The Bulletin


How to Better Help Patients Cope with Trauma

  • Written by

If you’re a practicing psychologist and/or trauma counsellor, you’ll know that helping patients cope better with their trauma is a constant struggle. No matter how many new methods and ideas are generated, there seem to be enough individual unique cases and situations that seem to defy any single kind of technique.

It’s because of this reality that trauma care and related psychological fields are continuously evolving. It’s why responsible and skilled practitioners in Victoria, for example, continue to find a range of trauma training events in Melbourne, and other professional development opportunities.

What are the ways that practitioners can better help their patients cope with trauma?

1. Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

In the introduction we touched on the idea that good clinicians will seek to find trauma training events in their area to continue acquisition of knowledge and understanding. No matter how seemingly small the talking point, every idea in a CPD event can offer key insights and inspiration to fellow clinicians that ultimately help them to improve their practice and become better clinicians.

No aspect of medical treatment is static, and those who believe it is quickly find themselves on the wrong side of medical progress. Trauma management and other areas of clinical psychology are increasingly important in a world that is seemingly more and more negatively impacted by mental health issues. Many mental health problems are overtly connected to the specific times we live in, meaning these practitioners are still writing the book on mental health in 2021. In a situation like that, continuing development and training matters more than ever.

2. Rely More on the Family and Loved Ones

You might be the most brilliant psychological clinician in all of Australia, but it can be hard to be the one who carries patients through trauma when you’re not also related by blood or by other strong bonds of love. What you can do for your patients is work with them to identify key relatives, friends and other loved ones who will help support their recovery from traumatic stress.

The biggest difference, of course, is that as a psychological practitioner, you likely only see your patient in the setting of a hospital or your office. Family and loved ones are the people who will help your patient get better through the day to day. As they do, they should become more receptive to your treatments and insights as confidence builds and they feel more reassured.

3. Be Firm About Patients Facing Their Feelings

You likely already know that it’s crucial for patients to face their feelings and not always be trying to avoid thinking about their trauma. Counterproductive habits like excessive sleeping, isolation and substance abuse are all distractions that are preventing them from reaching their goal and to help them better deal with the trauma head on they need some firm direction.

Obviously one doesn’t want to be excessive, but with further help from a patient’s loved ones as support, your stern approach for the patient to face up to their feelings can be heard more clearly.

4. Patience is Essential

Finally, a good practitioner helping people through trauma will balance out that stern and constructive advice with a good dose of patience. Trauma has no predictable treatment time, and that means you have to be ready for a possible quick turnaround or a long-haul slow-moving incremental process. Both could happen, and one isn’t more likely than the other. What’s more, there’s a lot of ground in between.

If you want to better serve your patients, ensure that your patience skills are up to scratch!

Writers Wanted

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion