Post A FREE Business Listing & Grow Your Business!

5 Interesting Therapy Techniques For Trauma Work

5 Interesting Therapy Techniques For Trauma Work Presented by BetterHelp

5 Interesting Therapy Techniques For Trauma Work

The article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp

Most people have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. Loosely defined,
trauma is a distressing event that results in a strong emotional response for the person or
people affected by the event. You may be more likely to have a trauma response if the
underlying event occurred more than once, such as continual abuse from a parent or caregiver.

Confronting trauma and related conditions (such as post-traumatic stress disorder) can be
complicated because they often exist alongside other mental illnesses like anxiety and
depression. Getting to the true source of someone’s mental health conditions often happens
after trying many different types of therapy—some of them uncommon.

EMDR Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) has been around since the
late 1980s and is designed to help clients relive traumatic events in a safe environment. In an
EMDR session, a therapist guides the client through this process while providing sensory stimuli
that activate both brain hemispheres. By reliving the traumatic event amid new images or
sounds, clients may process their trauma in healthier ways.

Empty Chair Technique

If you experienced a traumatic event, there might be someone central to the event for whom you
hold animosity. Even though you may not be able to say what you’d like to that person, it can
still be incredibly helpful to voice your feelings as if they were in the same room. That’s the
central tenet of the empty chair technique.

Imagining an important person sitting in that chair may also help you gather the fortitude to
speak to that person in real life. For more on the potential benefits of the empty chair technique,
see BetterHelp and its collection of articles:

Art Therapy

Speaking with a therapist can be quite effective in combating numerous mental health
conditions, but we sometimes don’t have the words to describe things as complex as trauma.
Communicating these unspoken feelings often helps to activate different parts of the brain, such
as the ones that get activated during creative pursuits. Therapy involving art or music can help
clients enter a mentally safe place to access potentially triggering thoughts, emotions, and

Another important part of art therapy is the opportunity to create something you own. Much of
the pain surrounding trauma stems from the lack of control people feel about the event. Creative
therapy can help trauma survivors reclaim their bodily autonomy.

Cognitive Processing Therapy

Many people find it bewildering that a single event can affect them so profoundly for years after
it occurs. Trauma can do just that. It helps some trauma survivors to understand exactly how
their feelings about a traumatic event can stay with them and affect their behavior. This
psychoeducation is part of cognitive processing therapy (CPT), an offshoot of cognitive
behavioral therapy that focuses on post-traumatic stress disorder.

As clients learn about trauma’s impacts on them, they can assess how they think about the
trauma and the stories their brain tells them about it. Survivors of trauma often repeat negative
trauma-related thoughts to themselves, which can calcify the trauma’s already profound effects
on themselves. These negative thoughts, referred to as cognitive distortions, are unhelpful in
the healing process. Therapists use CPT to help clients challenge these cognitive distortions, in
turn helping them reclaim the narrative around their trauma.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

The classic response to trauma is avoiding it as much as possible. However, this can be
ineffective in the long run because unresolved memories do not go away on their own. In fact,
survivors can learn that consciously avoiding trauma can inadvertently give the traumatic event
more power. One strategy to confront this is through prolonged exposure therapy (PET).

Similar to other therapeutic interventions, PET begins with the client describing their trauma and
feelings surrounding the event. As clients become more comfortable, therapists slowly introduce
situations that may remind them of the trauma. Exposure to these situations can help survivors
understand that their memories do not put them in any real danger.

Get Listed Today & Boost Your Business.
First Month Free!

About Author

You May Also Like

Get Listed Today & Boost Your Business.
First Month Free!

Get Listed Today & Boost Your Business.
First Month Free!

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.