- Relieving shame – This is particularly true when the trauma was verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Shame is one of the lasting effects of interpersonal trauma that a person can carry for a lifetime. They may feel an intense and destructive feeling of self-disgust or self-worth. Participating in a group setting with fellow survivors can provide a powerful antidote to shame. Knowing other people feel the same way, and allowing those feelings to the surface is very empowering.
- Promoting mastery – Individuals who have experienced trauma feel a sense of helplessness and loss of control over their lives. When the trauma is on-going or repeated, it can lead to a sense of powerlessness. The goal of therapy is to reclaim that power and refuse to let the trauma victimize you.
- Providing a future orientation – a deep-seated effect of psychological trauma is a foreshortened sense of the future. Survivors are typically stuck in the past and may feel hopeless to change. The act of planning and executing a goal is very empowering in fostering a new mindsight that includes hope and determination.
- Integration of past and present and memory and affect – Within this treatment modality, it allows for the person to bring out the traumatic memories and associated reactions in a safe environment that allows for self-reflection and the expression of emotions. Memory and affect are joined, and the past is remembered with feeling, along with any bodily states that first accompanied those events. Memories are then interwoven with new feelings born of remembrance and reflection on the past.
Following a successful trauma therapy program, individuals can move forward with their life, knowing they are in full control of their emotions and no longer feel victimized.