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3 Types of Trauma Therapy to Know About

a woman begins to open up and heal in a trauma therapy program

What is trauma therapy? It is a form of therapy that is designed to help people overcome a past traumatic experience. Trauma is incredibly common, affecting up to 50% of the adult population in the United States. Not everything bad that happens to someone qualifies as trauma or a traumatic experience. Trauma tends to be defined by either intensity or longevity of negative experience. A few examples are serious injury, physical or sexual abuse, a life-threatening accident, combat experience, chronic neglect, or homelessness.

Trauma therapy helps people process what has happened to them as a means of relieving symptoms and promoting a better quality of life. Find mental health treatment near you by contacting Serenity Grove at 844.904.3485.

What Is Trauma Therapy?

Trauma therapy is a set of therapeutic tools leveraged to help people overcome their trauma. Not everyone who experiences even severe trauma will end up needing trauma therapy. Yet it can be absolutely vital for others whose trauma has them mentally stuck and suffering as a result.

Many different types of trauma therapy exist. Each is leveraged in different scenarios based on a person’s exact needs. Most types of trauma therapy depend on a few common techniques. One of these is imaginal exposure. This technique asks clients to imagine their trauma and describe it to the therapist. Imaginal exposure is especially important for people who have come to avoid or bury their trauma. It cannot be processed unless it is brought to the fore and confronted.

Another technique that is common to trauma therapy is cognitive restructuring. Cognitive restructuring is the process of helping someone modify unhelpful thoughts in ways that benefit overall health. For instance, someone who experienced abuse or neglect as a child may have come to believe that they deserved the abuse or that somehow it was their fault. This is a major stumbling block to healing. Cognitive restructuring can help that person logically analyze their thoughts and ultimately change them in ways that better reflect reality and support healing.

3 Types of Trauma Therapy

The different types of trauma therapy are built upon techniques like the ones described in the section above. Three of the most common types of trauma therapy are prolonged exposure, cognitive processing therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

1. Prolonged Exposure

Prolonged exposure is the process of exposing someone to the source of their fear or trauma until they no longer fear it, shut down, or react negatively. The process is often slow and drawn out so as to acclimate someone to a more and more intense form of the stimulus. This is actually similar to how some phobias are treated. Someone gets exposed to an ever-growing reminder of their fear or trauma, which allows them to slowly adjust and understand they need not be overwhelmed by it.

2. Cognitive Processing Therapy

Cognitive processing therapy prioritizes challenging someone’s belief about their trauma. It can be used in either an individual or group setting.


EMDR is a form of trauma therapy that stimulates eye movements as a means of helping the brain process trauma. It is founded on the idea that trauma can freeze the brain at the point of trauma. Healing comes from unlocking the brain’s natural ability to process past events.

With the right help and support, you can overcome trauma and learn to manage its impact on your daily life.

Find Trauma Therapy Services at Serenity Grove

You can find a range of trauma therapy services at Serenity Grove. We deliver therapy that can help you address trauma stemming from things like:

  • Abuse
  • Accidents
  • Death of a loved one
  • Illness or injury

That list is far from exhaustive. Whatever challenges or traumas you bring, we can help you work through them to achieve a better quality of life. Call 844.904.3485 or fill out our online contact form today to discover the trauma therapy services available near you