When post-traumatic symptoms persist or intensify it is important to consider professional help. Those seeking treatment often face a number of difficult questions, including: What kinds of treatments are available? How long does treatment take? How much will it cost? How should I choose a therapist?
Here are some answers:
- What does it mean to “need” therapy?
Quite often the bravest step we must take is to admit to ourselves that we need professional help. This usually occurs when a traumatic experience significantly interferes with our everyday functioning. The easiest way to find out if you need professional help is by filling out the Test Yourself Questionnaire [LINK], which reviews the various symptoms associated with the aftermath of exposure to traumatic events.
In many cases people hesitate to turn for help because they fear being judged by people in their lives. This is natural and understandable, but being treated by a mental health professional is no different than being treated by any other medical practitioner. Just as you would advise a friend to feel no shame for a pain in her body, so too should there we feel no shame when our souls are in pain. Turning for help after a traumatic experience is not a sign of mental illness or weakness, but a healthy response to an extremely difficult event.
- How long does treatment last?
The length of treatment and number of meetings involved in trauma treatment is flexible and varies according to the person, the problems he or she are experiencing and the type of treatment needed. That said, treatment for PTSD or post-traumatic distress is usually short term and most treatments end successfully following a few months of therapy. In more severe cases, meetings may take place several times a week and focus on the return to daily functioning. It should be noted that more complex cases of extended trauma over time (which is typical in cases of child abuse or sexual abuse) or exposure to more than one traumatic event often require lengthier treatment, sometimes extending over several years.
- How much will therapy cost?
Cost depends on the type of treatment received, the organization providing the treatment and the amount of financial assistance that an individual receives from the government (via Social Security or other aid organizations). Many victims of trauma, especially victims of hostile attacks, are eligible for financial aid from Social Security (in Israel, Bituach Leumi) for mental health treatment. See our information on aid from government agency. In addition, there are professional organizations that offer treatment at a subsidized rate for victims of terror. It is important to determine your eligibility for financial assistance and where you may find the treatment most suitable for you at a cost you can afford. You may find the information you need on the page Know Your Rights.
If you are seeking treatment here at METIV, call us at 02-644-9666 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an initial appointment with one of our expert trauma therapists. You may be eligible to receive free short-term treatment as part of a research study.
- How do I choose the right therapist for me?
During treatment the therapist will become a very important figure in your life. For this reason it is important to choose a therapist who feels right to you. Speak to the therapist beforehand; ask them about the type of treatment provided and their experience in treating individuals with post-traumatic symptoms. As in every human interaction, there are cases when there is an instant connection between a therapist and client, and there are cases where there is no connection at all. Many people continue treatment with a therapist whose company they do not enjoy or feel doesn’t help them because they are uncomfortable ending their treatment. Treatment should be a significant and healthy experience and therefore it is important that you feel comfortable with your therapist. If for some reason you don’t feel comfortable with your therapist after a few sessions, do not hesitate to discuss this with him or her and consider switching to another therapist.