What Is Trauma-Informed Therapy & Why It Matters

While there are several different types of therapy that can help with the effects of trauma, trauma-informed therapy takes a specialized approach. 

A trauma-informed therapist assumes that their client may have a history of traumatic experience. Throughout their treatment, they use that assumption to handle each step carefully and ensure they don’t re-trigger distressing or traumatic thoughts. Trauma-informed therapists are often more well-versed in the impact of trauma on individuals. They are more interested in learning about what happened to their patients rather than deciphering what’s wrong.

Why is that so essential to those who have experienced trauma? More importantly, is trauma-informed therapy the best solution for you?

What to Expect From Trauma-Informed Therapy

When you’ve gone through a traumatic experience, it’s crucial to work with a therapist who can tailor their treatment offerings to your specific situation. Trauma-informed therapists will focus on your history and your triggers in their approach.

From the very first session, you can expect a sense of physical and emotional safety. If you don’t feel secure during your therapy sessions, you’re less likely to open up and show vulnerability. It’s the job of the therapist to create an environment in which you feel completely safe, so you can speak openly and start to grow.

You will also experience transparency.

Trauma-informed therapists typically like to collaborate with their patients. You’re more likely to stay on the same page when you work together throughout your treatment. If you’re showing vulnerability and opening up to your therapist, expect them to be completely open and honest with you.

As you go through trauma-informed therapy, you’ll not only be able to work through your triggers and past experiences, but your therapist will help you to feel empowered. You’ll learn how to let go of the pain and fear you may have experienced. You’ll also learn healthy coping mechanisms that can get you through the day. If you struggle with guilt or shame, as those who experience trauma often do, this type of therapy can help you navigate those emotions.

Be Willing to Open Up

Talking about past trauma is never easy. Whether you experienced it as a child or an adult, you might feel scared, ashamed, or still triggered by what happened. If you’re considering going to therapy, it’s a great step in the right direction.

However, you have to be willing to open up to a trauma-informed therapist to receive the best possible outcome. If you specifically want your therapist to help you work through your trauma, be well informed beforehand. Not all therapists are trauma-informed.

When you’re searching, ask about the approach of potential therapists and the pace or timeline they typically use. It’s crucial that you feel comfortable and can agree with their methods. If you don’t, you won’t open up as fully as you should.

Is Trauma-Informed Therapy Right for You?

This type of therapy can actually be beneficial for almost anyone. All therapists should make you feel safe and secure. However, because trauma-focused therapists have specialized training, they can establish an even greater open environment for communication while ensuring your comfort while you focus on opening up.

Is trauma-informed therapy a great option for those who have experienced a traumatizing event? Absolutely. Can others not looking for trauma treatment still benefit? Of course!

If you’re interested in learning more about trauma-informed therapy, please contact me. Again, making an appointment is the first step and often the hardest. But, you don’t have to live with the effects of your trauma forever—especially if you experience guilt, shame, or fear. I look forward to connecting with you soon.

Be well,

Dr. G

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