May 07, 2022
It’s a huge step for people suffering from trauma to seek therapy. Regarding any mental health concerns, someone recognizing they need help and taking the initiative to ask for it is often the most challenging but crucial step. Any kind of therapy alone can be beneficial but not as beneficial as trauma-informed therapy. People specifically seeking out treatment to heal from trauma should receive trauma-informed therapy.
Guiding Your Clients
A common struggle clients often face when seeking help is not understanding what kind of therapy they need. It can be confusing enough to deal with a mental health disorder, let alone educate oneself on the best treatment approach to pursue. However, as a mental health professional, you can guide them toward the right treatment path.
In the initial visits, you’ll be able to gather information on a client's situation, struggles, personal growth, and goals and hopefully develop a plan going forward. By focusing on trauma-informed treatment approaches, your client can start the journey of successful healing with your careful guidance and support.
Regular Therapy May Not Be as Effective
While trauma-informed therapy may use similar practices to regular therapy, at its core, it’s not talk therapy. Trauma-informed treatment is much more relational and allows clients to feel more empowered in their interpretations.
For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on helping clients recognize specific patterns in the way they think or behave and offers tools to change these patterns. The CBT approach to treating trauma may cause clients to feel like their feelings, thoughts, and actions are invalid or incorrect. This is extremely harmful. There is no right or wrong way for people to respond to trauma.
A trauma-informed approach also requires more delicate timelines. Exposure to traumatic memories can be counterproductive if it’s done too soon. In general, treatment shouldn’t be generalized. Therapy is most successful when clients receive individual plans tailored to their needs.
Incorporating Trauma-Informed Concepts
As a therapist, you want to do whatever you can to help clients heal from their suffering. However, your job may be frustrating at times. A significant part of therapy requires your clients to put in the effort to get better, and not everyone is willing to do that.
However, there are instances where the approach to therapy needs to be adjusted on your side. This holds true when it comes to trauma-informed therapy. You may use similar practices as you do in treating other disorders like CBT and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). However, practices like these should be taken from a trauma-informed approach.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a trauma-informed approach to therapy is made of “[C]onstant attention, caring awareness, sensitivity, and possibly a cultural change at an organizational level.”
Resources for Therapists
The CDC's Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR), in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Center for Trauma-Informed Care (NCTIC), created trainings on trauma-informed care. While these trainings are specific to trauma-informed care during public health emergencies, the pillars discussed can be applied in many ways to individual treatment as well.
6 Guiding Principles to a Trauma-Informed Approach
The six guiding principles that can aid in creating a trauma-informed approach to treatment include:
#2. Trustworthiness and transparency
#3. Peer support
#4. Collaboration and mutuality
#5. Empowerment and choice
#6. Cultural, historical, and gender issues
Trauma can be a very sensitive thing to heal from. Before even thinking of helping your client with healing from their trauma, they have to feel safe and secure. It’s essential to build trust with all clients, but this process can take longer when treating clients for trauma.
Once that bond is formed, you can begin to work together and dive into treatment. The only thing better than helping a client heal is to help them feel stronger and more empowered in their healing process. Trauma-informed treatment can help you get them to that point successfully.
Treatment, Empowerment, and the Road to Wellness
You may know the importance of clients seeking treatment early for their mental health struggles. However, it’s common for people suffering from trauma to delay seeking treatment, especially if they’re experiencing memory loss. This memory loss may lead them to believe there isn’t a problem, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Those who think they don’t need treatment may be in more need than they realize.
SokyaHealth is focused on providing individuals treatment through our online platform. That includes helping clients manage and work through their trauma. If you’re looking for resources, tools, or guidance on how to help clients through a trauma-informed approach to treatment, feel free to reach out to SokyaHealth today. Inquiring about our services may help you in your approach to providing trauma-informed treatment.
Trauma-informed therapy is an approach to treatment that you should take with every client suffering from trauma. Regular therapy is beneficial for treating a number of mental health disorders. The most common form of therapy utilized is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which focuses on helping clients recognize patterns of thinking and behavior, and offers tools to change those patterns. With trauma, though, there is no right or wrong way to feel. Regular therapy may cause your clients to feel like their response to trauma is invalid. This is counterproductive. A trauma-informed approach to therapy is essential for helping clients heal from trauma. This approach requires clients to feel safe, trusted, supported, empowered, and able to collaborate in their treatment. SokyaHealth offers several self-care resources through our online platform, including trauma treatment. We encourage you to inquire about our services by calling us today at (877) 840-6956.