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How Can I Be Involved with My Loved One’s Trauma Recovery?

How Can I Be Involved with My Loved One's Trauma Recovery?If your loved one has had a traumatic experience, he or she probably feels disoriented and ready to give up on life. You cannot help but feel powerless. You have to realize that you are, in a sense, powerless to make things better, but you can be a source of support and comfort in your loved one’s life and thereby aid the trauma recovery process greatly. One of the first things you can do is help him or her choose a good therapist.

Choosing a Trauma Therapist

Make sure that the therapist you choose has a reputation for professionalism and understanding, has expertise in the particular trauma that your loved one has suffered and is not the kind to dole out prescriptions without combining these medications with careful counseling. Many trauma victims have fallen prey to addiction, because their therapists were too quick to administer antidepressants that calmed the symptoms of the trauma but never truly healed the pain. A good therapist will be in the treatment process for the long haul but will not prescribe medication indefinitely. As your loved one begins building a trusting relationship with his or her therapist, the best way to be involved is to take a step back. Make it clear that you will be there if your loved one needs you, but leave the counseling in the therapist’s hands.

Moving through Recovery

Understand that recovery will never be over. The traumatic experience has happened, and no amount of time and healing can erase its scar completely. Be prepared for the pain to flare up at different stages during your loved one’s life, and determine ahead of time to offer a nonjudgmental listening ear. You may try to pretend that the experience never happened or always approach it with a sense of gravity and sorrow, but realize that ignoring the trauma in an attempt to alleviate your loved one’s pain will not make it go away or heal faster. Being willing to move on when your loved one is ready does not mean that either of you is slighting or minimizing the reality of what happened. It simply means that you are both choosing to respond with strength. Your loved one’s recovery is largely dependent on how you react, as he or she moves through treatment, so take seriously any advice that his or her therapist has for you. You can be a powerful resource during recovery.

Beginning the Journey of Trauma Recovery

If you are ready to help your loved one recover from trauma, start by calling our toll-free helpline. We are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about what to look for in a therapist and to offer advice on how you can best help your loved one. We want to help, so please give us a call today.