We get into therapy for many reasons, sometimes because of our own past trauma and/or hurts.
Sometimes, we become therapists because of our desire to help others. I’ve already written about becoming a successful therapist and how therapists DO have therapists. But, I want to get really real on this one topic: trauma. Yes. Therapists have trauma. We are human beings who have sometimes been very affected by trauma. Not all of us, but enough that this topic is worth unpacking. And, perhaps worth taking a bit of a bold stance about.
All the stuff underneath of how you show up in the room as a therapist matters.
Your trauma history, your current relationship with your trauma, how you’ve processed or not processed it… all these things matter and can impact the work you do with clients. If you’re not aware of these things, they will come out in the therapy room one way or another. They may not right away. But, in time, if it’s something unresolved for you, it will come out.
One of the best things you can do as a new therapist is to begin processing your own stuff. Your past trauma(s). Doing your own personal work is not only helpful for you (on so many levels). But, it’s helpful for the people you’ll be working with too. It allows you to show up more fully present with them and their process. It also allows you to model for them what it looks like to do your own work and heal from your past.
Healing for the Healers
Healing from your own personal traumas is also vital for managing your own countertransference when working with clients. Reacting to the things clients are saying to you can be harmful to both you and the therapy client. This is not to say that you need to have everything figured out or be “healed” before you can help someone else. But, being aware of your stuff and having a good handle on it will help prevent burnout and compassion fatigue down the road. Not to mention, it will make you a more well-rounded and successful therapist overall. Remember, it’s okay to have a therapy specialty. It’s also okay to avoid working with certain clients who may trigger you.
So, how do you begin processing your own trauma?
If you’re not sure where to start, I recommend finding a therapist who does eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR). This is a specific type of therapy that can be very helpful in processing and resolving past trauma. I also recommend reading books and articles on the topic. Also, you may benefit from attending workshops and/or groups focused on personal growth.
Getting experience with different therapies as a participant can be very helpful! This will allow you to grow and learn as a therapist while doing the work of healing from your past that is necessary for your personal success. Use this valuable time to get more comfortable and confident with this specific model of therapy. Allow yourself to fully experience it as a client, not only in a simulated classroom setting. What a gift for your future clients!
Doing your own personal work is a lifelong journey. But, it’s one that is so worth taking. Not only for yourself but for the people you’ll be helping along the way. This is why therapy for therapists is not only helpful but arguably necessary!
Begin Trauma Therapy in Orange County, CA
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. We would love to hear from you. What have you found helpful as a new therapist, or when working with new therapists? As therapists, we must ensure we process our own past in order to help others process theirs. Our team of caring therapists understand the stress that can come with doing this, and we are happy to offer support in processing past trauma. We offer support from our Orange County, CA-based therapy practice and across the state. To start your therapy journey, please follow these simple steps:
- Contact Moxie Family Therapy
- Meet with a caring therapist
- Start overcoming past trauma, and become a better therapist!
Other Services Offered at Moxie Family Therapy
Therapy for therapists isn’t the only service offered from our Orange County, CA-based practice. Our team is also happy to offer support for women, children, teens, young adults, and couples with a variety of services in person and online. We also offer mental health services including therapy for anxiety, trauma, clinical supervision, art therapy, counseling for adoption, LGBTQ therapy, and play therapy. Please learn more about us by visiting our blog or FAQ page today!