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Trauma & Post-traumatic Stress Disorder


What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) identifies a specific and complex type of emotional and mental distress following a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury.

What Does PTSD Feel Like?

Symptoms of PTSD include panic, anxiety, as well as recurring images of the event that result in feeling as if the event were taking place again, and again. Along with recurring images that occur during the day, nightmares are often experienced of the event repeatedly that can go on for months, and even years, afterwards. This can result in the survivor living with the trauma 24/7 -re-playing like a horror movie throughout the day and night. 

Common symptoms of trauma include:

  • Reliving Memories

  • Avoidance Behaviors

  • Sense of threat Symptoms, or Hypervigilance

  • Low Self-Esteem

  • High Conflict Relationships

  • Mood and Emotional Dysregulation

Efforts to suppress these images, and avoid all reminders of their trauma can lead to survivors withdrawing from the world, showing less emotion, and becoming disinterested in people and activities that were once important.

What Does Therapy for PTSD Look Like?

Currently, the gold standard for reducing PTSD symptoms is actually not medication. While this may sound surprising, it actually makes a whole lot of sense. Current treatments, such as Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, and Written Exposure Therapy, can actually target the memories and feelings directly related to the traumatic events. Medication, however, while helpful to assist an individual during treatment, is not able to "cure" symptoms. 

One size does not fit all, and thankfully there are different approaches to treat PTSD. By working with me, we'll find the best targeted PTSD treatment that's right for you. Together, we will work towards:

  • Decreasing avoidance of the memories and reminders of the memories. Avoidance serves to maintain them. 

  • Decrease the emotional distress these memories cause.

  • Making sense of what happened to you without self-blame and self-critical thinking, while restoring feelings of safety with others again.

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