post traumatic stress disorder solution focused therapy in CA

How Trauma-Informed Care Can Help with Addiction Treatment

Many people struggling with trauma or symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may not realize what they’re experiencing. Trauma occurs in many situations, from one-time events like a car accident to long-term scenarios such as living in an abusive environment. Although it may feel like you cannot escape traumatic memories, trauma therapy makes it possible to move forward.

Counseling is very effective for treating trauma or PTSD. Trauma therapists help patients process their psychological trauma and identify PTSD symptoms. By creating a safe space, (PTSD) therapists make it possible for patients to speak openly about their experiences and understand how it affects them.

Trauma therapy may seem intimidating, as dredging up traumatic memories can be painful and anxiety-inducing, but it can also be freeing. Trauma therapy helps establish healthy techniques to recognize triggers and cope with bad memories, alleviating some of the mental weight so you can live a fuller life.

Holistic Approach to Mental and Physical Health in Santa Cruz, CA

Holistic treatment is designed to meet a person’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs, ensuring they receive well-rounded care to treat trauma, PTSD or addiction. 

There’s a strong link between substance use and trauma. Research shows that exposure to a traumatic event, especially as a child, has been linked to substance use and codependency. 

A substance use disorder can develop when a person turns to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate symptoms associated with a dysregulated biological stress response, which makes individuals more vulnerable to addictive behaviors. 

Trauma can also cause depersonalization, numbness or other mental conditions such as anxiety and depression. Drugs and alcohol change a person’s emotions by producing pleasure and offering a reprieve from intrusive thoughts or other common symptoms of trauma and PTSD. Over time, an individual may increase their consumption to cope with these symptoms, leading to substance dependency. 

The Key Addiction Treatment Center offer support for complex ptsd & addiction in Santa Cruz

Trauma-Induced Addiction

Symptoms can vary depending on the type of trauma experienced. People with trauma or PTSD may experience a wide range of symptoms, such as trouble maintaining relationships, angry outbursts or low self-esteem. Individuals may turn to substances to repress their symptoms instead of healing. 

Collective Traumatic Events

Collective Traumatic Events

Collective trauma is a shared psychological reaction to a major traumatic event. Examples of events that can cause collective trauma or PTSD include wars, pandemics, terrorism, divorce & loss of employment.



More than two-thirds of children report experiencing at least one traumatic event before age 16. Types of childhood trauma can include physical, psychological or sexual abuse, community or school violence & neglect.

Sexual Assault PTSD

Sexual Assault PTSD

Survivors of sexual assault are at an increased risk of developing PTSD. Survivors may experience severe trauma symptoms, including insomnia, nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts & relationship issues.

Traumatic Loss

Traumatic Loss

Traumatic loss can happen anytime and spark a wave of emotions where you may find relief in using substances to release the pain. Traumatizing circumstances include homicide, suicide, natural disasters, accidents & war or terrorist attacks.

Medical Trauma

Medical Trauma

Medical trauma occurs when an individual develops persistent traumatic stress reactions after a serious injury, life-threatening illness or major illness, especially if the threat is long-term or permanent. 

Violent Assault PTSD

Violent Assault PTSD

Survivors of violent crimes may experience PTSD symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety, numbness and avoiding certain situations. Examples of violent assault include robbery, physical assault, prowlers/stalkers & domestic abuse.

Treatment Options for Trauma Therapy in Santa Cruz, CA

  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOP): Trauma and substance use treatment for people who don’t require medical detox or 24-hour supervision.
  • Group therapy: Treatment of multiple clients with one or more therapists at once.

  • Family therapy: Helps families resolve conflicts and improve communication.
  • Holistic: A treatment approach focused on helping a person heal physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

  • Mindfulness: Training the mind to objectively label feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): Helps individuals identify and change negative thoughts affecting mood and behavior. 

  • Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT): Encourages individuals to embrace their thoughts and feelings rather than fighting them.

  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT): Promotes acceptance of people’s lives while helping them change unhelpful behaviors.

Why Co-Occurring Disorders Need Treatment During & After…

A person struggling with both a substance use disorder and a mental health condition is typically diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder. Without proper treatment, an individual may turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate symptoms of an untreated mental illness such as PTSD, depression or anxiety. Instead of treating the symptoms, this can make them worse.

Co-occurring disorders cause a lot of turmoil in a person’s life, making it harder to heal trauma. In Santa Cruz, CA, trauma and addiction treatment can primarily benefit clients and assist with personal growth.

Relapse Prevention

Relapse Prevention

Relapse prevention skills provide a solution-focused approach to addiction recovery by helping clients heal and set goals to get their lives back on track. These skills teach individuals how to identify their internal and external triggers to reduce the risk of relapse. Internal triggers include stress and anger, while external triggers can be people or places. 

Practicing self-care or mindfulness meditation can also prevent relapse. Maintaining a structured daily routine and becoming more self-aware of cravings and triggers are all skills that can help individuals focus on healing instead of succumbing to their addictions. 

Case Management

Case Management

Case management helps individuals access community resources to maintain their behavioral, emotional or medical health. A case manager develops a plan encompassing multiple aspects of a person’s life, such as emotional, physical and occupational, to improve their personal life, family life and relationships with others.

This can help those struggling with co-occurring disorders find balance and purpose without using substances to cope with their trauma or PTSD.

escape recurring memories & find compassion at the key iop

The Key Addiction Treatment Center: Trauma Therapists in Santa Cruz, CA

Living with past trauma or PTSD can be difficult, causing many to turn to drugs or alcohol to suppress negative emotions. The KEY is to address those emotions and learn how to cope with them. If you live in the Santa Cruz, CA, area and are seeking trauma therapy near you, The Key IOP program can help you address the roots of your issues. Call us today and take the first steps toward a healthier lifestyle. 

Asked Questions

Going to therapy is not a sign of weakness. Getting help for serious mental health issues, major life transitions or grief can be beneficial and lead to a healthier, more fulfilling life.

Trauma and recovery involve many phases of processing and accepting what happened. This process looks different for everyone, but recovery is possible with the proper treatment to manage PTSD symptoms.

While medication can also help with PTSD symptoms, talk therapy can help you explore mental health issues to understand better why they affect you in a certain way. This can lead to healthier relationships, coping skills and ways of expressing emotions. 

You can attend as many sessions as you believe necessary. 

Two sessions will be held in Santa Cruz on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. A third session will potentially be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from  9 a.m. to 2 p.m.