When seeking a counselor during your trauma recovery process, it’s important to understand what a counselor is and how they can help you. Below we explore what you should expect from your counselor:
Your Trauma Recovery Partner
Counselors should act as a supportive partner in your trauma recovery. They are never to take the helm or force you in a direction you don’t want. When interviewing counselors you want to choose someone who is a good match for you, and that means something different for each person. But you’ll probably need at least a few counseling sessions before you can determine if a counselor is the right partner for your recovery.
Cleaning Up Unfinished Business
The best trauma counselors will work with you to clean up unfinished business. This includes old traumas that haven’t been properly processed and resolved. Part of this cleaning process is helping you recognize the trauma, identify the damage it’s causing you in your current life, and developing the coping skills necessary to overcome it. Trauma counselors who help you deal with unfinished business are critical to helping you move forward and tackle your current issues.
Examine Trauma Outcomes
Your trauma counselor should help you identify the thought patterns, behaviors and emotions that have resulted from a traumatic event. If these trauma outcomes are impacting your ability to operate at full capacity, the counselor should help you develop the tools necessary for change.
Trauma counselors take a holistic approach to recovery. They will examine all of the behavioral, emotional, psychological, physical, and social aspects of their clients, not just those directly impacted by the traumatic event. This holistic approach to trauma recovery means that they may refer you to specialists who can handle issues they’re not trained to address.
Safe and Supportive Environment
Whether you’re working with a counselor in individual or group sessions, they are trained to provide a safe and nurturing environment for you to explore and resolve issues related to trauma. The best trauma counselors are compassionate and non-judgmental.
While most counseling sessions last about 50 minutes, working with a counselor during trauma recovery is a long-term project. Depending on your personal needs, trauma recovery can require as little as a few months to several years of counseling.
As you search for a trauma counselor who is the right match for you, remember that you’re entering into a long-term and nurturing relationship that can transform you life. Be honest with yourself about your counseling needs and your willingness to make the long-term commitment necessary to recover.