Trauma and Addiction

I have been working in the field of Mental Health and Addictions since 1990. My specialty has always been working with trauma. I have developed a treatment approach called Resolution Focused Therapy© (RFT©) which addresses trauma and its resolution and have treated both children and adults. Although resolving past trauma can sometimes take months to years to address and resolve, I have learned that very few victims of past trauma know where to begin the healing process. That’s where the Treehouse differs from other rehab facilities. I have integrated much of my trauma beliefs into the foundation of the Treehouse’s Mind, Body and Spirit philosophy.

Clients suffering from addictions that may relate to past unresolved trauma will learn how to begin their journey through the maze of obstacles we call symptoms and know how to begin grounding themselves in a healthier way other than drugs and alcohol. At the Treehouse we understand that the many symptoms our clients experience come from the unresolved pain caused by a past traumatic or life event. Whether that trauma or life event was due to past Abuse, Death, War, Divorce/Separation, Family, Jail, Accident, Victim, etc., or as a professional “First Responder” or “Medical Staff”, you will begin to learn how to connect to a healthier way of grounding yourselves when experiencing symptoms.

At the Treehouse we recognize many symptoms you suffer from, such as Flashbacks, Nightmares, Obsessive Thinking, Isolation, Anxiety, Depression, Anger/Rage, Suicidal Thoughts, Panic Attacks, etc., may be the results of an unresolved trauma or life event. Although resolving trauma, for the most part, takes more time than the 30, 60 or 90 days you are at the recovery facility, you will begin to understand and apply healthier grounding techniques to get you through these painful times. You will learn how unhealthy grounds such as Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling, Promiscuous Behaviors, Violence, Eating Problems, Lying, Stealing and Suicidal Acts, etc. are the behaviors you use to deal with the symptoms. Often times many mental health and medical professionals are misled and begin “Chasing Symptoms” instead of teaching you how to apply healthier grounds such as Addiction Meetings, Exercise, Yoga, Sports, Art, Animals, Writing, Journaling, Spiritual, Meditation, etc., when you start experiencing these symptoms. At the Treehouse we take pride in teaching healthier grounding techniques and in understanding the cycle of “symptoms to using” when in distress.

As I previously stated, resolving trauma is a process that takes time to adopt. While at the Treehouse, clients with past unresolved trauma, will be encouraged to not only stay grounded to recovery meetings, but to also locate a trauma therapist or trauma mental health group to continue their work toward trauma resolution after discharge. Just working the recovery process is not enough to keep you from the temptations to use again when feeling distressed or in pain.

Upon admission to the Treehouse, clients who disclose a past traumatic event, will have the opportunity to select groups that will be more specific to their needs and learn the basics to understanding the very real relationship between their pasts and their current addictions. They will begin to understand how feelings and emotions such as “Guilt” and “Shame” have held them captive for so long and have stopped them from resolving their traumas. You will also learn how your “Belief Systems” have also interfered or stopped you from healing. You will learn to stop torturing yourself with the “Should’ve”, Could’ve”, and Would’ves, that keep us spinning in an endless tunnel which too often ends with using and relapsing.

The first step in dealing with your past is understanding how events from days to decades ago deeply impact not only your current addictions but also your current life situations and your mental health. At the Treehouse you begin that journey of understanding and beginning a new journey towards “inner peace” and resolution of the trauma. Take the first step.

Vinnie Strumolo, CEO, LMFT