Trauma and Substance Abuse Treatment

Mirmont Treatment Center provides specialty programs specifically for trauma that stems from any number of experiences. Identifying root causes is imperative to healing. Ignoring fundamental issues results in a focus on symptom control rather than addressing the actual causes of addiction and relapse.

What is trauma?

Trauma can come from any overwhelming event that leaves a lasting, negative impact on a person's mental, emotional or physical well-being. There are various types of trauma, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual trauma, neglect, loss of a loved one, witnessing violence, natural disasters, medical trauma and identity-based trauma (such as racism or other forms of discrimination). Recognizing and treating trauma is essential, as it can influence the root causes of addiction and relapse if left unaddressed.

Symptoms of trauma can manifest in many forms, including:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Hyperarousal and reactivity
  • Negative beliefs about self, others or the world
  • Flashbacks or nightmares
  • Intrusive images
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
  • Dissociation, avoidance or emotional numbness
  • Difficulty with relationships or emotional stability

How trauma impacts addiction

Trauma and addiction disorders are deeply interconnected. Individuals often turn to alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism to numb the pain of their traumatic experiences. This can lead to a cycle of addiction, where the unresolved trauma fuels the substance abuse, creating a significant barrier to recovery.

Symptoms of addiction may include:

  • Increased tolerance to substances
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Loss of control over substance use
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Continued use despite harmful consequences

Holistic approach to trauma and substance abuse treatment

Our approach to healing trauma includes state-of-the art treatment modalities that are designed specifically to address the underlying trauma that not only coexists with addiction, but often stimulates it.

The psychotherapies and alternative trauma healing methods we offer include:

  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Trauma-Focused Individual Therapy Sessions
  • Trauma-Informed Therapy
  • Trauma-Focused Group Therapy (Phoenix, VIPER and Core)
  • Experiential Therapy and Psychodrama
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) meditation
  • Yoga
  • Qi gong
  • Reiki and therapeutic touch

Trauma and substance abuse treatment patients at Mirmont Treatment Center also benefit from gender-specific groups, groups for co-occurring disorders, and pain management services, along with acupuncture, a daily exercise program, a daily yoga practice and somatic interventions.

Our clinical program further includes psychoeducational lectures about underlying factors of addiction, as well as group psychotherapy and individual therapy sessions led by trauma-sensitive clinicians.

Trauma groups

Phoenix Group

The Phoenix Group sessions are facilitated by expert clinicians with advanced trauma therapy training and certifications. This strength-based group takes its name from the mythical figure of the phoenix, which is a symbol of growth after trauma or loss. These sessions are primarily experiential in nature and emphasize the importance of emotional safety, connection, peer-identification and reparative emotional experiences. Our patients are carefully assessed to determine clinical appropriateness to begin this group.

Our Phoenix Group has been designed and facilitated by Dr. Scott Giacomucci:

  • Doctorate-level therapist
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress (FAAETS)
  • Board-certified psychodrama trainer, educator and practitioner (TEP)
  • Internationally recognized expert in trauma therapy, trauma-informed care, psychodrama and group therapy
  • Trainer regularly providing education on trauma therapy and trauma-informed care to other treatment centers, businesses and universities

The Phoenix Group is composed of twice-weekly group sessions and weekly psychodrama.

VIPER: Substance abuse treatment program for first responders

The Valor with Integrity Program for Emergency Responders (VIPER) is a nationally recognized program that provides a safe, supportive vehicle for recovery while addressing the unique issues of first responders in recovery. The VIPER program participants include police, law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, corrections officers and military veterans.

Core Group: Addressing Childhood Adversity and Trauma

The Core group is a specialty tract focusing on childhood adversity and trauma relating to addiction recovery. This group meets three times each week and aims to create a supportive space for participants to reflect on their family dynamics, relational trauma and engage in inner child work. The Core program creates a path to healing core childhood traumas that allow patients to experience a greater sense of wholeness and emotional well-being.

Related specialties

LGBTQ Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services

We provide LGBTQ substance abuse treatment and mental health services through personalized group and individual counseling services in an affirming, culturally sensitive, competent and informed manner, and in an environment where LGBTQ people feel safe and comfortable sharing and processing their experiences.

Substance Abuse Treatment for Pregnant Women

Mirmont is one of a few treatment centers in the Philadelphia region that has designed a superior clinical program and rehab for pregnant women addicted to alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids and other substances, offering pregnant women suffering from substance use disorder the additional medical oversight necessary for safe, effective care.

Relapse Prevention for Substance Abuse

Preventing relapse is critical to recovery and integral to the work we do at Mirmont, just outside Philadelphia. Helping people stay off drugs and alcohol often requires therapeutic interventions and relapse prevention skills based on deep understanding of what triggers the desire to use drugs or alcohol.

Mirmont Outpatient Services

Mirmont Treatment Center locations offer individualized treatment and rehabilitation care for those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.


Mirmont Treatment Center locations offer individualized treatment and rehabilitation care for those struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

Valor with Integrity Program for Emergency Responders (VIPER)

VIPER is a nationally recognized first responder treatment program for substance abuse and trauma, providing a safe, supportive vehicle for recovery that addresses issues such as PTSD, crime scene trauma, family conflict, and work-related stress. Mindfulness meditation, yoga, EMDR and other holistic therapies are integrated with clinical methods for a whole-person approach to recovery and wellness.

Holistic Pain Management and Addiction Treatment

We provide holistic pain management and addiction treatment, empowering clients to manage their pain without the use of addictive medications during their drug and alcohol treatment and recovery—and for a lifetime. Patients are introduced to self-acupressure, reiki, creative imagery, yoga, aromatherapy, and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).