Is Talk Therapy Enough to Heal Trauma and Ingrained Beliefs?
Is Talk Therapy Enough to Heal Trauma and Ingrained Beliefs?
Talk therapy, also called psychotherapy, is a form of counseling that can help someone change their behavior, cope with loss, and improve ingrained beliefs and subconscious wounds to resolve trauma. A therapist is present with one or more people and they reflect on challenges they have experienced.
These challenges can range from mental health disorders like anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder. They can also help with social or emotional difficulties like trouble relating to others or self-esteem problems. They can include social anxiety, borderline personality disorder, issues with one’s body or addiction.
During talk therapy, the therapist asks questions surrounding a specific topic prompting the patient to answer. This is done to inspire reflection, accountability, and changed behavior. Because of the connection between the patient and therapist, tools they provide (i.e. journal prompts) in talk therapy can help someone transform their ingrained beliefs. As such, the long-term effects of this can include emotional and mental healing and positive neurological changes.
These beliefs can include perfectionist-based ideas from the inner critic. Or they can include negative self-talk that comes from a parental figure from someone’s childhood. Over time, this technique can improve someone’s trauma response and behaviors although it may take time to see results.
Who Benefits from Talk Therapy?
Talk therapy is for anyone of any age who needs help–whether for temporary or long-lasting situations. It can include friends, groups of people, loved ones or an individual. Additionally, it can help loved ones facing relationship trauma with a problematic relative. Those with eating disorders or suicidal thoughts can find relief.
Furthermore, it is widely practiced in rehab facilities where therapists talk to those recovering from addiction. Sometimes family members are present and they all talk about their behaviors and lifestyle choices. Here, everyone can understand the impact of the addicted person and they can shift their behavior for the better.
It can also provide inspiration, hope, and guidance for those needing validation or support. Someone suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who may feel unsafe being open with others can feel safe with this therapy type. Another example can be someone who lost a loved one and is experiencing marital abuse. Even people who had recent breakups or job stress can benefit from it.
In fact, veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or people with drug withdrawals and underlying mental health disorders can also find relief in this practice. Last but not least, talk therapy can help those with anxiety disorders become more mindful. The therapist may listen to the patient’s concerns and provide relief and tools for growth in different ways.
To add, it can also benefit people with cognitive challenges like traumatic brain injuries who need guidance surrounding their behavior. Someone recovering from brain trauma may behave differently, unaware of how their behavior impacts others. However, once they engage in talk therapy and learn techniques, they can be more self-aware.
What are the Different Types of Talk Therapy?
Trauma-focused therapies like therapy target wounds, ingrained beliefs, or behaviors needing healing. Fortunately, there are varieties of them that can help. Talk therapy can be combined with other forms of therapy and medications. It’s physically non-invasive.
Some of the main ones include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Relational behavioral therapy (REBT)
- Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy
- Behavior therapy
- Humanistic therapy
- Exposure therapy (psychodynamic exposure therapy)
- Trauma therapy (trauma-focused CBT)
Despite the different available modalities, the most common forms of talk therapy include CBT, DBT, EMDR, and Humanistic behavior therapy. CBT changes behavior by including stress management techniques, and self-monitoring to change patterns of behavior and thought. This means CBT and trauma-focused CBT can heal subconscious wounding that impacts someone.
CBT does differ from talk therapy in some ways, however. CBT is one-on-one with a professional, while talk therapy can involve groups. Talk therapy can also focus on providing support and holding space. In contrast, CBT specifically offers tools for transforming the mind and emotions. DBT inspires mindfulness and improved behavior.
REBT is associated with CBT and highlights emotional regulation techniques. This can heal emotional trauma since patients learn positive emotional responses. Next, EMDR allows patients to actively focus on trauma. In the process, a professional uses finger movements for the patient to look at as they experience bilateral stimulation. This allows patients to release and process trapped trauma in the brain and body.
Behavior therapy seeks to reduce and eliminate harmful behaviors like CBT. However, the 2 are not the same although similar. It uses behavioral analysis and training to change behavior, settling goals in the process. Behavior therapy doesn’t focus on the cognitive aspects of behavior, but the overall problem and solutions. Humanistic therapy focuses on individual positive traits. Exposure therapy faces patients’ fears.
Techniques in DBT, CBT, and REBT to Change Ingrained Beliefs
All talk therapies can help depression, anxiety and PTSD. According to VeryWellMind.com, DBT is a type of CBT that believes in helping people become more mindful in the moment. Patients learn to be present and accept what they cannot change. This creates more peace and openness in life. The therapy includes group and individual sessions, distress tolerance and emotional regulation.
There are six main elements of DBT that promote change which are:
- Acceptance and change
- Analyzing behavior and learning better ways to behave
- Changing harmful or negative thoughts
- Learning how to collaborate with people
- Developing new skills
CBT also uses different tools and methods for healing trauma and reframing behavior. These include:
- Monitoring the self/checking in
- Challenging and questioning beliefs, assumptions or negative thoughts
- Getting support or advice
- Examining why certain thoughts occur
- Developing new thought patterns (Bible verses, affirmations for positivity)
REBT also uses specific techniques to fix emotions and behavior called the ABC model:
- The activating event (the event that took place)
- A belief (the belief about it)
- The consequence(s) (the end result or consequence
In using the ABC model, peo0ple can take accountability for blame and personalizing of events. This therapy type stresses worth and helps patients have a realistic relationship outlook. It also provides disputation (questioning harmful thoughts) as a coping technique, and shifting negative thoughts to healthier thoughts. The end result can save relationships and help someone remain more stable over time.
Key Takeaways: Healing from Trauma is Possible
Talk therapy can restore the mind, body and spirit. Additionally, the individual has to maintain their wellbeing outside of the office, or in between visits. They can practice meditation, especially if they have anxiety or panic attacks. This regulates the nervous system for more calm. Additionally, someone can have clarity of the mind and emotional stability.
Another activity is to journal. This allows someone to emotionally dump their feelings into a safe space. They can also come up with healthy conclusions and add therapy suggestions where needed. Finding group support in a church or support group can help create bonds and offer emotional validation.
Someone can begin hobbies like painting or singing to build self-esteem and channel emotion properly. Using Bible verses and positive affirmations can uplift and cleanse the mind. Avoiding toxic people, harmful substances and undermining one’s self-worth can protect them from harmful experiences. For example, lacking boundaries can undermine someone’s self-worth, and they can end up having negative self-talk due to shame.
Practicing self-care as a way to honor one’s self can create self-value and confidence. Moreover, creating an exercise routine to compliment self-care can be a great starting point. Using faith-based tools like inspiration Christian books can remind someone there is always hope. There are options. It’s vital to remember we are all human and have bad days, but change is always possible.
I have found my cancer journey to be a positive and profound transformational experience. I’m inspired to share my healing journey here, and trust you’ll find hope, encouragement and purpose as you discover the healing power that lies within you.