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Those who struggle with underlying trauma are often unaware of its effects on the mind and body. Facing traumatic experiences in young adulthood can feel overwhelming and alienating. These feelings can manifest in anxiety and depression, substance use disorders, disordered eating habits and other forms of self-harm.

At The Dorm, we are experienced in helping clients overcome symptoms of trauma and PTSD. In fact, our research shows that 70% of new clients who join us have self-reported trauma. Since 2009, we have offered holistic, young adult intensive trauma therapy treatment that helps provide the safety, support and connection necessary to heal and thrive.

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Third-party Validated Outcomes, Evidence-based Care

Intensive Trauma Therapy For Young Adults

Statistically Significant

36% reduction in symptoms of PTSD

Dorm clients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) saw reduction in symptoms including avoidance, amnesia, detachment, and survival/behavioral guilt.

Intensive Trauma Therapy For Young Adults

Statistically Significant

30% reduction in PTSD symptoms related to interpersonal trauma

Research shows that community helps counteract the isolating effects of trauma. Our community model helps clients build trauma-reduction skills through interpersonal connection and support.

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Seeking Safety Groups

Developed by Dr. Lisa Najavits, Seeking Safety is an evidence-based treatment approach designed to help individuals with trauma and substance use disorders. It includes elements of mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy, and focuses on building the necessary coping skills to process trauma.

At The Dorm we host Seeking Safety groups, in addition to individual and family therapy, to support clients overcoming trauma symptoms. The Seeking Safety program involves 25 core topics focused on specific coping skills, including managing triggers, coping with emotions, developing healthy relationships, and self-care. These skills are supported by and developed with each client’s individual therapist and clinical coach.

Our group leaders are skilled clinicians trained to foster a warm, predictable, non judgemental and empathic space for clients who have experienced trauma and PTSD. Clients learn about different types of trauma including developmental and childhood stress as well as other negative peer-based experiences.

Individual Therapy

Trauma impacts 70% of our new incoming clients, and our clinicians understand the importance of trauma-informed care. They offer the clinical expertise, team collaboration, and training in specific modalities that are proven to relieve trauma symptoms. Each of our therapists and clinical coaches are well qualified to approach clients seeking trauma care with expertise, non-judgement, and a completely individualized approach. Clients have the option to also continue working with their existing therapist if desired, in collaboration with their team at The Dorm.

When it comes to specific trauma care modalities, our clinicians and health & wellness practitioners have been trained in one or more of the following methods Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Seeking Safety, Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Somatic Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Yoga, Reiki, and Functional Movement Training. Our focused individual therapy goes through the eight phases of treatment, beginning with skills-based behavior therapies, and enables clients to incorporate lifelong skills to handle emotional distress and trauma triggers.

At The Dorm we understand the complexity and nuances of trauma and co-occurring mental health disorders. Our individualized, intensive trauma therapy program is customized to combine individual therapy, group therapy, health and wellness services, case management and family involvement so that clients can bridge the safety they feel within our community into their greater community.

Each client’s clinical team remains in close contact with eachother, the client’s family, and their outside care providers. If a client already has a trusted therapist, they encouraged to keep working with them in collaboration with their Dorm team. We are proud to offer a completely individualized and integrated experience designed for each client's needs.

A supportive peer community eases the isolation of trauma symptoms, provides a sense of safety and offers the validation necessary to the therapeutic process. At The Dorm, all of our group therapy sessions center around The Clubhouse, a dynamic community hub to hang out and socialize between sessions, with supported access to twelve-step programs. Additionally, with locations in New York City and Washington, DC, young adults at The Dorm can gain the tools they need to succeed within the cities they call home.

In mental health we define trauma as acute or chronic emotional distress that ends up negatively impacting your thoughts, behavior, relationships, and quality of life. Trauma is generally grouped into different categories, chronic, acute, or complex, and often goes hand in hand with other mental health disorders. Chronic trauma would include ongoing emotionally distressing events such as racism, domestic violence, or bullying. Acute traumas may include sudden and intense events such as the loss of a loved one, an accident, wartime experience, or natural disaster. Symptoms of acute or chronic trauma can also be a complex part of an individual’s inability to cope with life on life’s terms.

Events that can lead to trauma symptoms or PTSD may include:

  • Physical or sexual assault

  • Homophobia, transphobia, or microaggressions related to gender and sexuality

  • Racist events or microaggressions

  • Psychotic episodes due to neurological disorders or substance use disorders

  • Childhood or domestic abuse

  • Serious health problems, including a history of being admitted to intensive care

  • Overdose or hospitalization from substance use disorders

  • Sudden loss of a parent, child, spouse, sibling, or loved one

  • War or societal conflict

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or trauma will look different for everyone, but here are some common symptoms that may arise before seeking care:

  • Specific and recurring thoughts, nightmares, or flashbacks that are interfering with daily life and functioning

  • No longer engaging in activities you once liked (especially after a life-altering event)

  • Experiencing dissociation, or the feeling of “watching yourself” from a distance

  • Experiencing sudden unexplained panic or emotional distress

  • Feeling triggered or activated by certain people, places or situations, but you can't explain why

Seeking care for intensive trauma therapy is a big decision, but if you’ve identified that you could benefit from trauma therapy it’s a worthwhile endeavor that will lead to better mental health outcomes in the long run. If you’ve been considering embarking on intensive therapy for a while now, or have a strong desire to move beyond the emotional distress and distraction of a traumatic event, you know your mind is starting to open up to trauma therapy. Also, if you’ve tried several other modes of therapy and don’t seem to be recovering, it’s a good indication that a more holistic focus on your trauma symptoms would be a helpful step to take.

PTSD and managing symptoms of trauma can be extremely isolating, because we instinctively turn inward and become self-protective after a traumatic event. However, the path to healing often involves reconnecting with others, including community, friends, and family. At The Dorm, we offer comprehensive, wrap-around services to approach trauma from every angle, including:

  • Group Therapy

  • Family Therapy

  • Community Integration

  • Social Groups and Activities

  • Volunteering, Activism, and Job Support

Before beginning intensive trauma therapy it’s important to have a desire to heal, community support, and several coping skills in your “toolkit.” Intensive trauma therapy can be an intense experience because you’re revisiting and processing past experiences with the guidance of a licensed professional. While this can be cathartic, and lead to future joy and fulfillment, it’s not always easy when difficult emotions arise. During this process it’s important to understand productive ways to deal with pain, including connecting with others, grounding yourself in the present moment, reconnecting with the body, and maintaining sobriety from alcohol, drugs, or other self-numbing behaviors. At The Dorm, we work with clients everyday to guide them through this process with the support and community they need to succeed.

Learn more about this topic from licensed clinician Alexa Connors, in our featured blog post “Am I Ready for Intensive Trauma Therapy?

Intensive outpatient trauma therapy begins with a positive connection with a licensed therapist, clinical coach, family counselor, and/or group therapy network. Before beginning any “process” work, it’s imperative that you build coping skills that will help you handle whatever emotions or impulses therapy might unearth. Evidence-based behavioral therapies including Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) or Somatic Therapy are popular for clients who are in the early stages of intensive trauma therapy.

Establishing a comfortable routine of lifelong health and wellness practices is an essential component of healing from trauma, and overcoming PTSD, but it isn’t always easy! While a huge part of trauma therapy takes place in the therapist’s office or group rooms, connecting or reconnecting with your body, nutrition, and spiritual practices are often essential components of recovery. Studies have shown that yoga, meditation, mindfulness exercises, and functional movement activities improve symptoms of trauma and PTSD.

Maintaining sobriety from non-prescription drugs and alcohol is important to the therapeutic process when it comes to intensive trauma therapy. This is because your brain will be going through a critical period of learning, healing, and readjustment. Multiple studies have shown that healing happens more efficiently and is more long-lasting when your brain and body have the chance to thrive during treatment.

At The Dorm, we support clients with a built-in network of sober community members. Additionally, we support young adults in attending twelve step programs of their choice, with weekly AA meetings both on and offsite.

Interpersonal relationships are not only a huge component of mental health, but also very important to overcoming the isolation of trauma and PTSD. As a research institution, our third-party validated studies have shown a correlation between a community model and recovery from symptoms of PTSD.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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