The Key Differences between Trauma Therapy and Regular Therapy

The Key Differences between Trauma Therapy and Regular Therapy

The Key Differences between Trauma Therapy and Regular Therapy

Dealing with trauma is not easy, and it can affect your life in multiple ways, often leading to negative consequences that you wouldn't expect. Trauma therapy is designed to assist individuals in overcoming the damaging effects of traumatic events and move forward with their lives. While regular therapy can also be helpful, there are fundamental differences between the two that you should be aware of. In this blog post, we will explore the key distinctions between trauma therapy and regular therapy so that you can make an informed decision about which type of therapy is best for you.

Focus Area

Regular therapy usually focuses on current issues and concerns, while trauma therapy aims to help individuals overcome trauma-related symptoms and experiences that may have happened in the past. Trauma therapists often use therapy techniques that help people access deep-rooted memories and emotions that they might not even know they have. These techniques work to help release these emotions and memories, leading them to process their trauma better.

Types of Therapy

Regular therapy often employs cognitive-behavioral approaches to help individuals change their negative thought patterns and behavior patterns, while trauma therapy is more likely to use techniques like EMDR therapy, Prolonged Exposure (PE), and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). With these techniques, the trauma therapist works with people to help them confront their trauma and work through it effectively. There are different types of therapy for different types of traumas, so it's essential to work with an experienced therapist who can recommend an approach that best fits your needs and ebables you to heal.

Collaborative and Trust-based Relationship

Both trauma therapy and regular therapy need to create a trusting relationship between the individuals receiving the therapy and their therapists. Trauma therapy emphasizes compassion, patience, and understanding because it can take a lot of time and effort for individuals to heal from their traumas. Trauma therapists must also understand the survivor's needs and work in collaboration with them. In contrast, regular therapy has a goal-oriented approach with short-term therapy goals to achieve one's work/life goals.

Emotional Support

Trauma therapy places significant emphasis on emotional support because trauma can lead to intense feelings of grief, loss, and other emotions that are difficult to manage. Trauma therapists provide the necessary emotional support, which helps individuals navigate their emotional experiences and move forward from them.

Measuring the Progress

Trauma therapy proceeds more slowly to achieve progress as it specifically focuses on the trauma. Professionals regularly measure the progress achieved in terms of trauma reduction/emotional stability and report back to the client and the referring healthcare providers community. In regular therapy, progress is discussed in terms of the client’s goals for enhancing functional areas like relationships, work, personal growth, etc.


In conclusion, trauma therapy and regular therapy are fundamentally different in the focus area, types of therapy used, the relationship between the therapist and the client, emotional support, and the overall goal. If you have experienced a significant injury or event in your life, trauma therapy could be the appropriate intervention for you. However, if you are seeking help with managing everyday stressors or anxiety-related issues, regular therapy can be beneficial. Remember, working with an experienced and trained therapist is critical for your well-being. If you have any questions about trauma counseling in Orlando, FL or would like to schedule a session, contact Orlando Thrive Therapy today.

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Heather Oller

Heather Oller is the owner and founder of Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching, and Counseling. She is a licensed counselor and a family mediator who has over 23 years of dedicated work as a professional in the mental health field. Through her company's mission, she continues to pave the way for future therapists, and their clients, who want a higher quality of life....and who want to thrive, rather than just survive. You can contact Orlando Thrive Therapy at (407) 592-8997 for more information.