Addiction Treatment
Trauma-Focused Therapy

Traumatic experiences and addiction are closely interlinked. Not only are people who experience trauma more inclined to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, but people who struggle with addiction are more susceptible to undergoing traumatic experiences. At Pine Tree Recovery Center we offer trauma therapy options specifically designed for clients who have been struggling with a combination of unresolved trauma and addiction. Many of our experienced therapists have personal backgrounds in trauma work and are equipped to help clients work through painful memories. Many adults who have experienced trauma either during childhood or later on in life have a difficult time developing healthy interpersonal relationships, regulating their emotions and working through day-to-day challenges in a productive manner. The impact of unresolved trauma can be immense and can easily prevent people from living the happy and fulfilling lives they deserve. If you or a loved one has been through any degree of trauma and has been simultaneously struggling with substance use, we are available to help. Contact us today to learn more.

Trauma & Addiction

The link between childhood trauma and addiction has been studied extensively. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adverse childhood experiences (or ACEs) are traumatic events that occur during childhood, specifically in children and adolescents through age 17. Examples of ACEs include experiencing violence, abuse or neglect during childhood, having an immediate family member pass away and witnessing violence in the home or in the community.

Studies on ACEs have confirmed the following:

  • People who experience five or more ACEs are between 7 and 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances in adulthood.
  • Roughly two-thirds of intravenous drug users report experiencing an ACE.
  • People who experienced three or more ACEs report higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse, depression and other mental illnesses, domestic violence and chronic health conditions like heart disease.
  • One out of every four children in the U.S. will experience a traumatic event before the age of 16.

The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Administration reports:

  • 75 percent of women currently in treatment for alcoholism or drug addiction have personal histories of physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
  • Between 12 and 34 percent of people in treatment for addiction have personal histories of post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Roughly one-third of people who have experienced trauma develop PTSD.
  • 97 percent of homeless women who struggle with mental illness and addiction report experiencing physical and sexual abuse.

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Trauma Therapy for Addiction Recovery

If you have experienced trauma either during childhood or adulthood, you are far from alone. At Pine Tree Recovery Center we offer an intensive outpatient program in Portland, Maine for people of all ages and walks of life who have been weighed down by the symptoms associated with unresolved traumatic experiences. Our therapists utilize a variety of evidence-based approaches geared towards resolving trauma and helping clients move past painful memories. To learn more about trauma therapy or to learn more about our IOP program as a whole, contact us today.

Trauma therapy

Types of Trauma

Trauma can be divided into three distinct categories: acute trauma, chronic trauma and complex trauma. Acute trauma develops after a singular traumatic event, chronic trauma results from repeated exposure to highly stressful events and complex trauma results from multiple traumatic events. According to the American Psychological Association, trauma is defined as “an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster.”

Examples of Common Traumatic Experiences Include:

  • Childhood bullying and harassment
  • Physical, psychological and/or sexual abuse
  • Parental neglect
  • Sexual assault and/or rape
  • Life threatening illnesses
  • Traffic collisions and other major accidents
  • Natural disasters
  • Sudden and/or unexpected loss of a loved one
  • Acts of terrorism
  • War
  • Being attacked or kidnapped

Regardless of which type of traumatic experience you or your loved one has been through, the experienced therapeutic professionals at Pine Tree Recovery Center are available to help. Contact us today to learn more about the types of trauma we treat.

Trauma Therapy in Addiction Recovery

When it comes to treating trauma in addiction recovery there are several effective therapeutic approaches. The best option for you or your loved one depends on personal needs and the specific type of trauma experienced. A combination of therapies is typically the most beneficial. At Pine Tree Recovery Center we provide our clients with a variety of evidence-based therapies proven effective for the treatment of unresolved trauma, including:

  • Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) – This is an individual, client-centered therapy that involves rhythmic bi-lateral stimulation and the use of eye movements to help clients process trauma in a non-verbal manner. Clients focus on traumatic memories very briefly and simultaneously undergo non-invasive eye movement stimulation, which stimulates the connection between the right and left hemispheres of the brain, which process different aspects of the memory. EMDR helps an individual balance facts and emotions. While EMDR can be a useful tool for anyone suffering from substance abuse or dependence, it is generally reserved for clients who simultaneously suffer from unresolved trauma.
  • Cognitive Behavioral TherapyCBT is a widely utilized form of talk therapy. This specific therapeutic method is based on a psychological principle called behaviorism, which suggests psychological disorders like addiction are best treated by changing thinking patterns and behaviors. According to CBT there is a direct correlation between the way we think, the way we feel and the way we act. When used in the context of unresolved trauma, CBT helps people recognize and change unhealthy thought patterns while focusing on changing behavioral responses.

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  • Dialectical Behavior TherapyDBT is a modified version of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. DBT places a stronger emphasis on staying grounded in the present moment, and helps people who have been struggling with unresolved trauma learn how to manage their emotions while improving their interpersonal relationships. Many people who experience trauma have a difficult time maintaining healthy relationships, and DBT focuses on the development of a range of interpersonal skills like healthy communication and setting boundaries.
  • Motivational Interviewing – The main priority of MI is to help clients shift from a place of ambivalence to a place of self-motivation. MI is characterized by a collaborative effort between the therapist and the client and centers around an evocative style of communication designed to facilitate critical thinking and self-awareness. Clients learn to make a clear cut distinction between their current circumstances and their personal goals. Potential methods of change are discussed in depth, and clients build upon a vital skill set which will ultimately helps them overcome trauma and continuously work toward self-betterment.

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Contact Us Today to Learn More

At Pine Tree Recovery Center we believe in taking a whole person approach to addiction recovery, combining evidence-based therapies with holistic approaches and medication assisted treatment options in order to treat the physical, mental and emotional symptoms of addiction simultaneously. Our intensive outpatient treatment program often serves as a step-down treatment option for those who have recently completed a higher level of care like residential inpatient treatment or partial hospitalization. However, IOP can also serve as a standalone treatment option for those who are not struggling with any underlying issues or who have personal obligations they cannot entirely step away from for months at a time.

If you are curious as to which level of clinical care is right for you or your loved one, our Treatment Advisors are available to help you make this decision. The moment you contact us you will be put in touch with an experienced Advisor who walks you through every step of the early recovery process, beginning with our straightforward admissions process. Our admissions process can be completed in as little as 15 minutes and typically includes a brief pre-assessment and a free, no obligation insurance benefit check. Contact us today to learn more about our trauma therapy options, our IOP program or to get started on your personal journey of addiction and trauma recovery.