10 Good Questions to Ask Your Trauma-Informed Therapist

trauma informed therapy
Finding the right trauma-informed therapist can be a daunting task. 
It's essential to ensure that your therapist understands the unique challenges associated with trauma and can provide the support you need for healing. 
This is important because the wrong therapist can be unhelpful or even harmful to your recovery. 
To help you make an informed decision, here are 10 good questions to ask a trauma-informed therapist.

Trauma & PTSD Therapists in Colorado

Arias Gonzales, MS, LPCC, NCC

Arias Gonzales, MS, LPCC, NCC

(719) 345-2424
Heather Comensky, LPC

Heather Comensky, LPC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Emily Murphy, LPC

Emily Murphy, LPC

(719) 345-2424
Derek Bonds, LPC

Derek Bonds, LPC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Noah Suess, MA, LPC

Noah Suess, MA, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Rebecca Johnson, LPCC, NCC

Rebecca Johnson, LPCC, NCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Shannon Hamm, LPC

Shannon Hamm, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

Bonna Machlan, Ph.D., LPC, CAS

(719) 452-4374
Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

Amber Hopf, MSW, SWP

(719) 602-1342

1. What is your experience working with trauma survivors?

You'll want to make sure that your therapist has experience treating trauma, and is familiar with the special considerations it requires.

  • Understanding the therapist's background
  • Types of trauma they have dealt with (e.g., abuse, accidents, natural disasters)
  • Years of experience in the field

Asking about their experience will give you insight into their expertise and how well-equipped they are to handle your specific needs. 

It's important to find a therapist who has worked with clients facing similar challenges to yours.

2. How do you incorporate the principles of trauma-informed care into your practice?

It's a good idea to find out how the therapist incorporates a trauma-informed approach into their practice. 

Trauma-informed care emphasizes safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, and empowerment.

  • Application of the six principles of trauma-informed care
  • Tailoring their approach to each individual client
  • Ensuring a safe, supportive environment

This question allows you to gauge how knowledgeable and committed the therapist is to providing trauma-informed care. 

Their answer should demonstrate an understanding of the key principles and how they apply them in their practice.

3. What therapeutic approaches or modalities do you use for trauma treatment?

There are many different therapeutic approaches that can be used to help trauma survivors. 

It's important to find out what the therapist's approach is, and if it aligns with your needs.

  • Evidence-based methods, such as EMDR, CBT, or TF-CBT
  • Tailoring the approach to the client's needs
  • Willingness to adapt and incorporate new techniques

Understanding the therapist's preferred approaches can help you determine if their style aligns with your needs and preferences. 

A good trauma-informed therapist should be open to using various evidence-based methods to best support your healing journey.

4. How do you address the mind-body connection in trauma therapy?

Bringing together the mind and body is essential for treating trauma. 

It's important to find out how your therapist will help you understand and address the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of your trauma.

  • Incorporating mindfulness techniques
  • Addressing somatic symptoms
  • Encouraging self-care and stress reduction

Trauma has a significant impact on both the mind and body. 

Asking this question can help you understand how the therapist addresses the interconnectedness of these aspects in your healing process.

5. How do you support clients in developing healthy coping skills?

When it comes to managing the symptoms of trauma, healthy coping skills are key. 

This question gives you insight into how your therapist will help you develop these abilities.

  • Identifying maladaptive coping mechanisms
  • Teaching grounding and self-soothing techniques
  • Encouraging self-compassion and resilience

A crucial aspect of trauma recovery is learning healthy coping strategies to manage triggers and overwhelming emotions. 

Your therapist should be able to guide you in developing these skills for lasting healing.

6. How do you work with clients who have difficulties trusting others or opening up?

Trust is a major challenge for many trauma survivors. It can be difficult to open up and share your experiences with someone new. 

This question allows you to find out how your therapist will help you build that trust in the therapeutic relationship.

  • Building trust through transparency and consistency
  • Encouraging open communication
  • Respecting boundaries and pacing

Trauma survivors often struggle with trust, making it essential for therapists to create a safe and supportive environment. 

This question will help you determine how the therapist approaches trust-building with their clients.

7. How do you include family or other people with close ties in the therapy process, if appropriate?

It can be sensitive to involve other people in the therapy process, especially if they have not experienced trauma themselves. 

This question allows you to find out how your therapist will incorporate family members or loved ones into the treatment process.

  • Assessing the client's support system
  • Involving significant others in therapy sessions, when necessary
  • Providing resources and education for loved ones

Family support can play a vital role in the healing process. 

It's essential to know how the therapist involves loved ones and addresses family dynamics in therapy, if appropriate.

8. How do you handle setbacks or relapses during the recovery process?

  • Normalizing setbacks as part of the healing journey
  • Emphasizing progress and growth
  • Revisiting and adjusting treatment plans

Recovery is rarely a linear process, and setbacks are common. 

Understanding how the therapist approaches these challenges can provide reassurance and confidence in their ability to support you throughout your journey.

9. What resources or support do you provide for clients outside of therapy sessions?

  • Referrals to support groups or workshops
  • Providing educational materials or resources
  • Encouraging self-care and self-help strategies

Healing from trauma often requires support beyond individual therapy sessions. 

This question will help you understand what additional resources the therapist can offer to enhance your recovery process.

10. How do you measure progress in therapy?

  • Setting realistic goals and expectations
  • Regularly reviewing progress with the client
  • Adjusting treatment plans based on client feedback and needs

It's important to know how the therapist evaluates progress and ensures that therapy remains effective and relevant to your needs. 

Their approach should be collaborative, involving your input and feedback.

Asking these questions can help you find a trauma-informed therapist who meets your needs and supports your healing journey. 

Remember, finding the right fit may take time, but it's crucial for establishing a strong therapeutic relationship and fostering lasting recovery.


Finding the right trauma-informed therapist can be a challenging but important step in the healing process. 

Asking potential therapists these ten questions can help you gain insight into their experience and approach to ensure that they are well equipped to provide the support you need for recovery. 

Taking your time to find the right fit is key to establishing a strong therapeutic relationship and fostering lasting healing.

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December 9th, 2023

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