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The Benefits of Exposure and Response Prevention for Trauma Recovery

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The Benefits of Exposure and Response Prevention for Trauma Recovery

Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a great form of treatment for trauma. Trauma can be experienced by anyone at any time in life. Unfortunately, even babies are subject to experiencing it. If not addressed immediately, trauma can fester and develop into serious mental health disorders. It can even lead to substance abuse in some cases. 

When individuals survive trauma, they are often left with terrorizing triggers and obsessions. This often leaves them unable to move forward in healing when it was not treated after whatever the trauma was caused by.  

What Is Trauma?

Trauma is an event or circumstance that leads to physical harm, emotional harm, and/or life-threatening harm. It can be a result of a plane crash, natural disaster, or any other distressful event. It can also be a result of one witnessing such events. 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Trauma has no boundaries regarding age, gender, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Trauma is a common experience for adults and children in American communities, and it is especially common in the lives of people with mental and substance use disorders.”

Not addressing trauma can prolong its presence in your life and allow it to grow into more life-altering concerns and issues. Overall, it can have a long-lasting negative effect on your life. Trauma can show up at any moment and show its face in many ways. Some symptoms of trauma include: 

  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Shame or guilt 
  • Anxiety or fear
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Confusion 
  • Inability to focus
  • Shock or disbelief 

These signs and symptoms of trauma can take place anytime and anywhere. They can also be mistaken for reactions to an environment or feeling out of place. However, these symptoms are serious and should not be ignored. Trauma can live with you and negatively affect your life in many ways.

What Is Exposure and Response Prevention?

ERP is a form of behavioral therapy. It works to expose individuals to the situations that trigger them when they feel distressed by their trauma triggers. ERP provokes distress while helping them prevent their general response to your triggers. 

As trauma is delicate, ERP is a gradual process. It is performed in a safe environment so that the individual feels supported. An example of this could be someone who was in a car accident and avoids vehicle transportation by all means. ERP may have a gradual process of them interacting with a car. It may start with just getting inside a vehicle and processing their feelings for that stage. Then it will gradually go from that stage to riding in a car and ultimately driving in a car. 

However, this is all done in a safe environment and location. They would not be doing this in the middle of traffic are on a busy road. The goal is to re-expose the individual to what plagues them without the actual possibility of harm. This helps re-introduce them to a part of life that is likely unavoidable and shows them how it can be okay to navigate it again. 

How Does Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy Help With Trauma?

If one has a traumatic experience choking on water, they may develop an aversion to drinking in itself or water specifically. Water is a human necessity. It simply cannot be avoided, as it is required for human survival. If one has experienced an accident with water and is now traumatized by the presence of it, therapy and treatment is a must to overcome that trauma. 

People can develop trauma from things that they come in contact with in everyday life. Since you will continue to come in contact with these things, regardless of how you may possibly be affected by them, you must seek help. 

This is where ERP therapy can make a life-changing difference. ERP sufficiently provides the gradual and systematic exposure one needs to their triggers. This address the root of the trauma. In doing so, the individual is re-introduced to the root of their trauma so that they can overcome the obsessions attached to it. 

What to Expect From Exposure and Response Prevention at Lantana Recovery

With our knowledge of how trauma works and the need to overcome it, Lantana Recovery will create a plan of treatment specific to you. We provide each client with a specific team for their treatment needs. Our therapists are well-equipped to utilize their experience and clinical approach to gauge where you are and help you reach the place of healing that you deserve and desire. Lantana Recovery utilizes this treatment modality to expose individuals to their various triggers in a safe environment to facilitate healing. Help us help you and contact us today to explore our ERP service. 

Trauma can be a nightmare that some never identify and do not wake up from. Struggling with and living with trauma can have negative effects on your life. It is important to seek treatment for healing from trauma. Even if you are unsure if it is trauma that you are experiencing, it never hurts to try and get help. Exposure response prevention is a form of therapy that can help those struggling with trauma. Here at Lantana Recovery, we offer this as a service to help you heal and grow from the experiences that birthed trauma in your life. Give us a call today for more information on our approach to treating trauma. Call (866) 997-2870.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.