How To Talk To Your Therapist About Trauma

Medically reviewed by: Shane Trujillo, EdM
Tuesday, June 6 2023

Talking to a therapist about trauma can be a difficult and overwhelming experience, but it’s essential to get care for trauma as it can have a lasting impact on mental health and overall well-being.  In this article, we’ll discuss how to talk to your therapist about trauma and what to expect from therapy for trauma. 

What is trauma? 

You might be wondering, what exactly is trauma? Trauma is damage to the psyche after living through an extremely frightening or distressing event that may result in challenges in functioning or coping after the event. It can happen at any age, and cause long lasting harm, both physically and mentally.

Can I talk to my therapist about trauma?

Yes, you can talk to your therapist about trauma. Therapists are trained to help people process and heal from trauma. It is natural to feel hesitant or scared to bring up traumatic events, but remember that therapists are there to provide a safe and supportive space for you to express yourself and work through difficult emotions.

What is trauma-informed care?

Trauma-informed care is an approach to therapy that recognizes and responds to the impacts of trauma. It is an essential component of therapy for trauma and involves creating a safe and supportive environment for individuals to heal from their traumatic experiences.

Trauma-informed care involves several key principles, including:

  1. Safety: Creating a safe environment for individuals to discuss their trauma without fear of judgment or retaliation.
  2. Trustworthiness: Building trust between the therapist and individual to create a secure and supportive therapeutic relationship.
  3. Choice: Giving individuals a choice and control over their therapy and treatment plan.
  4. Collaboration: Working collaboratively with the individual to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets their needs.
  5. Empowerment: Empowering individuals to take an active role in their healing and recovery process.

How to talk to your therapist about trauma

It can be challenging to know where to begin when discussing trauma with a therapist. 

Here are some tips to help you prepare for the conversation:

  1. Be honest and open: Let your therapist know that you want to talk about your trauma and how it has affected you. This can help set the tone for the conversation and create a safe and supportive environment.
  2. Take your time: Talking about trauma can be emotional and overwhelming, so take your time to share at your own pace. Your SonderMind therapist will be patient and understanding and will not pressure you to share anything you are not ready for.
  3. Be specific: If there are specific traumatic events or memories that you want to talk about, let your therapist know. This can help them understand what you are going through and provide more targeted support.
  4. Ask questions: If you are unsure about what to expect from therapy for trauma, ask your therapist. They can explain the process and answer any questions you may have.

Talking to a therapist about trauma can be difficult, but it is an essential step in the healing process. By being open and honest, your therapist can help you create a safe and supportive environment to process your traumatic experiences. With the right support and guidance from a trauma-informed therapist, it is possible to heal and move forward from trauma.

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