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What You Need to Know About Trauma


Trauma can impact the way you think, feel, and act. Nothing is off-limits when trauma has occurred—anything and everything can be impacted. If you find yourself struggling with the aftermath of trauma, you aren’t alone. The Guest House is here to help you find freedom, peace, and hope after your traumatic experiences. We know that everyone’s trauma is different, so we offer an individualized approach to treatment. Read on to learn more about the impacts of trauma and how we treat them.

Trauma-Informed Care

Many people experience trauma. Some people do not have lingering effects from their trauma, others, usually those who have had repeated or multiple traumas, do. The main symptoms they may deal with are mental illness and substance abuse. Because of these things, coupled with the trauma they have experienced, their life may be altered. Trauma-informed care is effective for those that have been exposed to trauma and may have developed responses to the traumatic stress they have experienced.

What Is Trauma?

If you don’t know what trauma is, you cannot identify it. If you cannot identify it, you cannot treat it. Trauma results from “an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.”

It’s important to keep in mind that trauma does not discriminate. What it does do, however, is “overwhelm an individual’s or community’s resources to cope.” Trauma can send someone into “fight, flight, or freeze” mode. Trauma often ignites fear, vulnerability, and helplessness. Furthermore, “it is not just the event itself that determines whether something is traumatic, but also the individual’s experience of the event.”

This means that two people can be exposed to the same exact thing, but one may experience it differently than others. Thus, the interpretation is different and there is a different response to the trauma.

The Intertwined Nature of Trauma and Substance Use Disorders

Trauma and substance use disorders are very often intertwined. “Many people who have substance use disorders have experienced trauma as children or adults.” On the other hand, “substance abuse is known to predispose people to higher rates of trauma, such as dangerous situations and accidents, while under the influence and as a result of the lifestyle associated with substance abuse.” We at The Guest House treat trauma and substance abuse because they often have such a close relationship.

Co-occurring disorders are also common for people who have dealt with trauma and substance use. Many of our clients have sought help for substance use disorders or mental illnesses and have found that they have trauma they did not realize was a part of their substance use or mental illness. This is why The Guest House wants to solve the root of trauma, in addition to your substance use disorders and mental illnesses.

Elements and Principles of Trauma-Informed Care

Although we know that everyone’s trauma is different, there are four key elements of the trauma-informed approach:

  1. “Realizing the prevalence of trauma”
  2. Recognizing how trauma affects all individuals invoiced with the program, organization, or system, including its own workforce
  3. Responding by putting this knowledge into practice
  4. Resist re-traumatization”

Because we include these three elements of trauma-informed care, we practice the following principles:

  1. Safety
  2. Trustworthiness and transparency
  3. Peer support
  4. Collaboration and mutuality
  5. Empowerment, voice, and choice
  6. Cultural, historical, and gender issues

What We Want You to Know About Trauma

We want you to know that you are not your trauma. You are your own person and you can reach a place where you feel safe again. We want you to know that recovery is possible and that you are not alone. The Guest House is committed to creating a safe treatment environment so that you can get the best out of what we have to offer.

We want to help you recover from the trauma you have experienced. We support you, which is why we give you the control and choice when it comes to your recovery. We want to help you help yourself. This means that we will help you create healthy and long-lasting relationships while you are here with us.

We will provide you with enriching opportunities to craft a better life for yourself. We don’t want you to numb your trauma with substances any longer. That only masks your trauma, making things worse in the long run. We want to help you get to the root of your trauma so that you can thrive!

If you or someone you know is struggling with the aftermath of trauma, The Guest House can help. If you are using substances to mask your pain, The Guest House can help. If you are engaging in self-defeating behaviors, The Guest House can help. Call our admissions team today at (855) 372-1079. We offer different levels of care, such as medical detox, residential programs, day/night programs, intensive outpatient programs, and outpatient programs. We can help you figure out what level of care is appropriate for you. Contact us today. We can’t wait to hear from you!