Unintentional killing is a serious trauma that can lead to long-term mental health problems. We recommend professional psychotherapy or counseling for anyone who has unintentionally killed or seriously injured another person. Therapy does not mean you’re weak, crazy, self-indulgent, turning yourself into a victim, or whatever other reason you might be giving yourself for avoiding it. It means you are taking care of yourself. Here are a few benefits:
- Relief from PTSD symptoms such as intrusive images, difficulty concentrating, feeling numb, or negative emotions.
- Help coping so that you can work, parent, and function more effectively day to day.
- Support so that you can feel less alone and get some relief from despair and misery.
- Help managing emotional turmoil so that you can think more clearly and make better decisions.
- Help dealing with relationship issues that the accident either caused or worsened.
- Assistance in developing healthier habits and lifestyle.
You might think that it’s best to try to heal on your own before seeking therapy. While this seems sensible, early treatment will save you time, money, and heartache. Psychological problems become more difficult to treat when they become entrenched.
A good therapist will be by your side as you journey from trauma to peace and growth. He or she will be there to witness your struggle and to help you accumulate the insights and skills that will hasten the journey. You deserve this support.