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Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event.
Most clients hear the word “trauma” and immediately detach themselves from the belief that they have ever experienced any form of trauma. They typically lack an understanding of trauma and the impactful associations it can create within our feelings, actions, and thoughts. Due to the powerful effects of trauma and addiction on the brain, many people minimize the severity of their addiction and rationalize the experiences they encountered when struggling with substance use.
The addicted brain directly affects emotional wellness. When confronted with memories of trauma, the addicted brain can cast a different shadow on painful memories. This process of desensitization and rationalization is crucial when addressing the trauma of addiction. Behaviors indicative of post-traumatic stress disorder are common when dealing with addiction, and must be addressed in the early stages of recovery in order to create room for healing and the development of coping strategies.
In this group, clients learn the psycho-education behind the impact of addiction on the brain. In doing so, they begin to process with their peers how past experiences have shaped their inability to make lasting, healthier choices. Clients will explore events from their pasts and begin to identify new ways to cope with emotional responses to those experiences.
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