Around 6% of Americans will experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lives. If you’ve experienced trauma, a trauma treatment program can help.
Seeing a therapist and going through a therapy program can be a positive choice for your mental health. However, you’ll need to do some searching to find the perfect therapy program and ensure that you’ll get the kind of help that’s right for you.
Here are 7 tips that you should follow when choosing your trauma treatment program.
1. Learn About a Therapist’s Methods
One of the key things to consider when choosing a trauma treatment program is the type of therapy that will be used.
There are many types of trauma treatments and many of them can be effective in helping you work through the trauma that you have experienced. Each of them works differently, however. For example, some may focus more on thoughts or feelings while others will focus on the memories associated with a specific event.
Be sure to ask a therapist about the types of therapy they provide and do some research to determine what type of therapy may be suitable for your personality and individual needs.
2. Choose Evidence-Based Treatment
When choosing a therapist and a type of trauma therapy, make sure that you look for evidence-based treatment.
Some of the therapy practices that have the most evidence-based support include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), cognitive processing therapy (CPT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and prolonged exposure therapy (PET).
Choosing to work with a therapist who uses reliable and proven methods can be well worth it. Make sure that a therapist is following a proven therapeutic approach before you decide to start seeing them.
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3. Check Therapist Credentials
When choosing a therapy program, make sure that you evaluate the therapist fully. Consider their credentials and level of experience. Find out whether the therapist is licensed, how many years they’ve been practicing, and whether they have any special areas of expertise.
You should also ensure that the therapist has experience helping patients work through trauma. A great trauma therapist will have a lot of experience working with those who have PTSD and helping patients recover from traumatic events in their lives.
Checking for a therapist’s educational experience and history will help you get a much better idea of whether they’ll be a good fit for your needs.
4. Ask Questions
Before deciding on a treatment program, you should interview a therapist or speak to the staff of a treatment program. A therapist should give you an opportunity to ask any questions that you have about the treatment that you’ll be getting and to find out what to expect from the entire experience.
In addition to asking a therapist about their qualifications, be sure to understand exactly what therapies they use when helping to treat trauma. You may also want to find out whether the therapist prescribes medications or not.
Additionally, be sure that you get along with your therapist and that they seem like someone who you can trust and feel comfortable with. Finding the right personality can help a lot when trying to recover from a traumatic event.
5. Choose the Right Session Length
Another important thing to consider when choosing a therapy program is how long the program or sessions will be.
Most therapy sessions will be weekly and may last from between 30 to 60 minutes. However, it’s possible to have longer sessions or more frequent sessions. You can opt for more depending on what you feel you need to recover and handle the trauma that you have experienced.
If it seems like having a session once a week is leaving too much time between visits, then you might want to consider asking for a higher level of care instead.
6. Budget Carefully
Many people who need therapy are held back by the high costs associated with it.
With that being said, costs for therapy can vary greatly depending on the program you choose and the therapist you work with. Be sure that you budget well and understand that overcoming trauma can be difficult and take time. You should have enough money in your budget to go to sessions for an extended period of time.
You might want to look for sliding scale rates or other financial assistance when choosing therapy so that you can get the help you need without breaking the bank.
7. Decide on the Location
It’s also important to consider the location of any therapy program that you choose as well. By choosing a good location close to where you live or work, it will be much easier to go to therapy and get the help that you need.
Additionally, these days it’s possible that can get some great help from an online therapist as well. You’ll want to consider whether online care might be a good choice for you. It can be very convenient to get care from the comfort of your own home without needing to drive to a therapist’s office in person.
Online therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy, so you’ll want to think carefully about what the right choice for your needs will be.
Finding the Right Trauma Treatment Program
If you’re trying to choose the right trauma treatment program for you, be sure to consider all of the most important factors. Find out about a therapist’s treatment style and experience and carefully consider the cost and length of treatment as well.
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