Quality Life Center

Trauma Counseling

Trauma Treatment (Adult) is defined by the CEBC as treatment developed to assist adults in coping with the effects that come from experiencing trauma. The trauma(s) may have occurred at any point in the individual’s life and may have occurred once or many time.

What is the Most Effective Treatment for Trauma?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that has consistently been found to be the most effective treatment of PTSD both in the short term and the long term. CBT for PTSD is trauma-focused, meaning the trauma event(s) are the center of the treatment.

Three Main Types of Trauma

  • Acute trauma results from a single incident.
  • Chronic trauma is repeated and prolonged such as domestic violence or abuse.
  • Complex trauma is exposure to varied and multiple traumatic events, often of an invasive, interpersonal nature.


The goals of trauma treatment should include helping poorly defended clients develop more adequate coping strategies (e.g., relaxation training, stress reduction exercises, cognitive modulation of affect through self-talk) prior to asking them to re-experience the trauma in sessions.

Only after a client has been able to achieve a reduction in the alertness that typically follows trauma and a strengthened awareness of resources for coping with stress should we consider strategies that directly deal with the trauma story.

6 Guiding Principles To a Trauma-Informed Approach

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


People affected by trauma tend to feel unsafe in their bodies and in their relationships with others. Regaining a sense of safety may take days to weeks with acutely traumatized individuals or months to years with individuals who have experienced ongoing/chronic abuse.

Ways to Navigate Your Trauma

  • Know that recovery is a process.
  • Protect yourself from re-exposure to the event.
  • Feel whatever you need to feel.
  • Ask for support.
  • Look for resources.
  • Find a way to relax.
  • Find a way to distract.
  • Seek the company of others who have been through what you’re going through.