5 Questions to Ask a Rehab if You’re Dealing With Trauma

Many people who suffer from addiction do so because it offers them a means of blocking out traumatic experiences that occurred in the past. Trauma is generated either indirectly when a person witnesses traumatic events or directly when a person is physically, emotionally or sexually abused, perhaps during childhood.

Examples of incidents that generate trauma include:

  • Witnessing traumatic events due to your job e.g. in the military or emergency services
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Childhood neglect
  • Domestic violence
  • Witnessing an accident
  • Rape
  • Witnessing terrorism
  • Grief due to the death of a loved-one

It’s common for people who have either witnessed or experienced the above to suffer from addiction. Addictive substances allow people to self-medicate symptoms arising from trauma

It’s relatively simple to diagnose the existence of trauma because of the distinct symptoms that arise from trauma. These symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Sleeping disorder
  • Nightmares
  • Numbing
  • Emotional instability
  • Flashbacks
  • Severe mood swings

If you experience the above and you feel you self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, then going to rehab will help. However, you must ensure you attend a rehab clinic that specialises in treating people who also suffer trauma.

Below, we outline a number of questions you may ask rehab clinics when making this important selection. We have designed the below questions to help you filter out rehab clinics that might not be well-equipped at assisting clients who also suffer from trauma.

Question 1: Will individual therapy be included in your treatment programme?

Individual therapy is also known as one-to-one therapy. Individual therapy is when you attend therapy sessions with one therapist and without the presence of a group. Individual therapy thus contrasts heavily with group therapy. Many rehab clinics will not offer individual therapy because the emphasis is instead placed on group therapy sessions.

Why is individual therapy so critical for people who suffer from trauma? Because it is generally difficult to discuss traumatic experiences in the presence of a group. Traumatic experiences include rape, sexual abuse, neglect and the witnessing of horrific incidents. It’s thus not difficult to appreciate that people who experienced these incidents may struggle to open up about these experiences in the presence of a group of strangers.

It’s also advantageous if rehab clinics employ a trauma specialist. Trauma therapy is a distinct branch of therapy, and this does exist as a specialism. It is thus important to favour rehab clinics who do employ a trauma therapist.

Question 2: Are counsellors trained in trauma therapy?

Many rehabs may not employ a specialist trauma therapist. If not, some will employ staff who have undergone some formal training for treating clients who experience trauma. It’s important to ask what specific qualifications these people hold, and what specific experience they may have gained in this area.

Question 3: Will treatment be tailed to your needs?

Trauma is a condition that’s truly unique to each individual. We thus feel it is important that a unique solution is formulated to tackle trauma. Before you invest in rehab treatment, ask clinics how they will go about tailoring your treatment to your needs. You need to be straightforward in admitting that you do indeed suffer from trauma. This will give the clinics an opportunity to outline how they are able to tailor their treatment in light of your trauma.

Question 4: Is the rehab single-sex or mixed?

Many women who have suffered physical or sexual assault at the hands of a caregiver or partner may feel unease at the idea of attending a rehab that accepts male clients. If this is the case, we advise you to consider attending a female-only rehab clinic. Doing so will mean you avoid the possibility of feeling uneasy

Question 5: What specific therapy sessions are on offer?

It is true that certain therapy sessions will be more effective than others when tackling trauma. If the rehab clinic in question employs a trauma therapist, then you can be assured that the clinic will employ therapy techniques that are effective at treating trauma. However, if this is not the case, it’s vital that you determine the types of therapy techniques that are on offer before you commit.

Some rehabs are strictly 12-step based. The 12-step programme is highly effective for treating substance misuse. However, the 12-steps are spiritual in nature and we feel the 12-steps is largely ineffective when it comes to treating trauma.

Therapy techniques that are effective in treating trauma include:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy
  • Individual/one-to-one therapy
  • Eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy

Locating rehabs in your area that specialise in trauma therapy

To discover rehabs in your local area that specialise in trauma therapy, contact Rehab 4 Alcoholism today on 0800 111 4108. We maintain a large database of rehabs around the United Kingdom, and we are able to help you locate treatment that’s perfectly suited to your needs.

Related resources

Below, we list a number of other resources that you may find useful in your search for quality and suitable rehab treatment in the UK:

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