Many trauma patients don't admit that they need help. Some deal with it by concealing the feelings and memories, hoping that they will disappear. However, trauma doesn't go away that easily; it burrows inside you and even dominates your life. For this reason, it's crucial to seek trauma counselling to help you deal with any past and disturbing memories. Although there are many professional therapists, it's wise to pick the best.
Below are vital things to query:
1. Professional organization
A professional therapist will want to be in contact with other like-minded professionals. Such associations provide members with continuous education, leadership and advocacy. A qualified trauma therapist should belong to some trauma organizations like; International Society for the Study of Stress and Dissociation (ISSTD), American Professional Psychology Division 56 (Division of Trauma Psychology) and many more. They should also have a professional website, so feel free to validate this information.
2. Treatment of dissociative disorders
Surprisingly, most therapists lack sufficient information on working with dissociative disorders. Some don't recognize them and can waste your time and money due to a lack of understanding. Dissociative disorders and traumas are intertwined, and you risk getting the wrong diagnosis.
For instance, this may happen if you lack a considerable part of childhood memories or opt for a therapist who doesn't specialize in trauma dissociation. Some of the prevalent misdiagnoses are bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or borderline personality disorders.
3. Approach to trauma work
In addition to clarifying skills, experience and training, it's vital to enquire about the therapists' approach to trauma work. Ensure that their views match well with yours to avoid conflicts in the future. There are varying approaches to trauma work, and the counsellor may have definite notions as to what works and what doesn't. But, you have to ensure that the therapist approaches issues as per your preferences.
4. Completion of a personal course of therapy
Although this may sound weird, it's an excellent question to ask any new therapist. Besides, only a few therapists have undergone their course of treatment. We all get exposed to distinct ordeals, and your therapist is no exception. And only the select few who understand trauma can go on to serve others.
Remember working with trauma victims is quite challenging, and it's easy to make blunders. And this makes it necessary to enquire if the therapist has completed sessions of their therapy sessions.
5. Special training in Trauma therapy
There are various specialized trainings for trauma therapists. It's good to question if the therapist has undergone some of them. Organizations like ISSTD and the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress offers specialized courses and certifies learners on various traumatic practice areas like crisis response based on their expertise and achievements in the field.
The best way to deal with trauma is to seek help. There are many trauma therapists, and you can always get one to guide you into recovery. By asking the appropriate questions, you'll be reassured of their expertise and will be comfortable sharing your issues.