What Are Trauma Treatment Goals?

Trauma can manifest in many ways, and can negatively impact well-being. Those who experience trauma can benefit from establishing trauma treatment goals.

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Understanding Trauma

Trauma is a psychological and emotional response to a distressing or life-threatening event. Trauma can have significant impacts on a person’s mental health and well-being, and it can manifest in a variety of ways. Setting trauma treatment goals is crucial for individuals to recover from trauma and cope with its effects on their lives.

To understand trauma, it’s important to know what it means and how it can affect someone’s life and growth. Trauma is an experience or event perceived as threatening, dangerous, or life-altering. Trauma can be caused by a single incident or a series of events. Traumatic experiences can include things like being attacked physically or sexually, going through a natural disaster, getting into an accident, or being a witness to violence.1
trauma treatment goals

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Risk Factors of Trauma

While anyone can experience trauma, some risk factors increase the likelihood of developing it. Some things that can make someone more likely to go through trauma are being mistreated or ignored, being in a life-threatening situation, having a family member with mental health issues, and not having enough resources or people to help you.2

Manifestation of Trauma

The effects of trauma on a person’s mental and physical health can vary and may present themselves in many ways. Some common signs of trauma include feeling overly anxious or sad, having nightmares, using drugs or alcohol to cope, and experiencing physical symptoms like headaches or stomach aches.
Trauma can also affect a person’s ability to trust others, form healthy relationships, and regulate emotions. Developing trauma treatment goals can make all the difference in working through any symptoms you may be experiencing due to a traumatic event.

Influence on Life and Development

The influence of trauma on an individual’s life can affect how a person views themselves, others, and the world around them. It can also influence how a person copes with stress and other risk factors. Trauma can affect a person’s ability to function in school, work, or social settings.

Additionally, unresolved trauma can increase the risk of developing mental health disorders, substance abuse problems, and other physical health issues. This can lead to co-occurring disorders.

Trauma-Informed Care

Trauma-informed care is an approach that recognizes the impact of trauma on an individual’s well-being and promotes a safe and supportive environment for healing. Utilizing trauma-informed care can be one of your trauma treatment goals that help you work through any symptoms.
Trauma-informed care often involves:
  • Understanding the prevalence and effects of trauma
  • Recognizing the signs and symptoms of trauma
  • Creating a culture of safety, trust, and empowerment

Trauma Treatment Goals of Trauma-Informed Care

Some of the fundamental principles of trauma-informed care include:
  • Safety: Trauma-informed care emphasizes the importance of creating a safe and supportive environment for individuals who have experienced trauma. It includes physical security, emotional safety, and psychological safety.
  • Trustworthiness: Trauma-informed care also emphasizes that doctors or counselors build trust with patients by being open and honest. They can do this by setting clear rules, being dependable, and understanding how trauma can affect someone’s thoughts and actions. 
  • Empowerment: Trauma-informed care promotes individual strengths and resilience rather than focusing solely on deficits or pathology. It involves providing individuals with choice, control, and opportunities for self-determination.
  • Collaboration: When doctors or counselors give trauma-informed care, they make plans specific to each person’s needs and wishes. This kind of care involves working with patients and their families, ensuring everyone is on the same page, and letting patients have a say in their care.

Trauma Treatment Goals and Opportunities

Trauma treatment goals and opportunities are ways to help someone heal from their traumatic experiences. Different treatments can work better for different people, depending on how severe the trauma was and what kind of help will work best for their needs.
Different therapies will help individuals to set and achieve trauma treatment goals. These can include:3

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

This therapy helps trauma victims recover by teaching individuals skills on how to help cope with trauma, reduce any symptoms, and improve control over emotions.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

This therapy works by using eye movements or a special kind of repetitive touching on both sides of the body to help the person’s brain process the bad memory in a healthier way. This type of treatment can help individuals work through the traumatic event while creating healthy coping skills as well.

Group Therapy

Group therapy lets people share comparable experiences in a safe and loving setting. It can help people feel supported by others in similar situations. This therapy reduces isolation and promotes healing.


Medication can treat trauma-related mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and others. However, medication alone is not typically considered a primary treatment for trauma, so it is often used in conjunction with other therapy techniques.

Mindfulness-Based Interventions

Mindfulness-based interventions involve cultivating awareness of the present moment without judgment. These interventions can help individuals regulate emotions, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.

Art Therapy

Art therapy uses creative expression as a tool for healing. It can help individuals explore and process traumatic experiences in a nonverbal way.

Self-Help Trauma Treatment Goals

Self-help trauma treatment goals are a set of achievable objectives that individuals can work towards to support their recovery from trauma and live a healthier life. These goals can include personalized to suit an individual’s needs, preferences, and experiences. While professional help is crucial in treating trauma, self-help goals can significantly facilitate healing and build resilience.

Examples of Personal Trauma Treatment Goals

Here are some examples of self-help trauma treatment goals:4
  • Acknowledge the need for help: Acknowledging the impact of trauma on your life and accepting that it is okay to ask for help can help you take control of your healing journey.
  • Seek a therapist or support group: A therapist or support group can provide a safe area to discuss your emotions. 
  • Engage in physical activities: Physical activities such as yoga, running, or hiking can help reduce stress and improve mood. Exercise releases endorphins, which can help improve overall mental health.
  • Develop healthy coping strategies: Journaling, mindfulness, and breathing exercises can help people cope with trauma reminders.
  • Prioritize sleep: Making sure you get enough sleep and sticking to a regular sleep schedule can make you feel happier, less stressed, and overall healthier.
It is important to remember that wellness is not a privilege, but is a right, and that self-care isn’t a luxury – it’s a necessity. Setting trauma treatment goals is a pivotal first step toward improved wellness and fulfillment.
trauma treatment goals

How Alternative Options Can Help

Our supportive and compassionate team at Alternative Options has many helpful ways to treat trauma or any trauma-related symptoms. With evidence-based therapies, group sessions, and self-care, individuals can work towards achieving their trauma treatment goals in a safe, supportive, and collaborative environment.
Alternative Options can help you or your loved one create a personalized treatment plan that will help you work through trauma and create trauma treatment goals for how to cope with any potential risk factors in the future. We will work with you every step of the way to make sure that you get the care and help you or a loved one need to be able to live a happy and healthy life.

Reach Out and Begin Healing Today

We can also assist those who are struggling with other mental health or substance use disorders. Reach out to Alternative Options today to take the first step in your healing journey.