Online Trauma Therapy: Essential Takeaways for Prospective Patients

Online Trauma Therapy: Essential Takeaways for Prospective Patients

Based on a study published in Psychol Med, more than 70% of the participants experienced a traumatic event in their lives. This expresses the widespread nature of trauma among people and the need for effective interventions. Trauma therapy is one avenue that aids in the treatment of patients suffering emotional, psychological, or physical trauma. 

With the rise of teletherapy platforms, accessing trauma therapy online has become even more convenient, offering an ideal solution for people who may prefer remote interactions due to the effects of their trauma. 

This article will guide you through the different approaches of online trauma therapy,  and provide insights to help you make the right decisions for your therapeutic journey.

What Is Online Trauma Therapy?

Take Your Time When Choosing A Therapist

By definition, trauma is a mental response to distressing events that can lead to immediate and long-term effects. Trauma therapy is a form of treatment that helps deal with these effects. However, it does not follow a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, each therapist works with a combination of methods to meet the unique needs of each patient. Some of the types of online trauma therapy are:

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: This method enables clients to process traumatic memories through guided rapid eye movements or other stimulations. During online trauma therapy sessions, different software tools or self-led techniques can be used.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This approach deals with trauma-linked negative thoughts and behaviors. Therapists aid clients in confronting these emotions and treating different trauma-created conditions.
  • Somatic Therapy: This therapy entails body-focused assignments like exercises and small movements. it acknowledges that trauma often presents as physical symptoms.
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy: This method is effective for people with a complex trauma history. It emphasizes on practical tasks to foster emotional regulation, mindfulness, and distress tolerance. 

When Should You Consider Trauma Therapy?

Traumatic experiences can lead to both long-term and short-term effects, with some symptoms emerging over time. It’s crucial to seek assistance on time to prevent these effects from intensifying. Key indicators signaling the potential need for trauma therapy include:

  • Symptoms of panic
  • Disturbed sleeping patterns
  • Anger outbursts
  • Nausea and chest pain
  • Muscle tremors
  • Palpitations
  • Constant confusion
  • Signs of depression
  • Irritability 
  • Short concentration spans

If you notice any of these signs, it might be beneficial to explore trauma therapy options and connect with a certified trauma therapist.

Why Choose Online Trauma Therapy?

Are you wondering about the effectiveness of online trauma therapy? Research on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has shown positive post-therapy outcomes.

Impact of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for PTSD

There are several reasons why online therapy for trauma is beneficial. 

  1. Familiarity

Online trauma therapy offers a comforting alternative for those who struggle with in-person interactions. You can seek help from a place where you feel most at ease, with the privacy of your surroundings. 

  1. Affordability

According to survey findings, around 40% of the participants sought financial assistance when considering therapy. This gives important insight into how the cost of treatment can be a barrier for people working through any trauma-induced psychological disorder. Opting for online therapy for trauma can prove to be an alternative. Virtual sessions are mostly priced lower than in-person ones and also eliminate commute costs.

  1. Consistency 

Consistency in therapy plays a pivotal role in enhancing the therapeutic journey. Online trauma therapy enables such consistency as it reduces potential appointment misses due to constraints like illness, commitments, or travel concerns. This enables patients to fully participate in the sessions and address traumatic effects such as nightmares, panic attacks, and anxiety attacks.

  1. Focused Treatment

Teletherapy platforms simplify the process of matching patients with professional therapists. Some platforms offer matching based on a questionnaire, while others offer trial sessions with different counselors until the right fit is found. An added advantage is that individuals can be connected with trauma therapists regardless of the proximity.

Factors Determining The Success of Online Trauma Therapy

The efficacy of online trauma therapy hinges on various elements, both the therapist’s approach and the patient’s commitment. Understanding these factors can significantly enhance the therapeutic journey, ensuring lasting positive outcomes.

Active Participation

According to a study about the effectiveness of therapy,  60% of the treatment results were due to patients following the advice or treatment plan. Active participation on the patients’ end can include consistently attending sessions, actively engaging in self-reflection, and applying the skills and techniques learned during sessions in their lives.

External Support

Outside of therapy sessions, the broader environment plays a pivotal role in a trauma survivor’s healing journey. Sharing experiences with trusted loved ones offers validation and understanding, while trauma survivors’ support groups provide a space for mutual empathy and encouragement.

Right Methods and Techniques

The therapeutic approach needs to be compatible with an individual’s specific needs, and the effects of their trauma. Some patients may resonate more with certain therapies, while others might benefit from a mixed-method approach.

5 Things to Know Before Starting Online Trauma Therapy

It can be a challenge to opt for online trauma-focused treatments. Below are a few things you should know before starting therapy to maximize the benefits of your online sessions:

  1. Take Breaks After Each Session

A trauma therapy session can be emotionally and physically tolling. To freshen up, consider going for a walk or practicing relaxation techniques. 

  1. Set Your Goals

It’s important to set goals that are relevant to you before you start therapy. However, as you collaborate with your therapist, these goals will be refined. You should be open to receiving feedback from your therapist, especially as they become more acquainted with your background and capabilities. Some common expectations from trauma therapy are:

  • Improving coping mechanisms 
  • Emotional stability 
  • Processing traumatic memories
  • Stop feeling guilty
  • Feeling seen and heard
  1. Schedule At Your Convenience

Therapy can stimulate a range of emotions. When scheduling your therapy appointments, choose a time when you have a few other commitments. This will help you manage post-therapy feelings. Therefore, seeking online trauma therapy gives you this flexibility and it is wise to make full use of this. 

  1. Take Your Time When Choosing A Therapist 

It’s advisable to attend trial sessions with a therapist before determining if they’re the right fit for you. However, if you don’t feel connected to your therapist, that’s completely okay. Many teletherapy platforms provide a pool of therapists, allowing you to explore and find the best match for your needs.

Here is a video that offers great value and guidance on choosing the right therapist:

  1. Know What To Expect 

It is good to know what techniques you can expect your therapist to employ. Depending on the type of therapy, the techniques to treat trauma can differ. Here are a few things that can happen during your therapy session:

  • Written account: You can be asked to jot down a descriptive recollection of your traumatic experience.
  • Imaginal exposure: Your therapist can ask you to you verbalize your traumatic experience. This aids you in coming to terms with traumatic memories. 
  • Impact statement: Your therapist might request you to write an impact statement. This will allow you to understand the impacts of trauma on your life.

How To Find An Online Trauma Therapist Near Me?

  • Check Reviews: Ask for recommendations and reach out to people in your circle to seek suggestions for online trauma therapists. It is important to select a therapist with positive reviews and credibility.  You can also consult with your primary care doctor for trusted referrals.
  • Search in Online Mental Health Directories: Online directories can be a valuable resource when searching for online trauma therapists. These allow you to easily look up local therapists according to their skill set, specialization, and location. You can use this to shortlist a few therapists according to your needs and preferences. 
  • Look For Details About Therapists: Looking up details about different therapists and their experiences will help you make an informed choice. You can visit therapists’ websites, and assess their online profiles to understand their approaches and methods of therapy.
Key Takeaways
  • The emergence of teletherapy platforms has made accessing trauma therapy more convenient.
  • Online trauma therapy has various approache s, including EMDR, CBT, Somatic Therapy, and DBT, each targeting different aspects of trauma.
  • Symptoms like panic, sleep disturbances, anger, and signs of depression are indicators that you should consider trauma therapy.
  • For effective online trauma therapy, set clear goals, take breaks after each session, and schedule your appointments at convenient times.
  • Utilizing online mental health directories can streamline your search, but it’s essential to research therapists’ backgrounds and approaches to ensure compatibility.
  • The success of online trauma therapy relies on the patient’s active participation, including consistently attending sessions and applying learned skills.