Role of client and therapist in the recovery of trauma
Updated: Sep 18
“I believe so much of the healing process has to be the patient’s activity. If you’re a trauma survivor and feel as though your recovery and healing is the work of the therapist, you’re still not free. What I want is for people to feel their own capacity for healing. When we’ve lost our sense of agency from traumatic experiences, it’s important that, part of the recovery, be the recovering of the sense of agency.” – Janina Fisher
Understanding the role of client and therapist is an important part of the therapeutic process. As, the quote states, it’s essential that the client be an active participant in order to regain what was lost from the trauma experiences. In trauma recovery, the therapist holds space, assesses, provides psychoed, and facilitates the process, but the client is the expert of his or her own bodies, beliefs, experiences, needs, and healing. David Grand, founder of Brainspotting, states that the therapist should be in the ‘tail of the comet’ allowing the client’s brain and body to guide the treatment process, with the therapist following with attunement. This distinction is different from the ‘white coat’ dynamic of old, where the clinician is seen as the expert and the client relying solely on their interpretation and expertise. At Embodied Life therapy, collaboration is required to engage in mind-body modalities with the client in a very active role and the therapist, bridging knowledge and guidance to facilitate the process.