Psychotherapy For Trauma & PTSD

Psychotherapy For Trauma & PTSD

Most people will experience trauma in their lifetime, whether it’s a car accident, abuse or neglect, the sudden death of a loved one, a violent criminal act, exposure to the violence of war, or a natural disaster.

While many people can recover from trauma over time with the love and support of family and friends, others may endure lasting effects of trauma, which can cause a person to live with deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, avoidance, or post-traumatic stress far after the event has passed. In these circumstances, the support, guidance, and assistance of a therapist is fundamental to healing from trauma.

Symptoms of unresolved trauma can include:

Avoidance Symptoms

Avoiding specific locations, sights, situations, and sounds that serve as reminders of the event
Avoiding thoughts or feelings associated with the traumatic event

Re-experiencing Symptoms

Intrusive thoughts, nightmares or flashbacks
Intense distress at reminders of the traumatic event

Hyperarousal Symptoms

Anger, irritability, and hypervigilance
Aggressive, reckless behavior, including self-harm
Sleep disturbances

Negative Mood and Cognition Symptoms

Loss of interest in activities that were once considered enjoyable
Difficulty remembering details of the distressing event
Sense of detachment from others
Negative beliefs about the self (“I am bad”) or the world (“no one can be trusted”)

Women are twice as likely to experience PTSD as men.  It is believed that PTSD affects nearly four percent of the U.S. adult population. While it is usually linked with veterans who’ve experienced combat, PTSD occurs in all people regardless of age, race, nationality or culture. In fact, women are twice as likely to experience PTSD as men.

People with PTSD often feel intense emotions such as fear, anger, sadness and a sense of detachment from friends, family and community members. They often avoid people and situations that remind them of the traumatic event. Ordinary sounds or incidents such as a door banging or accidental touch in a crowd may cause a strong and uncontrollable reaction.

How Can Treatment Help?

Research has proven psychotherapy to be the most effective form of treatment for trauma. Most commonly, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) are used in treating trauma.

EMDR uses bilateral sensory input such as side-to-side eye movements to stimulate the brain to process difficult thoughts, memories and emotions. CBT is a form of talk therapy that focuses on changing thoughts, feelings, behaviors and beliefs connected to the trauma. The goal of a CBT therapist is to help a client with PTSD return to a place of hope with a greater sense of being in control of their thoughts and behaviors.

If you or a loved one suffer with PTSD and would like to explore treatment options, please reach out to me. I have personally seen amazing transformation through therapy and want to offer the help you need to enjoy life again.