Finding the right trauma therapist takes time and patience.
It also takes an understanding of the differences between a trauma therapist and a general therapist.
In order to find a good trauma therapist you need a foundational understanding of what to look for.
In this article, I discuss what to look for.Trauma therapy is my specialty. It has taken me years to fully understand (and I’m still learning!) the foundation of trauma therapy vs general therapy. Most psychotherapists market themselves to a general public and not a specialized group of people.
Part of this is political and financial as many psychotherapists would miss out on seeing clients/patients if they specialized. Geographic location also has an impact because psychotherapists are more likely to specialize in cities than in rural or suburban areas.
Knowing what to look for is important just as knowing what your needs are is important.
If you are looking for a trauma therapist here are things you’d want to look for:
- Certification: Trauma certification is important because it proves that they have gone through the needed training and experiences to treat you properly. Without certification the individual may not quite understand the theories and techniques that are deemed “trauma-informed.”
- A provider that is experienced and mature: You need a provider who has experience in treating needs such as yours. While recent graduate students bring creativity and freshness to the table, I suggest choosing your provider wisely and understanding their years of experience.
- A provider who is grounded in therapy and knowledge: Theory helps providers understand your situation and do what is known as “case conceptualization.” If I don’t have a theoretical basis how can I help you figure out how to move from point A to point B?
- Structure and comprehensiveness: Scheduling sessions and following a treatment course using worksheets, homework, etc. can be very helpful to trauma clients/patients. Worksheets can be incorporated as needed to help you learn new ways of thinking.
- A humble provider who seeks what they don’t know: You want a provider who can give you knowledge and proper care but who also has the humility of reaching out for consultation and other treatment for the client/patient.
- A provider who has a comprehensive assessment process: A provider who knows how to administer assessments, tests, and do a thorough treatment process for you.
- A provider who can hold you accountable: Holding you accountable means pushing you when you don’t want to be pushed. Holding you accountable means challenging you to face your fears. Having a provider like this can result in great gains in your overall care.
Do you have a trauma therapist? If so, what do they do that seems to work for you?
As always, I wish you well