Thinking about going to therapy, but not sure how to find the right therapist?

How Does Therapy Help Trauma?

What is it? 

A trauma is when an individual experiences, witnesses, or hears about a situation that was distressing, disturbing, or dangerous. There are many types of traumas; some examples include: 

  • A natural disaster, such as an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, tornado. 
  • A serious accident or injury, such as a car accident, animal attack, being burned, or falling. 
  • Death of a loved one, friend, classmate, mentor, or authority figure. 
  • Medical, such as seeing someone so sick that they are near death, receiving a distressing medical procedure, visiting a loved one in a hospital or facility, or witnessing someone having a heart attack. 
  • Violence, such as abuse, assault, robbery, or a shooting.  
  • Separation, such as displacement from family members, divorce, being a refugee or immigrant, or being separated from a loved one due to jail or military deployment. 
  • Bullying in-person, online, or through social media. 


What does it affect? 

  • The Self: A trauma can influence the beliefs an individual has about themself and their outlook on their future. The stress from a trauma can also impact a person’s physical health, such as manifesting as physical symptoms that might lead a person to think that they might be sick, ill, or have a medical condition. 
  • Relationships: A trauma can influence an individual’s experience within their relationships, such as trouble feeling connected, trouble feeling safe or trusting, decreasing or eliminating interactions with other people, and decreased or increased  intimacy, to name a few. 
  • Daily Life: Daily tasks can become difficult, such as trouble sleeping, experiencing nightmares, feeling distressed in specific situations, or becoming triggered when reminded of the trauma. 
  • Distressing Emotions: Sadness, anger, irritability, worry, and panic are common emotions after a trauma. 
  • Work or School: The individual might have trouble functioning at work and school, which might manifest as decreased performance, trouble concentrating or focusing, decreased motivation or drive, or trouble with bosses and authority figures. 


How can therapy help? 

Therapy can help you identify and discuss your symptoms from the traumatic event and how it has impacted you, practice strategies to use when your symptoms and triggers arise, reflect and process your view towards yourself, others, and your future, and work towards living a fulfilling and meaningful life.   


Don’t wait to get the help you need. If you would like to take the next step towards finding a therapist, contact Ethera to get matched with a provider. 


About the Author:  Robyn Tamanaha is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, writer, and podcaster. She has a private practice in Irvine, CA and is the creator and host of the podcast Books Between Sessions.