A Guide For Lawyers Dealing With Stressed and Traumatized Clients

lawers legal mental health stress

“My client was so stressed that they could barely manage their emotional behavior or explain their side of the story… dealing with them for one hour drained my energy for the rest of the day.” — Thomas L, Esq



If you’ve been practising law, you’ve likely experienced that a client’s stress levels and trauma history affect not only your attorney-client relationship but importantly, your client’s case outcome.


For one, high client stress during a difficult legal case affects the lawyer’s ability to get their point across. Concurrently, during emotional overwhelm, the client’s capacity to tell a comprehensible narrative to either their attorney or to the court, is nearly impossible.


This is because Broca’s area of the brain, which is responsible for speech, goes offline when a person experiences a flashback or trigger response.


Lawyers are often faced with the complex task of representing clients who are dealing with trauma, stress, and emotional challenges. Communicating effectively, understanding the client’s mental health, building trust, managing emotional responses, and considering the client’s overall well-being are crucial aspects of providing effective legal counsel.

This article aims to address how lawyers can deal with stressed clients, the pain points lawyers face when dealing with traumatized and anxious clients and introduce a solution that could revolutionize the way legal professionals approach client care.


Most Popular Lawyer-Client Challenges


1. Communicating With A Stressed or Traumatized Legal Client

One of the primary pain points lawyers encounter when dealing with traumatized clients is communication challenges. Stressed or traumatized clients may struggle to articulate their thoughts, posing a significant barrier to effective communication. Lawyers may be concerned about understanding their clients’ needs and building a strong attorney-client relationship. This challenge can hinder the progress of legal proceedings and impact the overall success of the case.


2. Lawyer Decision Making With Stressed Clients

The mental health of clients is a critical concern for lawyers. Trauma and stress can significantly impact a person’s decision-making abilities, leading lawyers to worry about their clients making choices that are not in their best interest. Understanding the connection between mental health and legal decision-making is essential for lawyers to provide comprehensive and effective representation.


3. Building Trust With A Stressed Legal Client

Establishing trust and rapport with clients is a cornerstone of effective legal representation. However, clients who have experienced trauma may find it challenging to trust their attorney, particularly if the legal matter is connected to the source of their trauma.


4. Attorneys Deal With Highly Emotional Legal Clients

Emotional outbursts or breakdowns during case discussions can be challenging for lawyers to navigate. Dealing with these situations requires a delicate balance of empathy and professionalism. Lawyers must be equipped to handle emotional responses from clients in a way that ensures their well-being while maintaining the integrity of the legal process.


5. Self-Care for Lawyers Working With Difficult Clients

Lawyers themselves may experience stress or secondary trauma when dealing with highly emotional cases. Recognizing the importance of self-care becomes a concern to ensure that legal professionals are equipped to handle challenging client situations effectively.


Where To Find Mental Health Support For Legal Clients and Attorneys


To support lawyers dealing with stressed or traumatized clients and offer a therapeutic, supportive platform, Rewire Trauma Therapy offers lawyers and law firms the opportunity to sign up clients to their online therapy platform.

This innovative platform allows legal professionals to add stressed clients to their business portal, providing them with access to trauma-informed care and stress reduction exercises through online therapy programs.


Rewire Trauma Therapy's platform offers short, easy 10-minute a day guided exercises and over 13 trauma therapy programs encompassing over 11 body-based modalities.


These include expertly curated flows of qigong, martial arts, somatic therapy, vagal toning, dance therapy, yoga therapy, art therapy and more.

The therapeutic exercises and programs have been designed by over 60 trauma counselors, therapists, psychiatrists, doctors, and trauma treatment experts. To date, thousands of practitioners and their clients have given positive feedback to Rewire Trauma Therapy.

To remain at the forefront of trauma informed legal support, these programs include interviews with lawyer and therapist Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq, as well as draw inspiration from the works of renowned experts such as Dr. Bessel Van Der KolkDr. Bruce PerryPeter Levine, and Gabor Maté.


Benefits of Online Therapies for Lawyers and Clients:


Enhanced Communication:

Clients participating in online therapy programs often experience improved communication skills, aiding lawyers in understanding their case more effectively.

Improved Mental Health:

By addressing the mental health of clients through trauma-informed care, lawyers can mitigate concerns about impaired decision-making due to stress or trauma.

Building Trust and Rapport:

Clients engaging in trauma-informed therapy may find it easier to build trust with their attorneys, creating a more supportive attorney-client relationship.

Managing Emotional Responses:

Clients equipped with stress reduction exercises are better prepared to manage emotional responses, reducing the likelihood of emotional outbursts during legal discussions.

Informed Legal Decision-Making:

Trauma-informed care helps clients make more informed legal decisions, positively influencing the legal strategy developed by lawyers.

Self-Care for Lawyers:

Offering clients access to online therapy programs supports lawyers in managing their own stress and secondary trauma through a more informed and supportive approach.



A More Compassionate Legal Landscape


Attorneys no longer have to deal with stressed and traumatized clients alone.

Navigating the complexities of legal representation for stressed and traumatized clients requires a multifaceted approach. By acknowledging and addressing the pain points lawyers commonly face, we can work towards creating a legal environment that is both effective and supportive.

Rewire Trauma Therapy’s online therapy platform offers a groundbreaking solution for lawyers seeking to provide trauma-informed care to their clients. By incorporating stress reduction exercises and trauma therapy programs into legal proceedings, lawyers can contribute to the overall well-being of their clients while enhancing the efficacy of their legal representation.

As legal professionals, adopting a trauma-informed approach not only benefits our clients but also contributes to a more compassionate and empathetic legal system.


The future of legal representation lies in recognizing the integral connection between mental health and effective legal counsel, ultimately creating a more just and supportive legal landscape for all.


Ready to transform your approach to legal client care?

Sign up here to start your free trial for Rewire Trauma Therapy’s online platform and add your clients to your membership portal to begin a calmer, more supportive legal journey for all.


Want Practical Strategies For Healing The Trauma-affected Nervous System?

If you find these articles helpful and want practical therapies you can use to begin fixing nervous dysregulation today you may be interested in exploring our top-rated guided programs:

Vagal Toning Program

Integrating Polyvagal Theory into 10-minute therapies that gently tone the vagus nerve after trauma

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Trauma-Informed Yoga Program

Safely integrate reparative trauma-informed yoga postures to facilitate 'tissue memory' release

Learn More

Somatic Therapies For Trauma Program

Tune into your body, develop your somatic awareness, and find a sense of groundedness.

Learn More