Treating Trauma: Continuing Education Matters
When it comes to practicing psychotherapy and especially treating patients with pronounced trauma, continuing education can make all the difference in providing your patients with up-to-date care. Certainly anyone practicing therapy in the field has a great many tools at their disposal straight out of college. This toolbox will only grow with experience as you find out what works and what doesn’t, developing your own particular style of therapy and working to perfect it. But no one achieves perfection in a vacuum. By furthering the learning process beyond the initial classroom hours, any therapist can improve upon their practice. Working with traumatized patients can be difficult, and the field is constantly expanding; the clients are owed the best treatment that is available, and continuing education makes that possible.
While up-to-date technique is important, it is also worth noting that there are some things no instructor can teach. A counselor dealing with patients who have been through a traumatic event must be possessed of certain inherent qualities, such as a compassionate spirit and a warm bedside manner. These things can be discussed in a classroom, but there is only so much a person can fake before it becomes obvious to everyone involved, including the patient. Psychotherapy isn’t a job you can do while not caring.
A therapist working with such patients could be practicing from a variety of different places. Some, of course, keep a private practice, scheduling appointments for patients who come to them. Others work closely with clinics and hospitals, speaking with people who have been through a nightmare and simply need some way of coping with the grief. Others may work through the legal system as officers of the court, or for law firms. People going through trials and other legal processes are often dealing with a host of emotions and need to speak with a counselor. How your practice is defined will have a lot to do with the kind of information you need to seek.
As with any form of psychotherapy, the knowledge and skill that goes into this type of counseling is vast and the resources are growing on a daily basis. Any therapist who wants to provide the best for their patients must keep up with the research of trauma; continuing education is a vital part of this endeavor. Not only will it improve the practice, it is required in many states to remain licensed. Make sure you know your state’s requirements as you move through your career.
Therapists today have a great advantage over previous generations. The internet has made it possible to get your credits through a number of various avenues. Online classes and webinars make it convenient and easy to remain up to date on your credits. They are offered through many different sites, all of which have something to offer.