How to Choose an Effective Trauma Treatment Center

Learn about trauma and how to choose an effective trauma treatment center in this comprehensive article.

Table of Contents

What Is Trauma?

Trauma is a disturbing experience that overwhelms an individual’s coping ability. Experiencing trauma can be overwhelming. It can have long-lasting effects on an individual’s mental and emotional well-being. Studies show that 7% of people experience trauma once in their life. Thus, choosing an effective trauma treatment center is important for healing and recovery.1

However, with many options available, figuring out where to start can take time. This article will discuss some important factors to consider when choosing a trauma treatment center. We will provide valuable information to help you make an informed decision about your care.
Trauma Treatment Center

Questions About Treatment?

Let us guide you through your options and treatment opportunities. Contact Alternative Options today.

What Causes Trauma?

Traumatic events can be caused by a wide range of experiences, including:2
  • Accidents
  • Violence
  • Natural disasters
  • Military combat
  • Verbal abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Other forms of interpersonal violence

Understanding Trauma

Impact of Traumatic Experiences

These experiences can be direct or witnessed and may occur at any point in a person’s life, from childhood to adulthood. Trauma can also result from chronic stress, such as living in poverty, experiencing discrimination or oppression, or dealing with ongoing health issues.

The impact of trauma can be long-lasting and may affect a person’s mental and physical health, relationships, and overall well-being. It is important for individuals who have experienced trauma to seek appropriate support and treatment to help them heal and recover.
Trauma can have devastating physical, emotional, and social impacts on an individual’s life.

Physical Toll of Trauma

Physical impacts may include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia or other sleep disturbances
  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Nausea or digestive issues

Emotional Toll of Trauma

Emotional impacts may include:

Social Toll of Trauma

Social impacts may include:

  • Isolation or withdrawal
  • Relationship problems
  • Difficulty trusting others
  • Difficulty with intimacy
  • Difficulty maintaining employment or educational goals
  • Negative impact on family and social relationships

These impacts can be long-lasting and may impact an individual’s ability to function in their daily lives. Seeking appropriate treatment helps individuals manage these impacts and improve their well-being.

What Is Trauma-Informed Care?

Trauma-informed care is an approach to health care that recognizes the impact of trauma on an individual’s well-being. This includes physical, emotional, and psychological health. It is based on the understanding that people who have experienced trauma may require specialized care.

This specialized care addresses their unique needs and experiences. It also acknowledges that trauma has long-term psychological consequences. Some of these include difficulties managing emotions and relationships. Trauma-informed care involves creating a safe and supportive environment to promote healing and recovery.

What Are the Motives for Trauma-Informed Care?

The motives for trauma care include the following:

  • Understanding and recognizing the signs and symptoms of trauma.
  • Providing a safe and non-judgmental environment for individuals to share their experiences.
  • Empowering individuals to make choices and have control over their care.
  • Providing education to help individuals understand the impact of trauma on their well-being.
  • Incorporating evidence-based treatments tailored to an individual’s unique needs and experiences.
  • Addressing the root causes of trauma and working to prevent further trauma.

Where Can Trauma-Informed Care Be Applied?

Trauma-informed care can be applied in various healthcare settings, including:

It can also be applied in other settings, such as schools, social services, and criminal justice systems.
By incorporating trauma-informed care into healthcare and other systems, we can help promote healing and recovery for individuals who have experienced trauma.
PTSD Statistics

Why Is Trauma-Informed Care Important for Trauma Healing?

Trauma-informed care is important because it helps create a safe environment. It allows traumatized individuals to begin their healing process without feeling re-traumatized or judged.
A primary benefit of trauma-informed care is that it aims to promote recovery while minimizing further harm. This approach emphasizes the following:
  • Understanding trauma
  • Using evidence-based trauma-informed interventions
  • Providing trauma-sensitive services

Additional Benefits of Trauma-Informed Care

Studies have shown that trauma-focused interventions result in the following:

  • Improved mental health outcomes
  • Fewer suicide attempts
  • Decreased post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms
  • Depression symptoms
  • Increased well-being
  • Higher self-esteem
Furthermore, trauma-informed care is particularly beneficial for individuals from marginalized communities. These individuals experience multiple forms of violence due to their identities. In trauma-informed care settings, trauma survivors can find a safe space to heal and rebuild their lives.

Statistics on the Impact of Trauma-Informed Care

One 2017 study found that implementing trauma-informed care practices in a residential treatment center for youth significantly reduced the use of restraints and seclusion. The study evaluated 171 youths across two residential treatment centers in the United States. The results showed a 61% reduction in restraints and a 77% reduction in seclusion.3

Trauma-Informed Care: an Essential Treatment Modality

Another study in 2018 suggests that trauma-informed care practices significantly reduced patient-reported traumatic stress symptoms. The study evaluated 861 patients across six clinics in the United States. It found that patients who received trauma-informed care reported a 32% reduction in traumatic stress symptoms compared to those who did not.4
Trauma-informed care should be an integral part of a trauma treatment center. The approach considers trauma’s impact on a person’s physical, emotional, and social well-being in their treatment plan. Trauma-informed care enables patients to heal without the stigma and inhibitions of more “traditional” treatment approaches, and should be the norm for all mental health practices today.
PTSD in US Stats

Examples of Trauma-Informed Care Approaches

Trauma-informed care follows a variety of methods to promote healing and long-term recovery.

Safe Environment

One way trauma-informed care approaches can be beneficial is by providing a trauma-sensitive environment. This environment creates safety and trust for the trauma survivor. It also has strategies such as:

  • Inviting the client to participate in decision-making
  • Allowing the client to heal from trauma through creative expression
  • Fostering trust in the community 
As trauma survivors learn to trust those helping them, they can feel more comfortable and safer in their recovery journey.

Personalized Care

Trauma-informed care involves understanding that trauma impacts individuals in various ways. For instance, individuals may experience PTSD symptoms such as flashbacks or nightmares when exposed to particular triggers.
When trauma therapists understand these effects, they can offer appropriate interventions. Some interventions include relaxation techniques and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.


Trauma-informed care includes empowering the trauma survivor. Trauma therapists recognize the trauma’s effects on each client’s life and provide resources to help them build resilience. This can include:

  • Supportive counseling
  • Connecting trauma survivors with trauma-specific support groups
  • Teaching relaxation techniques

What Are Trauma Treatment Centers?

Trauma treatment centers are specialized healthcare facilities that provide services for people who have experienced trauma. They help them heal from trauma’s physical, psychological, and emotional effects. Many trauma treatment centers also specialize in treating specific types of trauma.

A trauma treatment center may provide a variety of treatments, including:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Counseling
  • Medication management
  • Other therapeutic interventions

The Role of Trauma Treatment Centers

Licensed mental health professionals, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and licensed counselors, provide trauma services. These providers have expertise in treating trauma-related disorders.
Overall, a trauma treatment center aims to provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals who have experienced trauma. The primary goals are to help them to overcome the effects of trauma and improve their quality of life.
PSTD Stats

Benefits of Trauma Treatment Centers

Some of the critical benefits of a trauma treatment center include the following:

Trauma-Informed Care

Trauma-informed care is an integral part of trauma treatment. It focuses on understanding the impact of trauma on the individual’s physical, emotional, and social well-being. Through this approach, trauma survivors can access specialized services. These services prioritize their safety, autonomy, and self-determination to heal from trauma.5

Professional Support

Trauma treatment centers provide trauma survivors access to various professionals. These professionals specialize in trauma-informed care. They can include:

  • Trauma therapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychotherapist
  • Social workers
Trauma professionals offer trauma-sensitive interventions that consider the individual’s unique needs. By having access to this specialized expertise, trauma survivors can better process their trauma. It’s an awesome start to begin their journey toward healing.

Group Therapy

Several trauma treatment centers offer group therapy sessions. These sessions can be a powerful way for trauma survivors to learn from shared experiences, build community, and engage in meaningful conversations about trauma.

Group therapy can provide trauma survivors with support and connection. These are often essential in trauma recovery.

Holistic Approach

Trauma treatment centers understand that trauma affects the whole person. So, they encourage healing through multiple approaches. This means considering the individual’s unique values when engaging in trauma-informed care.

A holistic approach to trauma treatment addresses all aspects of the individual’s life. It involves therapeutic methods focusing on emotional, physical, social, psychological, and spiritual wellness. This allows trauma survivors to better understand their trauma and learn how to manage it more effectively.

What Are the Types of Trauma Treatments Available?

Trauma treatments are designed to help trauma survivors find the right path toward healing. Various types of trauma treatments are available. Each type has different benefits and effects depending on the individual’s specific needs. Here are some common trauma treatments:


Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, involves talking with a qualified mental health professional about trauma-related issues. Here, you gain insight, support, and understanding.

This type of therapy is often used in a trauma treatment center because it helps trauma survivors learn the following:

  • Coping skills
  • How to process trauma memories
  • Healthier ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on helping trauma survivors identify and change negative thought patterns. It helps them see the behaviors and beliefs that can interfere with the trauma recovery process.

Through CBT, trauma survivors learn to recognize false or distorted perceptions of themselves. They also develop a better understanding of their environment and the world to gain a more balanced outlook.

A Deeper Look at CBT

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a trauma-focused therapy that combines talk therapy with bilateral stimulation, such as eye movement exercises. This type of trauma treatment helps trauma survivors reprocess memories of traumatic events in a safe, controlled environment.

The theory behind EMDR is that bilateral stimulation helps the brain process the traumatic memory more adaptively, allowing the patient to integrate the experience into their life in a healthier way. This can result in a decrease in the intensity of symptoms associated with the traumatic event, such as anxiety, depression, and flashbacks.

Somatic Experiencing

Somatic experiencing focuses on developing an awareness of the body’s reactions to trauma. This type of trauma treatment uses techniques to help survivors recognize physical responses to trauma triggers and how to manage them effectively.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT is a form of psychotherapy that helps trauma survivors develop healthier behaviors and emotions. This trauma treatment helps survivors with the following:

  • Identify and manage difficult emotions
  • Learn better communication skills
  • Cope with trauma triggers
  • Develop healthier relationships

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

Animal-Assisted Therapy

Animal-assisted therapy is a trauma treatment that uses animals to help survivors. Working with animals can help gain insight into trauma reactions and improve interpersonal skills. It also helps trauma survivors feel more relaxed, connected to nature, and capable of dealing with trauma-related issues.

Art Therapy

Art therapy uses art for trauma survivors to express themselves. They creatively and safely explore their trauma-related thoughts and feelings.

By choosing the right trauma treatment center, patients can find the specific type of trauma treatment that best meets their needs and helps them heal.

Considerations When Choosing a Trauma Treatment Center

Choosing a trauma treatment center can be overwhelming, especially if you are unfamiliar with the trauma-informed care approach.
It’s essential to do research and take the time to consider all the details of a trauma treatment center. This way, you will find one that best suits your individual needs. Here are some key considerations when choosing a trauma treatment center:


Consider geographical convenience. This includes proximity to your residence, workplace, family, and friends. Choosing a trauma treatment center close to you can ease the process and increase convenience.

Trauma-Informed Care Approach

Trauma-informed care recognizes that people who have experienced trauma may have unique needs and responses to care. Centers that follow this approach offer safe, non-judgmental, and respectful environments. They also provide safety planning, consistent communication, and trauma sensitivity.6

Programs and Services

Review the trauma treatment center’s programs and services. This is to ensure they meet your needs. Many trauma centers offer evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and holistic care, such as trauma-sensitive yoga and mindfulness practices.

Professional Staff

Ensure the trauma treatment center employs a professional staff. This staff should be licensed, experienced in treating trauma survivors, and practice ethical standards. Ensure they provide clients with a warm, supportive atmosphere.

Reviews and Feedback

Check for reviews and feedback to see how the trauma treatment center treats its clients. This is a great way to learn about personal experiences and insight into what occurs within the center.


Determine the fees associated with trauma treatment center services. Learn about insurance coverage considerations to know which plans your insurance would cover. You should also discuss payment options with staff if needed.
By utilizing all these considerations, you can better ensure that the trauma treatment center you choose will meet your needs or those of your loved one.

Steps for Choosing an Effective Trauma Treatment Center

After following the considerations above, you are well on your way to finding the best trauma treatment center. Next, follow these steps to choose one:
  1. Research trauma treatment centers in your area.
  2. Ask questions and seek advice from others who have utilized trauma treatment centers.
  3. Compile a list of trauma treatment centers to review in more detail.
  4. Contact the trauma treatment center for additional information.
  5. Evaluate trauma treatments available at each trauma treatment center.
  6. Investigate staff qualifications and experience, as well as cost considerations.
  7. Consider facility/environment characteristics and availability of additional resources.
  8. Verify cost insurance coverage options with the trauma treatment center.
  9. Make a final decision on which trauma treatment center best suits you or your loved one’s needs. 
Trauma treatment center

Is Alternative Options Trauma-Informed?

Alternative Options is a counseling center in Los Angeles and Orange County that offers trauma-informed services to individuals with mental health, substance abuse, and eating disorders. Our team of qualified and compassionate professionals is committed to providing intentional, focused, and effective care.

What Treatment Options Do We Offer at Alternative Options?

At Alternative options, we offer a range of programs, including:

  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP)  
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
  • Outpatient drug program  
  • Art therapy (certified art therapist on staff)
  • Case management
  • Co-ed rehab
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)

What Are Some Recommended Healing Techniques for Trauma?

The healing technique would depend on the individual’s needs and the treatment plan. Some commonly recommended healing techniques we offer for individuals dealing with trauma include:

  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Equine therapy

Contact Alternative Options Today

Alternative Options provides evidence-based services to help clients heal from trauma. Our programs also include therapeutic methods for trauma-related concerns, such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.

We are here to provide a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental environment for clients to work through their challenges and develop new coping skills. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and how we can help you or your loved one live a healthy and positive life.