How Long Will it Take for Trauma-Focused Therapy to Help me Improve?


sad girl talking to therpist

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect people differently, with some experiencing symptoms quite heavily for years and others only experiencing symptoms for up to a few months after a traumatic event. No matter your circumstance, PTSD can be very distressing; it often involves flashbacks, being constantly alert or on guard, avoidance of reminders of the event, panic attacks, feelings of mistrust, problems in daily life, depression, and much more. If you’ve decided to seek treatment, good for you. You have taken the first step towards healing and moving forward with your life. It will take some time, but it will be worth it.

Recovery from trauma typically occurs in three stages:

Stage 1: Safety and Stabilization – This typically really takes into effect when you begin treatment. With this stage, you may begin to improve your personal stability and may work with your therapist to come up with a customized treatment plan. You may begin to practice self-love while discovering inner-strength.

Stage 2: Remembrance and Mourning – This stage occurs when things start to really sink in. You begin to recall certain memories with your therapist and work through them to determine how those memories have a role in your life. You work through the grief, and mourn any losses associated with the traumatic event. This stage only occurs once you are ready and willing – it is not to be forced.

Stage 3: Reconnection and Integration – Once you’ve had time to process what has happened and work on developing understanding and strength, you may begin to work on reintegrating these tools into your life after the event. During this stage, you are ready to move forward with your life and see the beauty that it holds.

A study conducted by researchers from the University of Exeter found that participants’ amygdala – responsible for detecting fear and preparing for emergencies – was reduced in activation when images representing love were shown prior to upsetting images of events. This confirms that engaging in therapy is crucial for recovery from trauma, because you need that love and support while you work through everything.

There is no defined time limit for recovery because it all depends on how you progress. What’s most important is that you are seeking help, developing the tools that you need to move forward with your life.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse treatment program. We believe in holistic recovery, meaning that we will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. If you’re seeking a treatment center that focuses primarily on mental health, call our parent property, New Vista Behavioral Health, at 855-398-7959. If you’re seeking treatment for either substance abuse or dual diagnosis, call us at 888-743-0490. There are many people that can help you develop the tools you need to succeed.