What is a Trauma Treatment Program?

Discover a transformative journey with our trauma treatment program at Black Horse Health, designed to help individuals heal.

How Can Black Horse Health Help You Work Through Trauma?

At Black Horse Health, we know that underlying trauma can create or exacerbate other symptoms, often manifesting itself via substance misuse or mental health challenges. In fact, an estimated three out of four individuals with a substance use disorder (SUD) have experienced at least one traumatic event within their lifetime.

Our team of skilled and compassionate specialists have over 100 years of combined experience, and we are committed to helping you or your loved one lead a fulfilling life by supporting you through your trauma.

With wellness services including trauma-based therapies, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and harm reduction techniques, we will create a path to recovery that best meets your unique set of symptoms.

Harness the Power of Wellness With Black Horse Health

Don’t let your past experiences and emotional trauma inhibit you from leading the happy, healthy, and fulfilled life you deserve.

Learn more about our trauma treatment programs, other treatment opportunities, and how our Black Horse Health team of specialists can help you heal in this comprehensive article. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for more information or to begin your path to wellness today.

What is a Trauma Treatment Program in Recovery?

A trauma treatment program is a specialized form of therapy. It helps individuals deal with mental and emotional distress caused by a traumatic event.1
Trauma is an emotional response to a distressing or life-threatening event. There are many different forms of trauma. These can range from singular events, such as a violent attack, to repeated experiences like child abuse or combat exposure.2

Traditional therapy can also address trauma. However, the methods used in a trauma treatment program are specifically directed at addressing the trauma. Some of the key ways that a trauma treatment program can help individuals heal include:

Specialized Training

Clinicians in a trauma treatment program have specialized training in trauma-informed care. This helps them understand the ways trauma affects the brain, body, and emotions.3 This can help clinicians avoid retraumatizing clients.

Focus on the Trauma Narrative

Many trauma treatments help individuals construct a coherent story of their traumatic experience. The narrative exposes the individual to memories of their trauma in a safe environment. This focus helps participants process and make sense of the trauma.4

Body-Oriented Approaches

Trauma has a strong impact on the body. Because of this, many trauma programs include body-oriented or somatic techniques.

Examples of these techniques include:

  • Somatic experiencing
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
These approaches focus on the body and how emotions are held in the body. People are then taught to feel safe in their bodies while they process their trauma.5

Phased Approach

A trauma treatment program often follows a phased approach. The first phase focuses on safety and stabilization. The next phase deals with processing traumatic memories. The last phase focuses on reintegration and connecting with the present and future.

Addressing Dissociation

Trauma can result in dissociative symptoms. Individuals with complex trauma may feel disconnected from their feelings or sense of identity. A trauma treatment program addresses these symptoms directly.

Evidence-Based Interventions

Many trauma recovery programs use evidence-based interventions created for trauma. These interventions may include:

  • Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Prolonged exposure therapy

These approaches focus on trauma and addressing the physical and emotional impacts of it. Both trauma treatment and traditional therapy foster healing and improve mental well-being. However, trauma treatment programs address the intricate impacts of traumatic experiences.

Types of Trauma Addressed in a Trauma Treatment Program

A trauma treatment program can address a wide range of traumatic experiences. Since different types of trauma can have unique effects on individuals, the response to trauma can vary from one person to another.

Some types of trauma include:


There are multiple forms of abuse that may lead to individuals developing trauma. This includes:

  • Physical Abuse: This is the intentional act of causing injury or harm. This could also include threats of physical violence.
  • Sexual Abuse: This is when a person forces another into sexual behavior without their consent. Those who experience sexual abuse may struggle with intimacy and develop dissociative disorders.
  • Emotional Abuse: This may include verbal assaults, humiliation, manipulation, and controlling behaviors.


Neglect happens when there is a failure to provide basic needs for someone. This can lead to feelings of abandonment, unworthiness, and difficulties in forming attachments. Those who have experienced neglect might develop challenges in meeting one’s own needs.

Domestic Violence (DV)

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to gain or maintain control over a partner. Domestic violence can include physical, emotional, sexual, or psychological harm.

This can lead to:6
  • Chronic fear
  • Hyper-vigilance
  • Trust issues
  • The belief that violence is a normal part of relationships

Combat Exposure or Witnessing Violence

Exposure to war zones or combat can lead to inner conflict over actions that differ from one’s moral or ethical code. Many individuals with trauma related to combat exposure also develop substance use disorders.7

Those who witness violence are also at risk of developing trauma. Seeing harm come to others can lead to feelings of helplessness, guilt, and general mistrust.

Other Forms of Trauma

Many forms of trauma can have significant impacts on individuals’ well-being. Some other forms of trauma include:

  • Accidents or severe illness
  • Sudden or traumatic loss of a loved one
  • Bullying or harassment
  • Forced migration

The body’s stress response can become dysregulated. This can lead to heightened states of arousal, difficulty sleeping, and health problems. However, with appropriate intervention, individuals can heal from trauma and regain a sense of control in their lives.

Therapeutic Approaches Used in a Trauma Treatment Program

Trauma treatment employs a variety of therapeutic methods to address the impact of trauma. Most trauma programs use a combination of evidence-based and holistic approaches to provide the most effective care.

Evidence-Based Approaches

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a technique designed to identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors. It’s effective in treating a range of conditions, including anxiety and depression.

One specific form, trauma-focused CBT (TF-CBT), is tailored for children and adolescents. It provides them and their caregivers with strategies to process trauma and better manage distressing emotions.

Other evidence-based approaches for trauma recovery include:

  • EMDR: This is a structured therapy where participants focus on trauma memories while also undergoing bilateral stimulation. The EMDR process aims to encourage the brain’s natural healing mechanisms allowing traumatic memories to be reprocessed and integrated.8
  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy: This involves careful and repeated exposure to memories of trauma. By confronting these memories in a safe setting, individuals can reduce avoidance behaviors and process the trauma.9
  • Somatic Therapies: These focus on the body’s physiological reactions to trauma. This helps individuals connect bodily sensations with their emotions and beliefs.10

Holistic Approaches

There are multiple types of holistic approaches that can be utilized for trauma treatment as well. These are often used in conjunction with evidence-based therapies.

These approaches include:

  • Art Therapy: This allows individuals to use the creative process to express and process traumatic events.
  • Dance/Movement Therapy: This engages the body, using movement as a tool for processing trauma.11
  • Mindfulness and Meditation: These are rooted in ancient practices. These practices teach individuals to be present in the moment. By promoting self-awareness and emotion regulation, these techniques are a valuable addition to trauma recovery.
It’s essential to understand that not every modality will work for every individual. Trauma treatment is often tailored to the needs, preferences, and cultural background of the individual. At Black Horse Health, we will work with you to create a path for healing that works for you.

Populations That May Benefit Most from a Trauma Treatment Program

Many individuals from diverse backgrounds can benefit profoundly from specialized trauma therapies. For example, there are various trauma programs aimed at treating veterans. Due to having faced the rigors of combat and military life, they often find relief in programs created around their experiences.

Also, first responders like police and firefighters often benefit from trauma treatment. These individuals gain tools to cope with the distressing events they regularly confront.

Are There Other Individuals Who Would Benefit?

Other populations that show promising results from trauma management programs include survivors of interpersonal violence. This group includes domestic abuse or sexual assault. With these specialized programs, they can rebuild trust and a healthy sense of self.

There are also treatment programs aimed at addressing the LGBTQ+ community. These individuals face challenges like discrimination or family rejection. Many of these people can holistically heal with trauma care attuned to their specific needs.

These populations, among others, have shown significant benefits from trauma treatment programs. The key is an approach that respects and addresses each person’s specific background and trauma.

The Role of Group Therapy in a Trauma Treatment Program

Group therapy plays a pivotal role in many trauma treatment programs. Group therapy for trauma survivors offers a haven of understanding and mutual support. By sharing experiences with others, participants feel validated.

Sharing with peers helps individuals realize they are not alone in their journey. This camaraderie counters feelings of isolation by replacing them with a sense of belonging.

Group members can provide emotional encouragement. The empathetic environment of trauma programs allows for open expression. During group sessions, trained therapists help guide and ensure discussions remain productive and safe.

Benefits of Group Therapy in Trauma Treatment

There are many practical benefits too. Participants learn and practice coping strategies together. They gain insights from various perspectives, which can boost their toolkit for healing. These interpersonal interactions aid in refining social skills and rebuilding trust.

Group therapy in a trauma treatment program offers individuals a collective healing space. This setting nurtures mutual understanding, skill-building, and shared resilience.

The Importance of Trauma-Informed Care

Trauma-informed care principles focus on understanding and responding to the effects of trauma. In designing a trauma treatment program, these principles make certain that the environment is safe and supportive for participants.

Care is taken to avoid re-traumatization by giving individuals a sense of control and choice in their treatment. Trauma recovery programs also emphasize transparency and open communication. This makes sure individuals know what to expect at every stage.

Trauma-informed care also provides other benefits for individuals, such as:

Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation encourages individuals to stay present and experience the current moment. In a trauma treatment program, mindfulness helps individuals become more aware of their bodily sensations, thoughts, and emotions without becoming overwhelmed.

By grounding themselves in the present, they can distance themselves from distressing memories. Practicing mindfulness can reduce the intensity of trauma symptoms and enhance emotional regulation.


Self-compassion involves treating oneself with the same kindness and understanding as one would treat a friend. Trauma survivors often grapple with guilt, shame, or self-blame.

Including self-compassion practices helps them challenge these negative beliefs and develop a kinder relationship with themselves.

By learning to extend compassion inward, individuals can:

  • Heal emotional wounds
  • Boost their self-worth
  • Build resilience against future challenges

Guidelines Trauma Therapists Follow

Trauma therapists are bound by the ethical guidelines of the psychotherapy profession. However, they also follow specific considerations when working with trauma survivors.

Here are some key ethical considerations tailored to trauma work:

  • Do No Harm: Therapists must always act in ways that promote the safety and well-being of their clients. This includes being cautious not to retraumatize a client by pushing them too hard or too quickly into discussing traumatic events.
  • Informed Consent: Before starting therapy, clients should be fully informed about the nature of trauma therapy. This includes potential risks, benefits, and alternatives. They should understand their rights, including confidentia lity and its limits.
  • Competence: Trauma work requires specialized training. Therapists should seek continuous education in trauma-related therapies and techniques.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Trauma experiences and reactions can vary across cultural, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds. Therapists must be sensitive to these differences and avoid imposing their own cultural biases.
  • Empowerment: Given that many traumatic experiences involve loss of control, therapists should empower their clients. This means respecting their autonomy and decisions.
  • Boundaries: Therapists must maintain clear professional boundaries to ensure the safety of clients. This means avoiding dual relationships, ensuring privacy, and always acting in the client’s best interest.
  • Confidentiality: Trauma survivors often share personal and painful stories. Therapists are bound to keep this information confidential. The exceptions are situations of potential harm to the client or others, or as mandated by law.

These principles recognize the unique vulnerabilities of trauma survivors. They ensure that therapy remains a space of healing and empowerment.

Trauma Treatment Program

Our Trauma Treatment Program at Black Horse Health

Black Horse Health provides an integrative approach to treatment. Our trauma treatment program combines evidence-based and holistic techniques to provide you with the best opportunity for recovery.

We provide a combination of both evidence-based and holistic approaches to trauma treatment. This ensures that you’re getting the most comprehensive care you can.

Some trauma treatments we provide include:

  • EMDR
  • Holistic therapies, like art therapy or meditation
  • Trauma-focused therapies
  • Dual diagnosis treatment

Reach Out Today

We recognize that each person’s journey is unique, so we aim to meet you where you’re at in that journey. With a dedicated team of professionals committed to best practices, Black Horse Health creates an environment of healing and empowerment.

We embrace trauma-informed care at its core to provide you with hope and recovery. Find help today by reaching out to our team. We will work with you every step of the way through the healing process.