Can You Heal Trauma Without Medication?

There are a number of ways to heal your inner trauma without the need for medication. These fall outside the realm of what is known as psychopharmacology. While medicating can relieve the symptoms, it is not known to effectively remove the root causes of a trauma. Often, medical advice suggests that you default to the safest professional advice, which is to ‘stick to the treatment’.

So while a number of practices integrate psychotherapy (talk therapy) with medical therapy, the only way that a person can come fully to a better functioning of self is through a systematic recalibration of the way they think and operate in the world in spite of the trauma.

There are five modes of change that can potentially transform that.

Mode 1: EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a mouthful. But it utilizes eye movement circuitry in a manner that helps you to change without much other intervention. I’ve worked with hundreds of cases of EMDR successfully, and only one case thus far since my certification in EMDR where the treatment did not have significant effect.

Mode 2: Behavior Therapies

There are various kinds of behavior therapies. Some are more cognitive in nature (e.g. cognitive behavior therapy, neurolinguistic therapy), while others are more emotive in nature (e.g. dialectical behavior therapy, hypnotherapy). Whatever the case, these modify your thinking and/or behaviors in order to help you arrive at different ways of putting yourself out there in the world. I’ve used neurolinguistic approaches to therapy for many years now, and they are effective for a large portion of them. However, in many cases, the deeper the trauma, the more likely that it will require long-term care.

Mode 3: Breathing Therapies

There is a special body of trauma release known as breathwork, where you maniputate your rhythm of breathing as well as how deeply and how long you breathe. Breath holding is part of this. I have seen many people experience deep release from such approaches, and find that it does affect my own mental and emotional state from a shift of the breathing alone. I’ve not practiced this on others, but anecdotally, practitioners tell me it works wonders. One of many methods is Wim Hof breathing, part of an eclectic pool of Tummo breathing techniques from the yogic tradition.

Mode 4: Psychodrama

I find it fascinating that we can watch movies and be entertained, knowing that everything is false and scripted. Yet, we don’t frequently use this ability to reimagine our own stories we tell ourselves. A combination of Gestalt therapy and theater yields the effect of a person being able to step into other positions, alternate realities and traverse time and space. This offers new choice possibilities in the experience, often opening up a rigid and fixed perspective on life.

Mode 5: Neurofeedback

Elon Musk was not the first person to devise the brain-computer interface. Biofeedback was generally available way back in the 1980s where machines were used to pick up information from our brains. Denis Waitely, the famous psychologist for the US Olympic team ended up measuring thoughts of athletes performing a task and compared them with those who were just visualizing the task and realized that the same muscle groups and neurons fired regardless of thought or physical act.

At the same time, the discovery of brainwaves led to the idea that when one changes emotional states, brainwaves are altered. To date, scientists have discovered an array of brainwave patterns (EpsilonDelta, Theta, Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Lambda waves) that are affected by visualization, breathing and some forms of psychedelic medication.


Ultimately, whether or not you should really come off medication depends on a combination of the assessment of your physician and what your goal really is. I know a patient who was so frustrated with the effects of her medication that she decided to come off of it, find psychotherapeutic means to make a change and build a more focused life for her future. It took some time and deliberate consultation with her psychiatrist, but it eventually allowed her to pursue her goals and build a more resilient and better life for herself.

Do you have any questions about trauma you wish to share? I’d love to hear from you.

Are you seeking ideas for your corporate training?

If you are interested in this test for your organization’s leadership growth, or any other inquiry, please complete this form and we’ll reach back out to you.

See also  Mindfulness: Incorporating it into Leadership Practices for Success

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top