massage therapy, infrared sauna, mud baths, natural springs, and more.
Extending the Effects of Trauma Recovery Retreats
While at a trauma recovery retreat it is easier to maintain the solace gained from the interventions offered, it becomes more challenging to keep those calm effects going once back home. Triggers, stressors, or general strife can quickly undo the progress made if one is not proactive about protecting that progress. By planning ahead, upon returning from the retreat you will be stepping into new daily habits and routines that will extend the positive effects from the retreat. These might include:
- Daily exercise. Exercise has a significant impact on overall mood while reducing stress and improving self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Practicing mindfulness regularly. Mindfulness keeps you purposefully focused on the present moment versus reliving the trauma.
- Referring to retreat notes or materials. Reviewing the journaling or written materials from the retreat will refresh your focus.
- Outpatient therapy. Weekly therapy provides ongoing support for continual healing.
- Participating in trauma group. Meeting and sharing with others who have also experienced trauma can help in the healing process.
- Accessing relaxation skills. Deep breathing, yoga, and guided meditation are easily accessible tools that enhance relaxation and reduce stress.
The Treatment Specialist Provides Information and Guidance For Trauma Disorder
The Treatment Specialist is an online resource for helpful and inspirational information about topics in the mental health and addiction space. When seeking information about trauma disorder and treatment options, The Treatment Specialist can provide the free guidance to help you move forward in obtaining the professional help needed. If you have more questions about trauma recovery retreats please reach out to The Treatment Specialist today at (866) 644-7911.