Trauma and Outpatient Recovery
Discoveries have been made concerning the relationships between inpatient/outpatient recovery and trauma. Much information points to the impact of trauma on overall health. Understanding the physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, neurobiological and neurochemical aspects of trauma can drastically enhance inpatient and outpatient recovery.
Traumatic experiences affect people in different ways and one’s method of coping with a traumatic experience may impact that individual’s ability to achieve recovery and to maintain lifelong sobriety. It has been shown that trauma can create changes in actual brain chemistry, functioning and even structure. Thus, healing is not simply a matter of just acknowledging, or having empathy and compassion. Healing from trauma in an inpatient/outpatient setting needs to include an actual “reprogramming” of the brain. This reprogramming requires incorporating the way a person remembers, processes and resolves the trauma, as well as reprogramming the brain’s neurochemistry and circuitry.
When working to resolve trauma in outpatient or inpatient recovery, it is important to examine the key variables that may have impacted the severity of the trauma for the individual. These include: relationship between the victim and the victimizer (if that situation was present), the nature, frequency, duration, and intensity of the trauma experienced, and the age(s) at the time of the experienced trauma. It is also important to reflect on whether or not any steps were taken at the time of the trauma to resolve the conflict, whether any support or counseling was experienced, or whether or not a significant other was present to help process the trauma.
Because unresolved trauma can hinder addiction treatment and recovery, trauma resolution therapy works to assist the often-necessary breakthrough for those recovering from alcohol and drug addiction so they can finally start to heal from within. Trauma resolution therapy has been shown to be effective in the addiction treatment of resistant drug addicts, alcohol addicts and chronic relapsers in both inpatient and outpatient settings. If recovery is not occurring, or if relapsing keeps happening, there may be an underlying, unresolved trauma that has not been properly treated. Until that trauma is resolved, those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction run the risk of relapse or failure in inpatient and/or outpatient recovery.