What to Look for When Finding a Trauma Therapist

Updated: Jun 13, 2021

"One Size Does Not Fit All" when it comes to mental health therapy!

Every therapist has a distinct set of skills and interests that make them more effective in treating specific mental disorders. To avoid inadequate therapy or re-traumatization it's important to locate a therapist with specific knowledge and skillset within the area of trauma. Trauma Therapy is any evidence-based intervention that addresses the complexity of the emotional, physical and mental consequences of trauma, such as EMDR. A trauma is witnessing or experiencing a life-threatening humiliating or deeply disappointing experience. Trauma occurs when an individual is abruptly faced with a situation in which they are helpless in protecting themselves. Traumas can be.....

  • Car Accident

  • Natural Disaster

  • Rape

  • Assualt

  • Sexual Abuse

  • Physical lAbuse

  • Emotional Abuse

  • Sudden Loss of Relationship

  • War

  • Invasive Surgery

  • Terroist Attack

  • Diagnosis of Terminal Illness

  • Betrayal

  • Domestic Violence


According to SAMHSA (2012) a program, organization, or system that is trauma-informed;
  1. Is aware of the prevalence of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery.

  2. Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved within the system.

  3. Applies insights about trauma by fully integrating knowledge into policies, procedures, and practices.

  4. Seeks to actively reduce potential re-traumatization.

5 Core Values of Trauma Informed Care (T.I.C)
  1. Safety: The therapist's office or organization's environment feels physically and emotionally safe. The staff is compassionate and responsive. The aura is calm and they have done their best to minimize triggering stimuli. For example, the news is not on, displaying graphic scenes or pictures of 9/11 are not posted on the wall.

  2. Trustworthiness: A relationship that allows for honest and open communication. A dependable and consistent therapist.

  3. Choice: Your input into your treatment process and goals is taken seriously. Autonomy is highly promoted. If you believe a different direction is more beneficial for your progress the therapist will openly discuss the option with you.

  4. Collaboration: The therapist is committed to educating you and developing your complete understanding of trauma. No question is left unanswered or dismissed.

  5. Empowerment: The therapist helps you access your innate strengths and capabilities and promotes your personal growth. They help strengthen your resilience by helping you build skills to adapt to future life struggles.

Finding the therapist that works best for you may take several attempts. If your first choice doesn't work out don't get discouraged. The search is worth finding the support you deserve!

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