Childhood and Adult Trauma

Get information on our childhood and adult trauma including effects, symptoms, and treatment.


Living with Trauma

Surviving Trauma, especially in childhood or even adulthood, often leaves lasting impacts on mental health and emotional well-being. Traumatic experiences create feelings of ongoing fear, loss, and violation that can change brain wiring, relationships, and coping mechanisms over time. Survivors frequently struggle with symptoms like flashbacks, sleep disturbances, risky behaviors, and chronic health problems. Reactions can be triggered unexpectedly by situations far removed from the original Trauma, leading to confusion and exhaustion. Childhood trauma also shapes personal identity and sense of safety in profoundly negative ways that permeate adult decisions and attachments. Cycles become established whereby Trauma breeds additional struggles and mental health issues. Though the strength of the human spirit should never be underestimated, moving toward recovery typically requires professional support. Our clinicians offer research-backed modalities that help patients develop self-compassion, process complex emotions safely, and rewrite narrative identity scripts along a healthier life trajectory.

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Understanding Trauma

Diagnosing Traumatic stress conditions requires structured clinical interviews assessing event exposure history plus ensuing emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and physical disturbances. Providers identify Trauma types and key details to gauge subjective severity while ruling out pre-existing issues versus precipitated conditions. They delineate symptom profiles across PTSD criteria like flashbacks, avoidance, hypervigilance, dissociation, and mood changes to measure persistence, frequency, and level of disruption. Co-occurring major depression, panic disorders, substance abuse, and somatic complaints may surface as well. 3

Standardized checklists and questionnaires help score fear, anxiety, guilt, and dysfunction ratings across life domains. Final determinations incorporate event details, Trauma reminders, cultural factors affecting expression, co-morbidities, and coping deficits. Accurate diagnosis facilitates Trauma-focused therapies plus pharmacology interventions if warranted to alleviate suffering and restore functioning for survivors.

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Signs and Symptoms of Trauma

Emotional and Psychological Reactions

Common emotional and psychological reactions to Trauma include feelings of fear, anger, guilt, and shame. It's important to recognize these reactions as part of the healing process.

Physical Symptoms

Trauma can manifest physically, with symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, aches, and pains. Attending to physical health is a key component of Trauma recovery.

Behavioral Changes

Changes in behavior, such as avoidance of certain places or people, increased irritability, or changes in eating and sleeping patterns, are common in those who have experienced Trauma. Understanding and addressing these behaviors are essential in the healing journey.

trauma residential treatment in arizona

Arizona Residential Treatment for Trauma

At Cornerstone Healing Center, our Trauma-informed residential programs in Arizona integrate clinical and holistic modalities for lasting mind-body wellness.  Our diverse wellness activities complement traditional counseling and nourish pathways to joy and purpose. Located in Scottsdale and Phoenix, we have become a family, guiding each other toward the light again. Whether your Trauma occurred in adulthood, childhood, or persistently through ongoing events, Cornerstone’s residential setting offers refuge to process safely while you learn to manage lingering hypervigilance and regulation issues. With our compassionate support, you build the resilience needed to thrive again.

Treatment Methods for Trauma

Individual Therapy, is crucial in treating Trauma. It helps individuals process their experiences, develop coping strategies, and work towards healing.
group therapy and processing for trauma
Support groups for Trauma survivors can offer a sense of community and understanding, helping individuals feel less isolated in their experiences.
Holistic approaches like meditation, mindfulness, and art therapy, which can complement traditional treatments and assist in managing the emotional and psychological aspects of Trauma.


lionel estrada LISAC headshot clinical director scottsdale

Lionel Estrada, LISAC


Lionel, a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC) with over 4 years at Cornerstone, specializes in addiction and mental health. Trained in EMDR therapy, he employs a trauma-informed, empathetic approach to address underlying causes of these issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Seeking timely professional assistance is advisable if you are experiencing:

  • Flashbacks, intense emotional or physical reactions when reminded of Trauma
  • Feeling constantly on guard, heightened startle response, sleep issues
  • Acute emotional distress – anxiety, explosive anger, sadness, guilt
  • Avoiding people/places associated with the Traumatic event
  • Intrusive memories or dreams about what occurred
  • Feeling detached, numb or that life has irrevocably changed
  • Worsened functioning with work, relationships, health declining
  • Ongoing symptoms without relief a month or more post Trauma
Getting ahead of post-traumatic stress can help prevent exacerbation and long term issues with early intervention therapies.

Determining the appropriate level of care for Trauma treatment involves assessing:

  • Safety risks like self-harm, substance abuse, suicidality requiring stabilization
  • Severity of symptoms such as flashbacks, panic attacks, dissociation that are unmanaged in outpatient
  • Degree of disruption/impairment in relationships, work/school, self-care, finances
  • Availability of social supports to assist in coping with treatment demands
  • History of treatment compliance and efficacy of current interventions
  • Diagnosed co-morbid conditions like PTSD , addiction, depression that necessitate simultaneous therapies

Higher levels of care like intensive inpatient or residential Trauma programs help contain crises while expediting recovery when outpatient proves ineffective. They combine clinical expertise with secure settings facilitating productive processing to restore functioning. Working closely with your treatment team aids determining the right Trauma recovery pathway.

Still have questions about treatment?

Our admissions specialists are here to explain the process, answer any questions you may have, and ensure you’re getting the help you need to live a healthy life free from addiction.

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