Trauma Counseling for Mental Health in Washington

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Trauma can have a profound impact on an individual’s mental health, affecting their overall well-being and quality of life. Understanding what trauma is and how it can be addressed through counseling is crucial for those seeking support. In the state of Washington, where mental health is a priority, various resources, including trauma counseling and trauma therapy, can make a significant difference in the lives of individuals dealing with traumatic experiences.

At Free by the Sea, we understand the importance of trauma therapy and the role that trauma can play when it comes not just to mental health but substance abuse as well. That’s why we offer trauma counseling and therapy services as part of our overall treatment program.

What is Trauma?

Before we get into the best ways to treat trauma, it is important to understand what trauma is properly.

Trauma is an emotional response to a distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope. These events can be singular occurrences, such as accidents or natural disasters, or they can be ongoing, like abuse or violence. Trauma can manifest in various ways, impacting a person’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

What Can Trauma Therapy Help You With?

Trauma can create lasting imprints on the brain, affecting how individuals perceive and respond to the world around them. Trauma therapy is designed to help individuals process these experiences and develop coping mechanisms to navigate life more effectively in a safe and supportive setting.

Examples of traumatic experiences that trauma therapy can help with include:

  • Abuse
  • Domestic Violence
  • Sexual Assault
  • Accidents
  • Divorce
  • Injury
  • Near-death experience
  • Witnessing something traumatic
  • Natural disasters
  • Neglect
  • Terrorism
  • Violence
  • Homelessness
  • Job loss
  • Imprisonment
  • Death of a loved one
  • Bullying
  • Racism

Beyond just the traumatic event itself, trauma therapy can also help with a number of different things related to the traumatic event or experience. Some of the specific things that therapy can help with when it comes to addressing trauma include:

  • Emotional Regulation – Trauma often leads to intense, overwhelming emotions. Therapy helps with creating healthy coping mechanisms to regulate and manage emotions.
  • Understanding Trauma Triggers – Understanding the underlying triggers is crucial for treating any kind of mental health or substance abuse condition, including trauma. Therapy helps identify triggers and manage them effectively.
  • Developing Coping Skills – Trauma therapy equips individuals with coping mechanisms to navigate challenges and stressors, fostering resilience in the face of adversity.
  • Improving Relationships – Experiencing trauma can have an effect on interpersonal relationships. Therapy can help strengthen damaged relationships related to trauma.
  • Enhancing Self-Esteem – Trauma can wreak havoc on a person’s self-esteem. Therapy can help with the rebuilding process, promoting a positive self-image.

Types of Trauma Therapy

Much like other forms of therapy, there are a number of different types of trauma therapy, all designed to address different aspects of trauma. Choosing the right type of therapy not only comes down to the type of trauma the person experienced but also what works best for them and their needs. Below are some of the different types of trauma therapy:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on identifying and challenging negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with trauma. By doing so, the person in therapy can learn new, healthier ways to deal with these thought patterns and behaviors when they arise moving forward.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Dialectical Behavior Therapy combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with mindfulness strategies. It helps individuals regulate emotions, improve interpersonal skills, and build resilience.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing involves guided eye movements to help individuals process distressing memories and reduce their emotional impact. EMDR is particularly effective for those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy focuses on reshaping the narrative of one’s life story. It allows individuals to reinterpret and reconstruct the meaning of traumatic events, encouraging and allowing them to move forward.

Psychodynamic Therapy

Psychodynamic therapy explores unconscious processes and unresolved conflicts that may contribute to trauma. It aims to bring repressed feelings and memories into conscious awareness for healing.

If you aren’t sure which type of trauma therapy is best for you and your needs, the treatment professionals at Free by the Sea will be able to recommend which therapy option or options they think are best.

Types of Techniques for Trauma Therapy

In addition to specific therapeutic approaches, various techniques are employed to facilitate the healing process. These techniques aim to address the physical, emotional, and cognitive aspects of trauma.

Some common trauma therapy techniques include:

  • Breathing Exercises – Deep breathing exercises promote relaxation and reduce anxiety, helping individuals manage the physiological effects of trauma.
  • Grounding Exercises – Grounding techniques help individuals stay connected to the present moment, preventing them from becoming overwhelmed by traumatic memories.
  • Art and Other Expressive Outlets – Creative outlets such as art, music, and drama provide alternative ways for individuals to express and process their emotions related to trauma.
  • Mindfulness/Meditation – Mindfulness encourages awareness of thoughts and sensations without judgment. It can be a valuable tool for managing trauma-related distress.
  • Other Body-Centered Approaches – Techniques such as yoga focus on the connection between the body and mind, promoting physical relaxation and emotional release.

What are the Benefits of Trauma Therapy?

dbt for trauma therapy

Trauma therapy offers a range of benefits that contribute to the overall well-being of individuals who have experienced trauma.

Some key benefits include:

  • Reducing Symptoms – Trauma therapy can significantly reduce symptoms associated with trauma, such as anxiety, depression, and intrusive memories.
  • Enhancing Emotional Regulation – Therapy helps individuals develop skills to regulate and manage their emotions, leading to greater emotional stability.
  • Improving Coping Skills – Individuals learn effective coping strategies to navigate challenges and stressors, enhancing their ability to cope with future difficulties.
  • Positive Changes in Perspective – Trauma therapy allows individuals to reframe their understanding of the traumatic experience, fostering a more positive outlook on life.
  • Increasing Overall Resilience – Building coping mechanisms and developing a support network contributes to increased resilience in the face of adversity.

What is the Overall Effectiveness of Trauma Therapy?

Studies have shown that Trauma therapy is effective, especially in promoting recovery and improving overall mental health. As we touched on earlier as well, EMDR has been proven to be effective specifically in the treatment of PTSD.

However, it’s important to note that, just like other forms of therapy, the effectiveness of trauma therapy can differ based on factors such as a person’s readiness and acceptance of therapy, the quality of the therapeutic relationship, and the type of therapeutic approach chosen.

If you are unsure if trauma therapy is right for you, or what specific type of trauma therapy may be best for you and your needs, our treatment professionals at Free by the Sea are here to help. We meet with each person for an evaluation before treatment begins and create a custom treatment plan that works best for each person and their needs.

What Are Some Things to Consider with Trauma Therapy?

Before starting trauma therapy, there are several things to keep in mind. These include:

  • Acknowledging That You Are Ready For Therapy – It’s important to be open and honest with yourself and make sure that you are ready to undergo the therapy process.
  • Finding the Right Therapist – Choosing a therapist with expertise in trauma is crucial. A trusting and supportive therapeutic relationship is foundational to the success of trauma therapy.
  • Being Consistent and Patient – Trauma therapy is a gradual process that requires consistency and patience. It’s essential to allow time for healing and progress to occur.
  • Practicing Self-Care – Engaging in self-care practices alongside therapy is essential. This may include activities that promote relaxation, mindfulness, and overall well-being.
  • Building a Support System – Establishing a support system with friends, family, or support groups can provide additional sources of comfort and understanding throughout the healing journey.
  • Not Having Suicidal Actions – Before any type of trauma therapy can begin it is important that the person not have had any suicidal attempts in the previous 2 months before treatment begins.

Free by the Sea Can Assist with Trauma Counseling Today


If you or someone you know is seeking trauma counseling in Washington, Free by the Sea is here to help. Our experienced and compassionate team of therapists specializes in trauma therapy, providing personalized and evidence-based interventions to support your healing journey.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward reclaiming your mental health and well-being. Our dedicated professionals are committed to assisting you in navigating the path to recovery and resilience.

Remember, healing is possible, and you don’t have to face the effects of trauma alone. At Free by the Sea we want you to live a happy and healthy life.