Trauma therapy in Chattanooga, Tennessee, can help clients with traumatic pasts heal from their symptoms. Unfortunately, trauma is a common underlying cause of addiction and mental health disorders. Traumatic events can include neglect in childhood, living in a dangerous neighborhood, witnessing violence, or near-death experiences. These experiences can change the way a person’s brain functions and affect the way they think about themselves and the world around them. 

What is Trauma Therapy?

Trauma therapy helps a person learn how to process and live with the trauma of their past. Traumatic events shock a person’s central nervous system (CNS). As a result, their CNS tends to be on “high-alert” looking for the next potential threat. Many people with trauma struggle to get through their day without feeling triggered. Thus, trauma therapy helps a person process their trauma while also learning healthy ways to cope with triggers and symptoms.

Types of Trauma Therapy Offered in Chattanooga

There are many ways to treat trauma. Some treatments are specifically geared toward treating trauma while others are also used for other mental health disorders. By treating underlying trauma, those in recovery from addiction have a much better chance of staying sober for the long term.

We offer the following types of trauma therapy:


Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) helps a person process their trauma while calming their over-active CNS. A therapist will guide their client through several phases throughout EMDR. During EMDR, a therapist uses bilateral stimulation to keep clients calm as they talk about their trauma. Bilateral stimulation is usually initiated by waving a pen from right to left and having the client follow the movement. Other senses can be used, such as touch or hearing, however.

Brain Mapping

Since trauma impacts the brain and CNS, mapping the client’s brain can tell therapists and other specialists a lot about continued treatment. During brain mapping, electrodes are connected to the brain to measure brain waves as a person recalls events or performs tasks. These electrodes are connected to a computer, which maps out how a person’s brain is functioning. Treatment professionals can then recommend therapies to restore the optimal functioning of a person’s brain to reduce symptoms of trauma.


Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most common forms of psychotherapy. CBT treats a number of mental health conditions, like anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and trauma. During CBT, a therapist helps the client identify and change harmful thoughts and beliefs. Many clients with trauma have distorted thoughts about themselves and the world at large. These thoughts influence their behaviors. By challenging and changing these thoughts, clients can find healthy ways to react to everyday life.


Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) helps clients who are trying to avoid or deny distressing feelings and emotions. Many people with trauma question their emotional responses and might develop a negative view of themselves. This questioning can impede a person’s process in therapy. ACT helps to reframe a person’s emotions to trauma as a natural response to these events. By accepting their emotions and feelings as a natural consequence, they can begin to commit to finding solutions and making behavioral changes toward healing.

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Trauma often causes a person to engage in avoidance behaviors. Simply put, they will go out of their way to avoid triggers in their environment or the symptoms of trauma. Often, this can lead to a diminished quality of life, as a person ends up avoiding confronting the trauma. Substance abuse is one of the most common maladaptive avoidance behaviors. 


Drugs and alcohol can numb a person’s feelings and emotions. In addition, many people with trauma abuse substances to block out flashbacks or reminders of the trauma. They could also take drugs like sedatives to deal with physical symptoms of trauma, like anxiety or hypervigilance. Since they are taking substances to self-medicate for symptoms, they are at an increased risk of developing an addiction. 


The prevalence of substance use disorders (SUD) among those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is high. The National Center for PTSD states that “[a]ccording to one national epidemiologic study, 46.4% of individuals with lifetime PTSD also met criteria for SUD.”

How Long Does Trauma Therapy Take?

Trauma therapy can take several months or years to help a person fully recover. Even then, most clients will need to engage in some form of maintenance for long-term recovery. In addition, some techniques tend to work more quickly than others. For example, EMDR shows promise of providing relief within a few sessions.


Trauma therapy offers several benefits, including:

Services Offered at Chattanooga Detox Center

Additional services offered along with trauma therapy in Chattanooga include:


Traumatic experiences can cause negative effects on a person’s mental and emotional health. Not only that, but many people with trauma also deal with physical symptoms that make it challenging to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Many people with traumatic pasts turn to drug or alcohol use to self-medicate these symptoms. Chattanooga Detox Center offers trauma therapy to help clients deal with this common underlying issue associated with substance abuse. Contact us today to begin your recovery from trauma and addiction.

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