What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Not every person who has experienced trauma or a traumatic event develops post-traumatic stress disorder. Some people experience symptoms like these and find the symptoms gradually fade as the unsettling event is processed over time. Trauma symptoms that persist and do not decrease in severity may be an indication that the trauma has developed into a mental health disorder called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Common symptoms of PTSD include hypervigilance, flashbacks, persistent memories of the traumatic event, and avoidance behaviors. Seeking help when these symptoms and complications arise is key to living life to your fullest potential.
Therapies for Treating Trauma & PTSD
There is no one cure for trauma nor any quick fixes for the suffering associated with them, but there is hope. While pharmacological therapy, such as antidepressants, are often used to treat co-occurring disorders associated with trauma, the first-line treatment approach is trauma-informed therapy. A trauma-informed therapist is aware of the complex impact of trauma on a person’s suffering and how it shapes a person’s efforts to cope. A trauma-informed approach integrates a thorough knowledge of this impact into every aspect of treatment, making emotional and psychological safety a priority for the individual with a trauma history.
Most trauma-informed therapists will employ a variety of therapy modalities:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps you process and evaluate your thoughts and feelings about your experience.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy with eye movements or other forms of rhythmic, left-right stimulation that can “unfreeze” traumatic memories.
- Somatic Experiencing (SE) focuses on bodily sensations, rather than thoughts and memories about the traumatic event. By concentrating on what’s happening in your body, you can release pent-up trauma-related energy through shaking, crying, and other forms of physical release.
Trauma-informed therapists use all the tools and treatments they can to promote healing while preventing further harm. You can expect trauma-informed therapists to:
- Create a safe environment where healing can occur.
- Talk about self-care, boundaries, grounding, and resourcing.
- Work to understand your coping strategies, how you survived your experiences, and help you build new healthy coping skills.
- Move at a pace that’s comfortable for you, collaborating with you along the way, and working to keep you within your window of tolerance of emotions.
We’re Here For You
Recognizing the nature of trauma and understanding its impact is the beginning of hope and recovery. Trauma-informed care is built on a holistic view that offers safety and compassion. It inspires hope and empowers people to make long-lasting change.
If you or someone you know is struggling, we’re here for you. Northshore Family Counseling’s trauma-informed counselors are ready to work with you to create a tailored approach that will give you the best chance of recovery. Contact us for an appointment at our office at 985-661-0560 or fill out our appointment request form
to get started.