Trauma Management Treatment Program Options
Many trauma management treatment program options are available to the average person. Given the unpredictable and almost random nature of trauma, it just isn’t possible to adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to recovery. Each patient will arrive at treatment with not only different physical needs but also a unique perspective, history and set of assumptions that will dictate the individual’s approach to a successful rehabilitation effort.
Trauma strikes unexpectedly and has the potential to utterly devastate a human life. With the activation of the Chain of Survival, however, the odds of a victim living long enough to have their injuries stabilized improves dramatically. Once the initial crisis has passed and definitive care has been obtained, the long and potentially very difficult recovery may begin.
What Is Trauma?
Physical trauma is a medical term denoting one cause of damage to the body — as opposed to other causes such as illness — and represents one of the most pressing needs for medical health professionals to respond to quickly. Entire trauma units exist as part of many hospitals’ attempts to be ready for the unpredictable, sudden effects of trauma on human beings.
Is There a Cure for Trauma-Related Problems?
The recovery rates for trauma-related problems are difficult to summarize. Trauma differs from medical illness in following a highly individual, sometimes random course as opposed to the more or less predictable progression of disease. One patient who suffers a closed-head injury might make a full recovery, while another with the same or similar trauma might be left permanently disabled by the event.
Much of the process of recovery from a traumatic incident hinges on the sort of aftercare that’s available to the patient. Another important factor that will significantly influence outcomes is the attitude the patient brings into rehabilitation. For help finding aftercare or sub-acute services in your area that can help with the long journey of recovery from a traumatic incident, please call as soon as you can. Delaying the onset of treatment for trauma-related conditions only allows them to grow worse and more intractable.
Trauma Therapy Programs
Trauma therapy programs face a dual task. Their first obligation is to control and aid physical recovery from the effects of trauma. Broken bones, lacerated organs and burned skin all require close attention and a specific course of treatment if any of their victims are to stand a chance of recovery.
Of no less importance to the staff of a trauma therapy program is the psychological aspect of recovery. The victims of traumatic events often emerge with more than physical injuries with which to contend. With a shattered sense of physical security, living with the effects of severe pain, and possibly coping with a lost job or family member, the victim of trauma will often need far more help rebuilding a healthy outlook on life than recovering from a physical disability.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was first diagnosed following the war in Vietnam. PTSD is by far the most common psychological complication to arise from suffering a traumatic injury. It is one of the more widespread psychological issues facing trauma survivors today. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the signs that a person might be suffering from PTSD are:
- Recollections of the traumatic event occur recurrently and include images, thoughts and perceptions. In children, play may take place in which themes or aspects of the incident are expressed.
- Nightmares occur regularly and involve images or impressions of the traumatic event.
- Flashbacks happen or situations in which the person acts or feels as if the traumatic event were happening all over again. This may include hallucinations and dissociative episodes, including those that occur on waking or while intoxicated.
- Pronounced psychological distress at exposure to cues — internal or external — that may be taken to symbolize or to resemble some aspect of the traumatic event
If you have been through a traumatic event and think you might have some of the symptoms of PTSD, you can reach out for help by calling today. The line is staffed at all hours by sympathetic and well-trained professionals who can answer your questions and connect you to the resources that are available in your area to help treat the effects of PTSD.
The first, most obvious place to begin with trauma therapies is in the immediate management of the physical effects of the trauma. Physical injuries are first stabilized and then treated in a chain of medical actions that begin in the field with effective emergency care and end with discharge to physical therapy. Obviously, the exact course followed through the recovery process will differ from one patient to the next, but, in general, the central focus will be on preventing further harm, stabilizing the patient’s present condition and moving forward with repair of the physical damage. Apart from any equipment or medications used in the course of this process, the techniques of physical therapy — special exercises, massage and practice at using necessary equipment such as prosthetic devices — will be employed to salvage as much of the individual’s prior quality of life as possible.
A physical recovery can go a long way toward ameliorating the effects of serious trauma on the psyche of the patient. Even so, the effects of PTSD may linger for many years after the initial injuries have healed and something like the patient’s normal life has been restored. Depression, flashbacks and mood disturbances ranging from mild to severe may occur with unpredictable frequency and severity for an extended period after the initial event.
For a patient who is in recovery — physical or psychological — from a traumatic event, it may not be entirely possible to expect a full recovery. In cases such as these, the development of effective coping skills to aid the transition back to a normal life will assume paramount importance. Patients who are in need of training in learning how to cope with suddenly diminished capacity, serious depression or PTSD may be treated with antidepressants, tranquilizers or other medications that are intended to stabilize mood and reduce the effect of disturbed thoughts or emotions.
Other Therapeutic Methods
Other therapeutic methods exist and are routinely employed to help the victims of trauma advance in their recovery. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of treatment in which the patient takes part in sessions with a therapist to talk through the issues surrounding the continuing emotional dysfunction. CBT is a very popular approach, given its effectiveness, its noninvasive nature and the relative ease with which a psychologically injured individual will reach out to form a relationship with the therapist. CBT can last for three to six months, but if other mental health issues are involved, it may last for up to two years.
Group therapy is another option for those in recovery from trauma. Group therapy enables people to talk about their experiences with other people who have been in a similar situation. Sharing sometimes helps to make the idea of talking about the trauma with family and friends less threatening. It also assists in the process of coping with memories and PTSD symptoms. The underlying idea is to bring together people who have experienced either a shared incident or who have had very similar experiences to express solidarity and comfort for each other.
A similar type of assistance is found in family therapy. PTSD affects not only the person who has experienced the trauma, but also that person’s family. Partners and children may feel scared, guilty or angry about the manifestations of PTSD. Family therapy enables all concerned to understand the condition, maintain good relationships, keep the lines of communication open, and cope with all the strong emotions that are involved.
Residential Inpatient Trauma Treatment Centers
After the initial treatment has run its course and the patient is discharged from the hospital, it may be desirable to arrange admission to one of a number of different types of residential or inpatient trauma treatment centers. These skilled nursing facilities are sometimes referred to as sub-acute care or nursing homes. Here, the patient is placed in a safe, controlled environment overseen primarily by nurses and visited regularly by clinical physicians.
The Benefits of Residential Trauma Treatments
Without a doubt, the benefits of residential trauma treatments outweigh the potential drawbacks for most patients who are in need of rehab. It is possible to closely monitor the sub-acute patient for complications related to their trauma, as well as to oversee the dispensing of medications and to provide physical therapy to speed along the recovery process.
Luxury Trauma Counseling Facilities
Luxury trauma counseling facilities resist the tendency — common among inpatient care centers — to make the treatment of a trauma patient overly clinical. These facilities are furnished in such a way as to suggest a vacation or a resort, and will often offer amenities such as swimming, leisure activities, and unrestricted visits from friends and family members.
Executive Trauma Counseling Programs
Executive trauma counseling programs have been developed to serve the needs of trauma patients who would find it difficult, inconvenient or counterproductive to take time away from their jobs or other responsibilities. These programs are helpful in the successful completion of more traditional therapeutic inpatient programs.
Outpatient Trauma Rehab and Treatment Programs
Outpatient trauma rehab and treatment programs abound. These range in scope from networks of clinics and dispensaries that are set up to provide medication and physical therapy, to home visits by a nurse or other home healthcare worker to assist with lifestyle adjustments and durable medical equipment.
There are also many outpatient trauma treatment programs that address the psychological components of dealing with trauma. These outpatient programs may incorporate both individual and group counseling into their treatment offerings.
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications
Prescription and over-the-counter medications for trauma patients will often revolve around analgesics of varying strength as part of an overall pain management strategy. It’s also possible that, in addition to pain, the trauma patient will need medication to control either the primary effects of the injury — Coumadin, for example, may be needed to prevent blood clots at the site of injury –or powerful antibiotics may be needed to fight a postoperative infection.
How to Find the Best Trauma Counseling Facility
If you have been through the major life disruption of a traumatic event, or if you care for somebody who has, you might wonder how to find the best trauma counseling facility in your area for extended care. Nobody needs to face the choices at this stage of treatment without help, and you are certainly not alone. Please don’t hesitate to call for help find treating a trauma-related problem.