top of page
A smiling Black woman in a plum shirt and white cardigan is sitting up on an exam table. She is looking at a doctor. The doctor is a Black woman in a white lab coat and she is smiling at the woman on the exam table.

Therapy for Medical Trauma

What is medical trauma?

Medical trauma refers to the mental and emotional distress a person experiences as a result of medical events that were frightening, painful, invasive or stressful. These might have taken place at a hospital, doctor's office, dentist office, or even at home.


It might be from serious diagnosis, invasive treatments, long hospital stays, neglect or mistreatment by medical staff or any other medical intervention that has a deep effect on someone.

You might have witnessed others going through stressful medical procedures and now you're going through a similar situation and you don't know why it's so hard for you.  

Procedures, treatments and uncertainty of the future can be deeping distressing. It can lead to avoiding needed medical care, feel anxious or fearful, ashamed, experience flashbacks, or have panic attacks when seeking care.


Medical trauma is complex because there are so many individual factors involved. Not only can it impact your emotional health, it can further impact your physical health, relationships with others, identity, spiritual self and financial health. It's common to be distrustful of healthcare workers.

People with chronic illness that have to undergo ongoing medical treatment, like for cancer or dialysis, may experience this more than others. It can be difficult to stay in your body when thinking about these procedures or going a place that reminds you of these events.

Working with a therapist for medical trauma

I know taking the first step is hard and I appreciate that you're here. Especially after what happened to you.

Together, we can work through your experiences to lessen the distress you feel when seeking medical care and create a tool box of skills personalized to you. We can help you develop new skills to communicate with healthcare providers and advocate for yourself within the medical system. We can partner together to explore your values, and identify ways that you can live your life guided by what's most important to you.  

bottom of page