How to Find a Trauma Therapist

These steps can help adults find a trauma therapist to help them recover from childhood trauma. It's not as hard as you might think.

Finding a skilled trauma therapist for parents live with secondary trauma because of the stress experienced while raising children with special needs can be a challenge. However these steps can help parents who want healing can find trauma therapists in every area of the United States.

How to Find a Quality Trauma Therapist

Step 1: Ask Around

When you need to find an eye doctor, dentist, or a specialty doctor, you probably ask other friends or co-workers for recommendations. So why not follow the same strategy when looking for a trauma therapist? Be sure to ask people whose judgment you trust and then continue your search using steps 3–7 below.

Step 2: Use a Therapist Locator

If Step 1 proves fruitless, all is not lost. Psychology Today has a user friendly therapist locator at their website. Just type in your zip code and a list of therapists in your area will pop up. Another good therapist locator can be found at the Good Therapy website.

Step 3: Screen the List

Scroll through the list and jot down the names of therapists who meet these basic criteria:

  • They have trauma-specific training.
  • They do more than talk therapy (look for therapists who use hypnosis, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), guided imagery, neuro-feedback, and play therapy rather than Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).
  • They operate from a worldview consistent with yours.

Then go back and read through each profile and circle the names of therapists who meet your criteria.

Step 4: Call Your Insurance Company

Call your insurance company to find out which therapists are within your network. Cross off those who aren’t.

Step 5: Do a Phone Screening

Call the offices of the remaining names on the list. If a receptionist answers, find out when to call back to speak to the therapist directly. Ask questions about the types of trauma therapy they us, what training they’ve completed, what their fees are, how much is paid by insurance, and how long until an appointment can be scheduled.

Step 6: Visit a Therapist

Schedule a first visit with the person who rises to the top of your list. During that appointment, the therapist will conduct an intake assessment. If you like what you see, schedule a second appointment during which therapy will begin. But if you feel uncomfortable for any reason, move on to the next therapist on the list.

Step 7: Assess the Situation

If you visit the therapist for an hour a week, you should feel like you’re making progress in a few months. If no progress has been made after 3-6 months of treatment, find a different therapist.

How Did You Find a Trauma Therapist?

Have you found a qualified trauma therapist who has helped you deal with your trauma? Give them a shout out in the comment box and add more tips about how you found the right person.

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Meet Jolene

Jolene Philo is a published author, speaker, wife, and mother of a son with special needs.

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