If you are looking for a therapist to help you work through childhood trauma issues, it is important to find someone experienced in trauma work. You want someone with whom you feel very comfortable. But chemistry is not everything! You want to know if a potential therapist has a good understanding of the importance of the preparation phase of therapy, i.e.grounding and resourcing, safety, and relationship building. Also, you want to know if the therapist is in a position to continue to offer you services, at a price you can afford, over time.
Sample questions to ask in choosing a trauma therapist:
- What portion of your practice is trauma?
- Do you consult with other trauma therapists?
- What methods do you use to process traumatic memories?
- What professional associations do you use to stay up to date on trauma studies?
A good therapist will not mind answering questions like this. Asking these questions will help you assess his or her level of interest and expertise in the trauma field. Other questions to ask are:
- How do you prepare a client for trauma work?
- What cautions do you take in beginning memory work?
- How do you handle a client who is dissociating?
- What is you experience treating dissociative clients?
If alcohol and drugs are part of the picture of how you have coped with trauma, it is also very important that a therapist understand and have experience in these areas too. Don’t hesitate to shop around until you find someone you believe can truly help you.