Finding a trauma-based therapist is an important first step in your healing journey. From there you must learn to trust the therapist you've chosen. After all, this is someone whom you'll be working collaboratively and cooperatively with them for therapy to work.
Initially your therapist is a stranger to you. Since you're already feeling like life is against you, unknown people and situations may make you weary. Add to it the fact that your PTSD has shaped how you view other people and you may have some serious distortions to deal with. Here are some tips to help guide you in the right direction - that of trusting your therapist.
Start by Rethinking Trust
The easiest way to gain trust in your therapist is to focus on them. Initially you'll want to observe them from the outside where you feel safe.
Learn to Trust Yourself First
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Ask Your Therapist to Help You Feel Comfortable
View Your Therapist as a Partner
You don't know your therapist in the beginning and you've brought with you distrust issues too. When your trauma has been brought on by people, being in a small with someone can trigger you. This is something you can reduce by anticipating it ahead of time. You should also disclose this problem to your therapist.
Understanding the Negativity Bias
Understanding the Influence of Trauma Memory
There are two main issues here:
- The people problem: You'll make sense of your therapist based on your previous personal experiences with other people. This can seriously distort your perception. The best way to manage this is to think about what you've learned from your experiences and how not every generalization is true for every situation or person. Unfortunately, this is something you won't notice until you notice your thinking and question it.
- The brain function problem: Your brain becomes constantly noisy when it has active, unresolved trauma memories. Not only is this annoying but it's also distracting and makes you feel powerless. When this happens we struggle to see things the way they really are. You can think of this as an invisible fog. This means you need to slow down, be cautious, and pay attention to what's happening around you. Stick to the facts. Eventually as you address your trauma in therapy you won't need to do this so frequently.
Training Yourself to Recognize Safe Situations
Entering therapy with active trauma memory means you have a lot to learn. Initially you may not even realize this. Remember, learning is possible if you're persistent and patient. Don't expect too much from yourself in the beginning. Instead, learn to tolerate your ineptness. Stick with the process. Believe that good changes will happen and they will. Think of this as a maturation process and you'll eventually emerge successful.