PTSD Treatment & Counseling
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Have you experienced lingering images of life-threatening or perceived life-threatening events? These lingering traumas are stored in your short-term memory, making them easily triggered in everyday life and often including physical reactions. This trauma response often lasts for many years after the event, making you feel a heightened sense of arousal, reactivity, and possibly a disconnection from everyday life.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition triggered by experiencing or witnessing traumatic life events such as war, assault, car accidents, school shootings, natural disasters, and child abuse. Critically, this is not a comprehensive list. There are many experiences that can trigger a trauma response and no two people will cope with life-altering trauma the same way.
Hey, it’s normal to feel out of sorts, or to feel scared, depressed, or anxious after experiencing a trauma. If the symptoms decrease and become more manageable within a few weeks or months you may not be at risk of PTSD. But, if you are feeling some of the symptoms above, you’re not alone and help is out there for you. Having PTSD makes the recovery process from terrifying life events a challenge. If left untreated, PTSD can make connecting with the present moment, one’s family, or even one’s self difficult. But, if you are feeling some of the symptoms above, you’re not alone and help is out there for you.
Symptoms of PTSD?
This disorder usually includes a number of symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. These symptoms may go away quickly or last for months. PTSD is diagnosed when these symptoms interfere with your daily life and self care.
Symptoms may include nightmares or unwanted memories of the trauma, avoidance of situations that bring back memories of the trauma, heightened reactions, anxiety, or depressed mood. Symptoms of PTSD are often difficult to explain and triggers may not make sense to the person experiencing them or those around them. PTSD impacts interpersonal relationships as symptoms and triggers may not be understood by partners or family members—straining these relationships. PTSD is isolating and the re-living of traumatic experiences reinforces loneliness.
Substance use and thoughts of suicide are common in people experiencing PTSD. There’s a powerful desire to escape the symptoms of PTSD is strong and at times, substance use and the thought of suicide may briefly give a reprieve, but both only add to the internal conflict felt by a person with PTSD.
Treatment Of PTSD?
The main goals of PTSD Therapies are to reduce symptoms, improve response to triggers, and build self-esteem. We help clients with PTSD meet their goals using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART).
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) is often our first line treatment option for individuals with a history of trauma or PTSD. ART involves visualizing the traumatic memory and reprocessing the memory using a structured therapeutic process and eye movements. ART often helps clients move on from trauma so that previously overwhelming thoughts, feelings, or sensations they experienced no longer hurt and the client finds rapid relief.
CBT is also an evidence-based therapy for the treatment of PTSD. CBT focuses on changing unhelpful beliefs about the trauma and focuses on developing coping skills to address the trauma.
When to seek counseling for PTSD?
It’s time to seek support for PTSD if you can nod “Yes” to any of these:
- My symptoms have lasted for more than a month
- I have re-experienced the event at least once
- I avoided situations to help manage my reactions
- I experienced physical reactions or changes in myself when I think of the event.
With the right PTSD treatment, PTSD symptoms can be reduced or close to eliminated. The healing process takes time and some work, but this work does not have to be done alone. In fact doing the work with a trusted therapist will allow the room to heal.
At MUV Counseling, we have more than 15 years of experience helping clients who were struggling with mental health – we and specialize in helping recover from past traumas!