Trauma Therapy

If seeking out a therapist here are a few guidelines. A trauma therapist is a licensed mental health professional who has had explicit training, supervision, and clinical experience working directly, and perhaps almost exclusively, with trauma. The therapist is likely to be a psychologist, licensed mental health counselor, or sometimes a social worker. A real trauma therapist is not someone who has had passive experience working with trauma; this means that working with one or two patients, even if the primary focus was trauma, does not qualify someone as a trauma therapist. More specifically, the next section outlines what to look for when searching for a trauma therapist.

The therapist should be trained in at least one, but hopefully more evidence-based trauma treatments (EBTs).  EBTs are therapies that have empirical evidence supporting their effectiveness. Fortunately, trauma treatment includes three EBTs that are highly effective in reducing trauma symptoms and helping the individual to regain their quality of life: these are CPT (Cognitive Processing Therapy), PE (Prolonged Exposure), and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). A real trauma therapist should be trained in at least one of the three, but ideally is trained in all three since they are not exactly interchangeable.