"How fast is a therapist able to tell whether his new client is traumatized or not when the client can‘t truly open up?"
Therapists and mental health counselors have several methods of behavioral and psychological assessment that assist with diagnosis and case conceptualization. One of which is assessing an individual’s participation and receptivity to treatment. Willingness to engage is often included in assessment criteria and provides information on factors like prognosis, motivation, and insight.
As a therapist who works with traumatized clients I will ask myself:
Does the client answer questions directly or in a round about way? Is the client agreeable? How much consistency is there between the clients symptoms and their narrative?
In fact, avoidance of topics related to a traumatic event and incongruent affect can be indicative of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If a client “can’t truly open up,” they may be traumatized.
Therapists, psychologists, and counselors are skilled professionals trained to identify mental health disorders. In a standard assessment, mental health professionals will use specific questions to elicit disclosure of thoughts and feelings to make a diagnosis.
Sometimes the absence of self-disclosure can provide a lot more information than the information given by what the person is actually speaking about or willing to say; like, when and on what subjects is the client deflecting? Non-exploratory or answer avoiding behaviors can give a treatment provider a lot of insight into how a client is dealing with or feeling about a problem, situation, or circumstance.
If you or someone you love has experienced a traumatic event and is having difficulty opening up, please visit www.TherapywithRaquel.com for more information.
Raquel Buchanan is a licensed therapist (LMFT #118976) in Palm Springs, CA. Raquel offers both in person and online counseling to individuals, families, and children. She is a trauma informed provider and holds numerous hours of continuing education in trauma related disorders. For more information on counseling or therapy services, please visit www.TherapywithRaquel,com for more information or call (818) 839-2032. Raquel offers a free 15 minute phone consultation to help you decide in therapy services are right for you.
Raquel Buchanan is a mental health profession in southern California who blogs about life and relationships. Raquel is on a mission to spread awareness about the impact of violence, abuse, and trauma.
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