You’ve finally taken the courageous step to get therapy – now, how to know what kind of practice or treatment will be the best fit?  By the end of this post, you’ll know how trauma informed practice effects success and have a sense of whether trauma informed treatment is right for you.

Trauma Effects People in Many Ways

Unfortunately, experiencing trauma is not as rare as it’d seem.  According to the National Center for PTSD “about 6 of every 10 men (or 60%) and 5 of every 10 women (or 50%) experience at least one trauma in their lives.” There may be a recognizable link to a traumatic event(s) or sometimes the connection is less clear.  

There are many ways that experiences that feel traumatic may cause suffering.  It can show up as haunting unwanted memories, nightmares that rob precious sleep, or being on guard that your life or others’ lives are in danger.  It can make you feel withdrawn, panicked, depressed, keyed up, or make seemingly small things feel overwhelming. 

Ongoing symptoms can lead to PTSD but also to other mental health problems like Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia, Panic Attacks, Dissociation, or physical health problems.  For some, these unrelenting symptoms steal hope and may even lead to thoughts about suicide.

What is Trauma Informed Therapy?

A thorough understanding of and experience with how trauma works and the impact it has can make a huge difference in the success of client-therapist relationship and treatment.  Here are some key principles that form the foundation for healing.

AWARNESS: Understand how trauma works and the many ways it shows up 

SAFETY: Develop a physically and emotionally safe-enough space to do good treatment

TRUSTWORTHINESS: Cultivate trust and transparency with words and actions throughout treatment

COLLABORATION: Involve clients in treatment through empowerment, voice, and choice

CULTURAL HUMILITY & RESPONSIVENESS: Practice openness of and sensitivity to understanding cultural, historical, and gender issues

How is Trauma Informed Therapy Helpful?

People often seek out psychotherapy or counseling without a specific mental health understanding of what’s going on – you just know you’re in pain and want to feel better.  Having a provider or organization that is trained and experienced in Trauma Informed Therapy means:

  1. They’ll be better able to recognize and help a client’s struggles 
  2. Viewing a client’s history and current struggles from this perspective can be validating and make people feel like they are not alone
  3. Being aware of physical and emotional safety needs helps create the healing space necessary for treatment to work
  4. Ongoing trust building lessens concerns of being judged, improves ability to work on painful experiences, and can serve as practice for other relationships
  5. Making space for clients’ voice, participation in decision making, and shared responsibility in treatment outcome tailors treatment to each person’s unique needs
  6. Committing to self-reflection and responsiveness to clients’ diversity and the ways that privilege, power, and bias shape mental health leads to authentic growth

As you can see there are many benefits to trauma informed therapy.  If you’re wondering whether this approach will work for you, contact us to set up a free 15-minute phone consultation to see how we might be able to help you meet your goals.

Want to learn more?  

Key Ingredients for Successful Trauma-Informed Care Implementation (

Infographic: 6 Guiding Principles To A Trauma-Informed Approach | CDC

Trauma-Informed Care | ACEs Aware – Take action. Save lives.