Working as a counselor is hard work and requires years of disciplined education, training, and work experience. If you like to help others and have compassion for people who are going through trauma, working as a trauma counselor is an excellent job for you. In general, an aspiring trauma therapist should seek a degree in clinical psychology that works for them with a specialty program in training in traumatology. If you've already earned a degree, turn your required continuing education credits into an opportunity to earn a specialty certificate.
To complete the certification, look for a certified program for clinical traumatology professionals (CCTP) such as those at the Trauma Institute International. Or get a psychology certification in DBT or digital mental health to strengthen additional skills that are valuable to trauma therapists. Why is trauma therapy so difficult? Emotions need to be felt to heal and this makes healing so difficult and painful. PTSD develops in response to a traumatic event that breaks down the stress management system and the nervous system: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.
As a trauma therapist, your role is to listen, diagnose and develop a plan that will help your clientele live again without the random memory of an event holding them back. Developing a skill set and gaining experience working with trauma survivors sets trauma therapists apart in their treatment. To help him do so, the therapist simultaneously moves his finger slowly from side to side in front of the client's face while following the therapist's finger movements with his eyes while remembering and talking about the disturbing aspects of his trauma. This bilateral stimulation (tracking the finger from one side to the other) helps reactivate the amygdala to its original traumatic state (it remembers traumatic details to process them) and, at the same time, reduces activity in the prefrontal cortex (it distracts it with the task of tracking finger movements so as not to block disturbing thoughts and emotions that are remembered).
Trauma therapists can do everything they can to protect themselves from indirect trauma, compassion, fatigue, and exhaustion by maintaining your well-being early and consistently. Because there are many different types of trauma, trauma counselors offer several treatment options depending on the patient population. Trauma therapists, especially those who are at the beginning of their careers, may not lead a particularly structured professional life. The Veterans Administration, Department of Defense and local community trauma centers can be sources of employment as trauma therapists.
PTSD can create long-term adverse changes in emotions, thinking, and behavior as a direct result of exposure to trauma. Trauma therapists work with patients who have experienced terrible events: wars, fatal accidents, violent crimes, including sexual assault. Joining this association is proof of their commitment to the highest professional standards in the provision of trauma therapy. Regardless of degree, a therapist who receives training in trauma therapy can become a trauma therapist.
Areas of the brain that used to function in a certain way now work differently because of overarousal caused by trauma. The therapist will also help the client replace any negative thoughts surrounding the trauma with more realistic ones that support the client's healing.