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Trauma-Informed Care and Addiction Treatment

Integrated, trauma-informed care that helps clients heal.

Specialized Treatment for Trauma

Many people who seek treatment at Makana Path also experience side effects related to trauma and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s common for people who have been through traumatic or violent experiences to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as self-medication with drugs or alcohol, to deal with negative feelings.

At Makana Path, we seek to help our clients safely reprocess trauma and regain control over their lives through insightful trauma-informed care that addresses the physical, emotional and sexual trauma that can lead to addiction.


Care for those suffering from mental trauma focuses on how every aspect of a client’s recovery is important. All staff members on a trauma victim’s recovery team must be in the mindset to validate their feelings with an individualized approach. This means gently uncovering each client’s respective trauma to heal its wounds.

This type of treatment focuses on: 

  • Ensuring that clients can safely identify trauma without further harm 
  • Recognizing the widespread impact of trauma and its distinct paths to recovery
  • Helping everyone connected to the trauma victim recognize and uncover hidden trauma (including family and staff)
  • Implementing organizational rules and procedures should reflect a trauma-informed perspective

Recover With Us


Trauma’s grip can feel unrelenting, but healing is possible, and it starts at Makana Path. Our team of medical and clinical experts can help you safely confront the trauma that contributed to your substance use and detox as you begin your recovery journey. Call 1-866-905-4550 to speak with a Makana Path Admissions Counselor.



PTSD and addiction treatment are only effective when both the client and their treatment team feel safe. Makana Path provides a safe environment for clients to explore the root of their addiction. 

Trustworthiness and Transparency

An addiction treatment specialist must make sure the client feels comfortable and understands trauma-informed goals. Transparent decisions will help both parties build up trust in each other. 

Peer Support

Peer support is one of the most important principles of therapy for those suffering from addiction and trauma. Being in a group of individuals struggling with the same mental health issues can make recovering less lonely. Plus, it can inspire peer support group members to stay sober together. 

Collaboration and Mutuality

Opening up to strangers can feel uncomfortable especially when it involves some of the darkest parts of a person’s life. The principle of collaboration and mutuality states that staff should make sure that clients always feel like they have a choice in the treatment process. Addiction and trauma therapists will never push a client’s boundaries as a result. 

Empowerment, Voice, and Choice

Staff at an addiction treatment center always empower clients with PTSD to overcome whatever obstacles they face during recovery. Peer support is important, but the caring team at Makana Path provides an extra source of strength as clients choose sobriety every day. 

Cultural, Historical, and Gender Issues

Treatment for substance use disorder and trauma doesn’t look the same for each client. Addressing any cultural, historical, or gender issues that led to a traumatic experience is part of our personalized plans at Makana Path.


Trauma-informed therapy is important because it allows individuals to resolve any emotional wounds from trauma in the long term. Trauma is any experience or event that causes physical or psychological overwhelm. The severity of such experiences varies, ranging from divorce, to death, to war. Just witnessing such an event can lead to trauma.

Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will develop PTSD. However, when a person suffers trauma and isn’t able to fully process the traumatic event, the body continues to respond as if it’s under threat, which causes PTSD and other symptoms, including aggression, anxiety and hypervigilance.

Benefits Of Trauma And Addiction Treatment

Trauma-informed addiction treatment approaches both mental illnesses at the same time. This is called dual diagnosis treatment or treatment for co-occurring disorders. By focusing on how one affects the other, medical professionals and clinical staff can make sure both are treated correctly. 

Other benefits of trauma and addiction treatment include: 

  • Peer support groups that have a common, specific cause 
  • Staff that can help individuals identify what experiences led to addiction 
  • Provide a gentle, nurturing environment that validates the struggle of addiction 
  • Accurate treatment that helps during and after recovery


1. Impersonal Trauma 

As the name suggests, this kind of trauma occurs at random in the sense that it could happen to anyone and isn’t inflicted by a particular person, although it may have a natural or human origin. Examples include chronic illness, disability, accidents and natural disasters.

Individuals living amidst a war may experience impersonal trauma (among other types). One study by the journal, World Psychiatry, found that depression and PTSD occurs in one-third of individuals after a traumatic war experience. That doesn’t mean that they necessarily fought in the war just that they lived through one. 

2. Interpersonal Trauma

Interpersonal trauma is intentionally committed by other people and includes all forms of victimization, such as violence, neglect, abuse and assault. It’s different from impersonal trauma because the victim is singled out. 

Specific examples of interpersonal trauma can stem from stalking, an abusive romantic relationship, and sexual assault. The root of trauma in this case can typically be traced back to a particular abuser or group of abusers. 

3. Identity Trauma

Minority groups experience trauma in a different kind of way. Trauma may be particularly tied to what makes them who they are in contrast to people who belong to privileged identity groups.

 Identity trauma is trauma that relates to a person’s characteristics, such as sexual identity or orientation, gender, race and ethnicity. Minorities disproportionately become victims of trauma due to their social identities. Racism and sexism can shape how a minority group experiences the world. Comprehensive trauma treatment validates that each social identity impacts the healing process and is valid. 

4. Community Trauma 

Community trauma occurs due to belonging to a certain group, such as family, tribe or a group with certain political or religious beliefs. Identity and community trauma can overlap. However, community trauma is likely to be inflicted in the same ways in a localized group that may be unrelated to a victim’s social identity. 

5. Complex Trauma 

Complex trauma is prolonged, repetitive trauma that can be chronic, such as child abuse. To clarify, trauma can happen because of a single experience. Complex trauma, though, is composed of multiple instances at the root of a victim’s mental illness. 

Unfortunately, its complexity can mean that it’s harder to treat. A more aggressive, longer program may help certain individuals effectively recover with less of a chance of a mental illness relapse.


People with post-traumatic stress disorder are more likely to develop an addiction in comparison to most. In part, this is because individuals try to mask the emotional pain that they feel through substance abuse. Addiction and PTSD are mental health disorders. PTSD can cause: 

  • increased amygdala function (which elevates fear and stress levels)
  • decreased long-term memory and ability to make decisions
  • smaller hippocampus in terms of volume (issues with emotional responses)
  • increased cortisol and norepinephrine responses to stress

Similarly, substance use disorders affect brain chemistry in similar, negative ways. When a person takes drugs illicitly without any control it alters his or her brain chemistry with time.

The content change of hormones causes the brain to become used to it. In turn, the brain alters the amount of chemicals it would typically produce in an attempt to maintain normalcy. Those in need of trauma and addiction treatment may have severe withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using drugs and alcohol. This often stops people from getting the help they need. 


Makana Path clients engage in a range of clinical therapies that help them confront the underlying issues that contribute to addiction. Our highly specialized trauma therapies help clients understand and safely reprocess trauma. Trauma-informed therapies include:

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

CPT is a specific type of cognitive behavioral therapy that teaches clients how to challenge and change the unhelpful beliefs they acquired due to trauma. It’s incredibly useful in reducing symptoms of PTSD.


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) seeks to eradicate the negative emotions associated with memories of traumatic events. It’s a nontraditional type of treatment, as it doesn’t require the client to explain the trauma. Instead, a therapist uses a hand motion technique that mimics hypnosis, rewiring the brain to help the client swap negative self-talk and defeating thought patterns for more positive behaviors.

Life Story Therapy

In this type of therapy, the client acknowledges their past, present and future by writing about their history of substance use and the impact it’s had so they can begin healing. Life stories are also shared in a group setting, which opens the door for fellowship and support.


Psychodrama utilizes role play and dramatic expression to create awareness of traumatic, emotionally challenging experiences. This type of therapy helps clients re-frame traumatic events from a new perspective, re-telling the story in a way that helps them gain insight into the situation and have more compassion for themselves and those who were involved.

Somatic Experiencing

Another alternative form of therapy, somatic experiencing relieves symptoms of trauma by focusing on the client’s body sensations, known in this instance as somatic experiences. A therapist exposes the client to small amounts of trauma and records their ensuing physical responses, i.e., increased heart rate, changes in body language and dizziness. Somatic experiencing allows the client to safely experience trauma-related sensations, helping them fully process the trauma.

Trauma Egg Exercises

In this written exercise, the client recounts the traumatic, painful events that have occurred throughout their lifetime. It helps clients identify the false beliefs that grew from the trauma, as well as understand what they need emotionally and how they can fulfill those needs safely and healthily.


Getting help is one of the most difficult steps to take to heal the wounds of trauma and addiction. Makana Path can offer you or a loved one the chance to recover from both permanently. 

Recovery is a difficult road to navigate, but our trauma and addiction treatment in Austin, Texas guides clients from start to finish. Our medical detox flushes any toxins or traces of addictive, mind-altering substances. Clients have the option to pick from multiple programs to build the skills they need to overcome addiction and mental illness. Contact us now to learn more.