Treatment Programs

Trauma Services

At a Glance

  • Trauma Services in Pennsylvania:

  • Effective trauma-focused therapies,

    including EMDR and CPT, reduce or eliminate PTSD symptoms.

  • Trauma-focused holistic therapies,

    like yoga and mindfulness meditation, offer comfort and healing.

  • A multi-phased system

    allows patients space and time to fully heal.

  • Trauma Services in Florida:

  • Experienced, compassionate trauma-trained therapists

    use effective trauma-informed therapies to reduce and eliminate PTSD symptoms.

  • Our interdisciplinary teams

    determine a trauma-informed treatment plan and appropriate length of stay for individualized care, based on thorough assessments and patient readiness.

Highlights of Trauma-Informed Care Services

Trauma is defined as the “experience of an event or enduring conditions in which the individual's ability to integrate his/her emotional experience is overwhelmed and the individual experiences (either objectively or subjectively) a threat to his/her life, bodily integrity, or that of a caregiver or family.” This can include developmental and relational trauma, as well as trauma following a terrifying experience, such as witnessing a fatality or surviving a life-threatening accident.

Relational trauma is caused by the stress from repeated violations of boundaries or psychological/emotional entrapment. Developmental trauma refers to traumatic event(s) from childhood/adolescence that affected a person's development. Developmental and relational trauma include experiences of being bullied, stalked, or harassed, as well as rape, physical, sexual, and/or emotional verbal abuse. Witnessing these events repeatedly over a prolonged period of time can also cause trauma. Separation, unresolved grief, and neglect may also cause trauma that impacts a person’s ability to function. Other experiences that involve a lack of control, feelings of helplessness, betrayal, rejection, and/or repeated violations of boundaries can also result in trauma.

Part of trauma’s complexity is that people experience it differently. For some, the trauma response is short-lived, while for others it is long term. People also process traumatic events in very different ways. While one person can return to a healthy life after a traumatic event, another person will not be able to carry on routine daily activities. People who experience chronic, long-term developmental or relational traumas are more likely to dismiss it. When trauma is left untreated over time, it can become debilitating to mental health and often may result in substance use.

If it’s not dealt with in a healthy manner, the negative effects of trauma can be long-lasting. Some examples are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), disrupted relationships, difficulty feeling emotionally stable, and changes in how the traumatized person sees themselves or others. Addiction can derail the natural process of healing.

Symptoms of Trauma

People who have experienced trauma may feel:

  • Rage.
  • Betrayal.
  • Powerlessness.
  • An inability to trust self or others.
  • A need to be on constant high alert for danger.
  • Extreme anxiety.
  • Chronic fear.
  • Feeling out of control.
  • Overwhelming sense of shame.

Treating Developmental Trauma and Addiction

At Caron, we want to help you overcome addiction and trauma symptoms, so you can live your best life. Our trauma informed care varies by location and we currently focus on developmental and relational trauma treatment at our Florida facilities.

Every Caron treatment program begins with a comprehensive assessment and psychiatric evaluation. Based upon the assessment and the patients’ readiness, the multidisciplinary team determines a specific treatment plan with therapies to meet their needs, including trauma treatment if indicated.

Caron Renaissance

The modalities used at Caron Renaissance to treat trauma include:

  • Prolonged exposure therapy (PET) is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that teaches patients to gradually approach trauma-related memories, feelings, and situations in order to decrease symptoms.
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), along with structured grounding and skill-building, which emphasizes the psychosocial aspects of treatment, is used to deal with and decrease the symptoms of trauma the patient experiences.
  • Neurofeedback is a brain-based therapy that gives patients a way to regulate dysfunctional activity and reinforce healthy brain function.

Depending on a patient’s needs, the treatment team may also recommend complementary holistic therapies such as:

  • Mindfulness meditation is an effective way to manage stress, sleep better, and reduce chronic pain.
  • Yoga allows patients to practice healthy coping mechanisms to manage stress and anxiety, gain self-awareness, and stay centered throughout recovery
  • Breathwork exercises help patients release tension, energize the body, restore sleep, and bring about optimal brainwave states.
  • Physical activity can help release tension and bring more energy to the body to aid the healing process.

Caron Ocean Drive

The starting point for treatment at Caron Ocean Drive is a thorough assessment and psychiatric evaluation, which are reviewed by our experienced team to develop a treatment plan for each patient’s specific needs, including therapies for trauma as indicated. The modalities used at Caron Ocean Drive to treat trauma include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) uses therapeutic strategies to help change distorted thinking patterns. It has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of problems. Our experienced therapists will work with you to identify the core beliefs and barriers that are blocking your recovery.
  • Emotional freedom technique is a research-based intervention that can regulate the autonomic nervous system, which triggers the body’s fight, flight, or freeze response. It uses established clinical techniques, such as cognitive restructuring, exposure, and systematic desensitization, along with a newer finger-tapping technique that stimulates acupressure points while traumatic memories or emotional triggers are activated.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) reduces the impact of the traumatic memories and the emotions associated with them using dual attention bilateral stimulation, which activates parts of the brain to reprocess memories by tactile stimulation, eye movements, or tapping.
  • Narrative therapy incorporates the stories people tell themselves about their experiences as a way to help them identify and harness their own strengths to resolve issues.
  • Safe and Sound Protocol enables the body’s biological social engagement system by regulating the nervous system through acoustic stimulation which aids in processing external cues and signals in a less reactionary way. The protocol is based on the polyvagal theory, which explains how our sense of safety (or its opposite, danger), affects our behavior.
  • Trauma group therapy provides an intimate setting in an emotionally safe space to process trauma, work on issues such as family of origin and generational themes that affect trauma, and gain validation.

Caron Ocean Drive’s complementary trauma-informed holistic therapy services are also used to help patients who have experienced trauma to reduce its harmful symptoms. Along with mindful meditation, yoga, and breathwork, Caron Ocean Drive offers:

  • Acupuncture stimulates the body’s nerves, muscles and connective tissue as a means of treating discomfort associated with chronic pain, detox, and healing from substance use disorders. It promotes wellness and stress management.
  • Therapeutic massage for optimizing pain management, release tension and restore self-awareness.
  • Energy work based on therapeutic techniques from Eastern traditions—including reiki, Thai bodywork, chakra psychology, and kundalini—helps cultivate balance and self-healing.
  • Equine therapy is focused on developing skills for patients to build connections, practice new behaviors and mindfulness, and improve self-awareness and self-regulation. Through therapy, they can make positive and lasting changes in their relationships.
  • Somatic therapy helps patients identify troubling issues or memories, track sensations and emotions associated with them held in the body, and release them in a safe, slow way.

Treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Addiction

Caron Pennsylvania

Our Pennsylvania facility focuses on how traumatic events or situations, such as PTSD, are affecting your journey to recovery from substance abuse. In the context of a substance use disorder (or addiction), identifying trauma is the first step in treating it. We use measures such as PCL-5, a symptom checklist for PTSD, and the Trauma Symptoms Inventory (TSI), to identify a trauma response or PTSD.

If a trauma response or PTSD is identified, our trauma team, which includes on-site, full-time psychologists, works closely with you and your primary treatment team to incorporate trauma therapies into your treatment plan. The therapies used will depend on your symptoms and needs. Those therapies may include:

  • Evidence-based treatments to address PTSD and trauma symptoms, which include eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and cognitive processing therapy (CPT), gold standards in treating PTSD based on a significant amount of research that proves its efficacy and effectiveness.
  • Specialty cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) groups to address coping skills for anxiety and depression.
  • Trauma-sensitive yoga, with certified instructors, provides a safe and gentle way to relearn how to be “in” your body and explore how that feels.
  • Mindfulness meditation.
  • Neurofeedback, a noninvasive therapeutic intervention that can reinforce recovery and help to manage moods and emotions.

The trauma informed programming that we offer on our Pennsylvania campus is divided into two phases. Depending on your needs and the determination of the clinical team, they may happen concurrently or sequentially.

The Safety and Stabilization Phase

In this phase, the treatment team works with you to develop a foundation of safety and provide coping skills you can use. Psycho-educational groups focus on:

  • Trauma and its relationship to substance use disorder.
  • Symptoms.
  • How trauma affects the brain.
  • How trauma affects relationships.
  • Developing safety.

In addition, you learn coping skills that help you manage trauma and build trust in your environment. Caron staff has extensive experience in teaching patients the skills they need to successfully do the therapeutic work that leads to recovery.

The Trauma Processing Phase

During trauma processing, you work with a clinical psychologist or a trained behavioral health therapist who may use cognitive processing therapy (CPT) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) or both, depending on your needs, to treat PTSD symptoms with attention to your substance use disorder symptoms.

CPT works quickly, often within 12 sessions, to significantly reduce or eliminate acute symptoms of PTSD—including flashbacks, intrusive memories, feelings of shame or guilt, and avoidance of trauma reminders. Reducing the symptoms not only provides relief for you but can also reduce the risk of relapse. Most patients who receive CPT treatment experience a reduction in symptoms to the point where they no longer meet criteria for a PTSD diagnosis within six to eight weeks.

Also effective in treating trauma, EMDR focuses on the traumatic memories themselves. It is an approach that addresses the physiological storage of memory and how it informs experience. The eight phases of EMDR will vary in the amount of sessions needed based on the individual’s experiences, meaning they may only need a few sessions, or they may benefit from continuing beyond their stay at Caron. The purpose of therapy is to help liberate the client from the past into a healthy and productive present.

Trauma is a normal response to an abnormal event. Even so, people may still feel like something is off and they can’t quite put their finger on it. People beat themselves up because they can’t seem to 'get over' their traumatic experiences. But the reality is that trauma changes the way the brain works. It’s not about willing oneself to 'get over it'.

Dr. Ramona Roberts
Supervisor of Trauma Services

Our expert, empathetic treatment teams understand the harm trauma causes. For more information, take a look at our Caron Renaissance and Caron Ocean Drive campuses and our trauma informed care at our Caron Pennsylvania campus and give us a call today.

Post-Treatment

Caron’s trauma team ensures your access to ongoing support and care once you leave treatment. Along with your primary treatment team and referring professional, they will work with you to develop an aftercare plan of therapy and other resources that build upon the foundation and success you achieved during treatment.

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