Our Trauma-Focused Approach


Unresolved trauma may be experienced in many capacities and can result from a one-time event or an ongoing series of events. The following are examples of events that can affect the  daily lives of individuals, families, and communities: 

  • Physical abuse or assault
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse or assault
  • Psychological maltreatment
  • Verbal, emotional, or spiritual intrusion
  • Neglect
  • Intentional harm
  • Unintentional injury or accidents
  • Illness
  • Medical malpractice or abuse
  • Collective suffering in a significant community
  • School violence
  • Bullying
  • Natural or man-made disasters
  • Forced displacement
  • War, terrorism, or political violence
  • Military-related suffering or loss
  • Witnessing a traumatic event

“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say ‘My tooth is aching’ than to say ‘My heart is broken’.” –C.S. Lewis (1940, p. 161)

Trauma survivors need varying levels of support, depending on a number of factors related to their unresolved trauma. However, those survivors who have PTSD often experience three distinct symptoms:

  1. Re-experiencing trauma through vivid memory or body sensations (i.e., obsessive recollections, flashbacks, nightmares)
  2. Avoidance (i.e., denial, chemical dependency, addictive behaviors, risky behaviors, etc.)
  3. Hyperarousal (i.e. significant reactions to seemingly innocuous stimuli such as a panic attack when hearing a sudden, loud noise.)

Our Trauma-Focused Approach

In order to recover from trauma, we offer clients trauma-focused therapeutic support to help them process their experiences, discover resources, establish safety in their lives and relationships, and integrate the process of recovery with the appropriate support. When survivors share their stories in our supportive environment, they’ll have the opportunity to face their personal, traumatic experience with others who understand, which helps them cope with their traumatic memories and begin a life of recovery.

We also understand that each treatment plan may be as unique as the person being treated. For more information, check out our various treatment offerings to see what therapies are offered through our programs.

Trauma-Informed vs. Trauma Focused

While, in some cases, it is possible for survivors of traumatic events to move on with their lives without lasting negative effects, many survivors have difficulty managing their responses and may feel stuck. The reason for this can be the result of many factors. There are many treatment programs available that address unresolved trauma through a trauma-informed treatment model, which primarily addresses substance-abuse and/or process addiction. Although the intent for these programs is caring and well-intended, the detriment of the trauma-informed model considers a person’s traumatic experience as a secondary concern.

However, Exhale PTSD Recovery was inspired from a desire to provide advanced treatment to survivors suffering with PTSD through a trauma-focused model. This means we intend to focus on treating the unresolved trauma directly because traumatic experiences are often the driving force beneath most addictions, depression and anxiety disorders, as well as relationship challenges that have emerged from attachment wounds.