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8 Top Traits Vital for Trauma Recovery: Emotional Support Success

Updated: Apr 22


Along your trauma recovery, you may seek emotional support. It could be with a licensed therapist, psychologist, clergy, or a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach. It may involve a traditional approach, holistic modalities, or both. It is important that whoever you choose to work with that they are trauma-informed, educated about abuse and trauma, as well as being experienced in the type of abuse/trauma that you have suffered.


Perhaps, you are interested in receiving emotional support to heal from child abuse, domestic violence, toxic relationships, sexual abuse, Complex PTSD, depression, anxiety, narcissistic abuse, or trauma?


So, you’ve decided to work with a counselor, Certified Trauma Recovery Coach, or a mental health professional? Congratulations! You have chosen to take control of your mental health. To start a process that can be enlightening, freeing, empowering, and radically life changing.


Now there’s one major step you have to take –finding the right professional to be your trusted ally on your healing journey. The goal is to have successful and effective results when receiving emotional support.


This may seem like an overwhelming feat. There are so many types of options available. There are unique styles and approaches, so many different degrees, certifications, and credentials for trauma-informed experts. So how do you know which is better and who is a good fit for you?


In effort to help you find your ideal match for your trauma recovery, I have compiled a list of the 8 top traits vital for YOUR trauma recovery. This list can help you understand an essential component to receive successful emotional support for your health; emotionally, physically, relationally, and spiritually.


8 Top Traits for Your Trauma Recovery


1. Communication Skills The #1 top trait that is vital for your trauma recovery is to have clear communication skills. It is important to be able to articulate your thoughts, beliefs, experiences, challenges, and what you need from your mental health professional. If you struggle to clarify your authentic emotions, obstacles, triggers, and traumatic events with your therapist, Certified Trauma Recovery Coach (CTRC), or psychologist, how can you expect them to help you? This is one of the reasons there is a lack of success in emotional support. Therefore, this is a goal to work on in effort to promote the best results when working with someone.

2. Coachable & Teachable Another factor involved with having a positive experience with a mental health professional, especially with a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach, is to be “coachable” and “teachable.” This means that you are willing to show up on time for your sessions, to be open to receiving feedback, and to be ready to use various tools for your daily practice. Being teachable and coachable requires you to learn new skills, tools, and healing modalities. Are you open to the CTRC’s or therapist’s ideas, constructive criticism, and tips to heal? If not, than you are not only wasting your time and money, but also their valuable time. Be honest with yourself. Consider taking a deep dive into self-reflection to know what is sabotaging your healing journey. Your future self will thank you.

3. Committed For professional trauma recovery to be successful, it requires you to be committed to yourself, your healing process, doing the trauma recovery work, and to be committed to the professional who you are working with. This goes well beyond a single therapy session and/or a single coaching session. In reality, it will take you time, effort, work, and a commitment in your trauma recovery to eventually experience good results. It won’t necessarily happen in one month of counseling and/or Certified Trauma Recovery Coaching. The average abuse survivor is in therapy/coaching for a minimum of 3-6 months to a maximum of 1-10 years and beyond to receive emotional support. Being committed to this lengthy healing process means that you try hard to not cancel your sessions and you don’t blame your lack of success on the professional if you aren’t fully committed. Is this hard work? Yes. Yet, it's so very worth it. Ultimately, your success in your healing journey will be the most beneficial gift that you can ever give yourself.

4. Crystal Clear Being crystal clear about what type of emotional support that you want is important. It is helpful for you to be certain of what you need to reduce your trauma response, distress, and whatever is holding you back from healing. Also, it’s essential to be crystal clear about who is the best fit for you BEFORE agreeing to work with them. It may be helpful for you to take the time to brainstorm what types of mental health approaches that you want and to look outside the box of a traditional approach. According to trauma expert, Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk, who is a psychiatrist, author, researcher, and educator, “Drugs and talk therapy, two of the most popular approaches to mental healthcare, are useful in the treatment of trauma, but have limitations because they do not truly bring the person out of the trauma and into reality.” (The Body Keeps the Score: Takeaways, Analysis and Review; 2015) Although these treatment approaches can offer temporary relief of symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia, the don’t address the ROOT of the problem, which is the re-experiencing of the trauma itself. This is why I offer a holistic approach to my Certified Trauma Recovery Coaching, including somatic embodiment, writing practices, breathing techniques, self-care practices, implementing essential oils, and various holistic healing work.

5. Collaboration – According to Intelligent Information Management Glossary, “Collaboration is a working practice whereby individuals work together for a common purpose.” Your emotional support goes hand in hand with collaboration. Collaboration at the conceptual level involves:

  • Awareness – We become part of a working entity with a shared purpose.

  • Motivation – We drive to gain consensus in problem-solving or development.

  • Self-synchronization – We decide as individuals when things need to happen.

  • Participation – We participate in collaboration and we expect others to participate.

  • Mediation – We negotiate and we collaborate together and find a middle point.

  • Reciprocity – We share and we expect sharing in return through reciprocity.

  • Reflection – We think and we consider alternatives.

  • Engagement – We proactively engage rather than wait and see.

6. Clear BoundariesSetting healthy, clear boundaries is crucial in your healing journey. This is vital for all of your relationships, including with your mental health expert, spouse, intimate partner, friends, co-workers, family, and strangers. According to GoodTherapy.org, “Boundaries are limits people set in order to create a healthy sense of personal space.” Psychological limits define personal dignity and what aligns to your core values. When you seek emotional support with a mental health professional, including a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach, it’s imperative that they respect your boundaries and you respect their boundaries.

7. CuriousWhile therapy is quite a different approach when compared to Certified Trauma Recovery coaching, both share one common trait of curiosity when in your sessions. Are you curious to explore a new perspective, a new healing tool, or to ask important questions? Are you curious to gain wisdom about psychoeducational information to enhance your trauma recovery and put it into practice?

8. Courage – A significant part of your trauma recovery is having the courage to be brave, authentic, and vulnerable. To stay true to yourself. To have the courage to unpack your abuse and trauma in a safe space with a nonjudgmental professional. I love Brene’ Brown’s inspiring quote that says, “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”


Today, I hope that my educational blog post has been helpful for you. I want to end my message on this note: A therapist, psychologist, and/or a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach who is a good match for you will help you to feel safe. They will make you feel seen, heard, and validated. The mental health professional who is ideal for you will “hold sacred space” for you.


If you are interested in working with me or if you have questions pertaining to my own Certified Trauma Recovery Coaching business, you may message me directly on this website.


My Credentials: Dana Arcuri is a graduate of the International Association of Trauma Recovery Coaching and she is certified as a Trauma Recovery Coach. She has a certificate in Somatic Embodiment and Emotional Regulation Strategies. Dana also has a certificate in energy healing. In addition, she has been working with trauma survivors in a variety of capacities for 20 years. Dana is an Amazon Bestselling author of six books, she's a professional speaker, and she has been a YouTuber for 11 years. Dana has 10 years' experience working as a Life Purpose Coach and a Writing Coach for Writing Purposely Book Coaching.


Best wishes to you and your healing journey.



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