Perhaps you suspect you’re struggling with your mental health today due to traumatic experiences in your past. However, you’re not sure how to find a therapist who addresses this issue.
For many people, trauma-informed care is the key to healing their mental health. But lots of people dealing with anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions do not know what trauma-informed care is or how they could benefit from it. Furthermore, not all therapists apply the principles of trauma-informed care within their practices, leaving people with unprocessed trauma with lackluster support.
Let’s explore the basics of trauma-informed care and why this approach is essential for many people who seek therapy.
Understanding Client History
In the traditional therapeutic framework, a therapist might start forming a treatment plan for a client based on the question, “What is wrong with you?”
However, in trauma-informed therapy, the question, “What happened to you?” serves as the starting point. Basically, the therapist enters the relationship with the goal of gaining a full picture of the client’s background and life situation.
This paves the way for the healing process. It also ensures that the therapist can design a treatment plan that integrates techniques specifically to heal trauma.
Without a trauma-informed treatment plan, a therapist can risk re-traumatizing a client. Sometimes, clients are not ready to talk about specific incidents in their past in detail yet. Other times, typical talk therapy tactics might leave a client feeling re-traumatized.
In trauma-informed care, a therapist will emphasize how important it is for the client to feel safe during sessions. They will acknowledge that they do not have to delve into their trauma before they’re ready. Furthermore, they will focus primarily on forms of treatment that reduce the risk of re-traumatization.
Transparency in Treatment Plan
Trustworthiness and transparency between the client and therapist are core pillars of trauma-informed care. The therapist will explain their treatment choices and reasoning to the client in extensive detail. This helps to build trust and rapport between the client and therapist.
Many people who have lived through trauma have difficulty trusting others, so transparency throughout the treatment process is an essential aspect of trauma-informed care. People with past trauma will feel more relaxed and confident in the healing process if they know that their therapist is being open and honest with them.
Trauma-informed care means allowing for collaboration within the treatment process. Clients should feel free to speak up about what is and isn’t working for them. Sometimes, therapists might also recommend that clients get involved with peer support groups.
While this is not recommended for every individual in therapy, it can be beneficial to some, especially if struggling with trauma has made them feel lonely or disconnected from those around them. Focusing on collaboration is one way that trauma-informed therapists help their clients build strong relationships after surviving trauma.
Today, professionals in the mental health field are integrating a deeper knowledge of how race, gender, class, and other social realities affect mental health. Trauma-informed care should acknowledge how discrimination based on these traits and others can contribute to lasting trauma.
Essentially, trauma-informed care should be culturally informed care. A trauma-informed therapist will give the client space to talk about how their background and the different prejudices they have faced may have influenced their mental health.
Are you interested in seeking trauma-informed care? Working with the right therapist is key. Reach out to us today to discuss your options for scheduling your first session.