Trauma in Adults

An estimated 70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetime, and 20 percent of these people go on to develop full-blown Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In addition, many people who have not experienced a life-threatening event experience lasting distress related to “traumatic invalidation,” including re-experiencing of distressing events, avoiding reminders of traumatic memories, and negative self-talk related to the experiences. Individuals who are experiencing post-traumatic responses are at higher risk for substance abuse, self-injury, suicidal ideation, and relationship difficulties. The good news is that most people benefit greatly from appropriate mental health treatment, and go on to report fully re-engaging in their lives.

Evidence-based treatment of trauma responses involve careful assessment, followed by psychoeducation and a specific trauma protocol, such Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE). For individuals who also experience high-risk urges and behaviors, DBT-Informed Prolonged Exposure Therapy (DBT-PE) is the first evidence-based treatment deemed both safe and effective.