Counseling: To Go or Not to Go
Janice Harris Lord, Therapist
Trauma Support Services of North Texas
Most people know when they could use professional help, even though it may be difficult to admit. They often feel exhausted but can’t sleep, have frightening nightmares, have difficult concentrating, put energy in trying not to think about it, or find themselves irritable about things that wouldn’t be so upsetting to people who have not had a traumatic experience.
Therapists help hurting people recognize natural reactions to trauma and determine which reactions might benefit from professional intervention. Trauma survivors can use the relationships with their therapists to gauge the progress of their pilgrimage toward feeling better. If family members and friends are interested in helping, they also can learn how to support and appropriately encourage survivors.
Therapy is a two-way process that works best when the client and the therapist are able to communicate honestly and openly, building a relationship of emotional safety and trust. Building this relationship takes varying lengths of time.
Some trauma survivors are relieved when they can meet with other survivors who have lived through what some have called “a similar hell.” Group therapy, support groups, or educational groups can be invaluable for this process.
TSSNT – Trauma Support Services of North Texas (TSSNT) offers you one or a combination of these opportunities, in a safe, secure, and supportive environment. Most TSSNT services are free, as this organization seeks to fill the gap in services for those with no or limited ability to pay. Corporate office is located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Call 972-709-4904 or 817-378-7158 to schedule an appointment.
About Janice Harris Lord -Janice Lord is licensed as both a social worker and professional counselor. She has worked personally for more than 25 years with families of those killed suddenly and violently. She served as the National Director of Victim Services for Mothers Against Drunk Driving for 14 years and was recently elected to the Board of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Janice is a Fellow in Thanatology with the Association of Death Education and Counseling. A consultant for a number of crime victims’ organizations, Janice has appeared on numerous talk shows including Oprah Winfrey and Good Morning America. Janice is the author of many publications including three books; No Time for Goodbyes: Coping with Sorrow, Anger, and Injustice After a Tragic Death, was 6th edition released in 2007, and two new books were published in 2008: Spiritually Sensitive Caregiving: A Multi-Faith Handbook and I’ll Never Forget Those Words: A Practical Guide to Death Notification.
Many survivors of traumatic experiences get better without professional help if they have family and friends who accept them and support them. You do need to talk about what happened to you and how you feel about it, but all too often, it has been kept a secret from not only your church and your friends, but even from family members.
Religion & Counseling
“A large percentage of people in this country with personal and emotional problems often seek out a member of the clergy rather than, say, a professional therapist. Does this mean the clergy should be better trained in psychology? And at what point — if ever — should clergy refer people to the professionals?”
“Forty percent of people in the United States who seek help for emotional problems go to clergy rather than psychotherapists. Partly that is due to the stigma attached with mental illness.” But are clergy equipped to handle emotional problems?
“Pastoral counseling and psychiatric treatment have the same goal: to help people. More and more practitioners in both fields feel strongly that people are more likely to be helped if both spiritual and psychological issues are addressed.”
Quotes taken from – Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, May 2005