Trauma impacts millions of people in the United States alone. As a result, it often feels like there are countless forms of therapy and treatment available for people who have experienced a traumatic event and those struggling with PTSD.
Unfortunately, there are far too many options directed by individuals who don’t fully understand the traumatic experience.
That’s why trauma-informed therapy is so important.
Trauma-informed care is becoming more prominent. People who have gone through something traumatic and life-changing need to be able to lean on someone who understands what they’ve been through, and someone who can provide a safe, comfortable space to heal.
Let’s take a closer look at trauma-informed therapy and what you can expect from it.
What Is the Purpose of Trauma Informed Therapy?
When therapists consider themselves to be trauma-informed, their practices need to have a deep understanding of the various paths to recovery. They also need to educate themselves on different types of trauma, as well as symptoms, and integrate that knowledge into all of their policies.
The purpose of trauma-informed therapy is to avoid re-traumatization by providing an ideal environment for healing and growing.
Ideally, this type of therapy will “transform” a trauma patient based on the level of knowledge and care they receive.
The Principles of Trauma-Informed Care
Every trauma-informed therapist adheres to a certain set of principles. Those core principles include:
- Peer support
If you start from the top, you’ll see that the principles tend to follow a journey. The top priority for every trauma-informed therapist is safety. If you don’t feel comfortable with the care you’re receiving, it’s not going to have a positive impact.
Transparency is about building and maintaining trust with your therapist, so you’ll be more comfortable opening up and making decisions with them.
Peer support is an important step in everyone’s healing process. Bringing others who have experienced trauma into your treatment can make a big difference, letting you know that you’re not alone.
Collaboration and empowerment go hand-in-hand. A therapist and their staff work together to make decisions. There’s no “power struggle”. That empowers everyone to feel recognized and validated, so they’re more likely to come up with effective solutions.
Finally, any stereotypes are addressed, including racial backgrounds, sexual orientation, etc. Historical trauma is a very real thing, and it’s an important factor for a trauma-informed therapist to recognize.
What Are the Benefits?
For patients who have experienced a traumatic event at any point in their lives, trauma-informed therapy offers the opportunity to form a long, trusting relationship with a therapist. Not only will that encourage better engagement, but you’re more likely to experience more powerful, positive outcomes.
It’s not uncommon for trauma patients to struggle with those provider relationships. The environment makes all the difference.
Is Trauma-Informed Therapy Right for You?
There are specific steps to take for a therapist to become trauma-informed, but anyone can do it. They need to build awareness both within their practice and the community about the effects of trauma. They need to support a positive workplace environment. Most importantly, they need to create a safe environment for their staff and patients.
There’s not an “ideal” way to heal from a traumatic experience. That’s why there are so many types of therapy associated with trauma relief. However, it only makes sense to seek out a professional who has taken the time to create a healthy, safe environment for trauma patients.
If you’re interested in learning more about trauma-informed therapy or you would like to see what it looks like for yourself, feel free to contact Valued Living Therapy for information.