Advice to Counselors
“The Importance of TIC The history of trauma raises various clinical issues. Many counselors do not have extensive training in treating trauma or offering trauma-informed services and may be uncertain of how to respond to clients’ trauma-related reactions or symptoms. Some counselors have experienced traumas themselves that may be triggered by clients’ reports of trauma. Others are interested in helping clients with trauma but may unwittingly cause harm by moving too deeply or quickly into trauma material or by discounting or disregarding a client’s report of trauma.
Counselors must be aware of trauma related symptoms and disorders and how they affect clients in behavioral health treatment. Counselors with primary treatment responsibilities should also have an understanding of how to recognize trauma-related reactions, how to incorporate treatment interventions for trauma-related symptoms into clients’ treatment plans, how to help clients build a safety net to prevent further trauma, how to conduct psychoeducational interventions, and when to make treatment referrals for further evaluations or trauma-specific treatment services.
“All treatment staff should recognize that traumatic stress symptoms or trauma-related disorders should not preclude an individual from mental health or substance abuse treatment and that all co-occurring disorders need to be addressed on some level in the treatment plan and setting. For example, helping a client in substance abuse treatment gain control over trauma-related symptoms can greatly improve the client’s chances of substance abuse recovery and lower the possibility of relapse (Farley, Golding, Young, Mulligan, & Minkoff, 2004; Ouimette, Ahrens, Moos, & Finney, 1998). In addition, assisting a client in