Good Health

Overcoming Trauma: Therapy For PTSD

People think that PTSD is only suffered by war veterans especially those who just came back after serving overseas and could not fully integrate into society and community life. But the truth is PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder affects more people than we realize. It is a psychiatric syndrome that can happen to individuals who have experienced or seen a distressing event. These events could be a personal assault, accident, natural disaster, rape and of course, war.

People suffering from PTSD have flashbacks and or nightmares that relive the traumatic event. These flashbacks could be triggered by almost anything but they mostly react negatively on a stimulus that reminds them of the event. If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD, it is recommended that you seek treatment as appropriate.

Group Therapy

Not all who suffer from PTSD are willing to go for therapy or even admit that they are suffering from trauma. Survivors of the same traumatic event could attend group therapy together. When they are with people who they know understand them because they are experiencing the same, it would be easier for them to open up and to talk about their flashbacks and nightmares. For those who have experienced a traumatic event alone, they could find group therapy sessions for people like them.

For example, a domestic violence survivor could attend group therapy sessions with other individuals who left their homes because they are victims of violence. Others could also attend group therapy with their family members. This is recommended so PTSD psychologists in Melbourne could further explain what the patient is experiencing so that the family members can assist in the treatment.

Cognitive Processing Therapy

Cognitive processing therapy on the other hand focuses on the PTSD psychologist helping transform negative thoughts and emotions of the patient regarding its trauma. Some victims might think they deserve to be victimized or others might have survivor’s guilt and think they don’t deserve to survive. Others might not even want to leave their own home thinking that the same traumatic event might happen again. With this therapy, the psychologist would try to help the patient feel better with having these negative emotions and how to cope with it. 

Prolonged Exposure Therapy

As it is called, this type of therapy “exposes” the patient on what triggers or reminds them of their trauma. In a controlled and safe environment, the patient is assisted with how they could face and control their fear. An example of this is used for war veterans where they undergo relieving their experiences in a battle field by means of using virtual reality. The more the patient is exposed to what is causing their trauma, the more they become accustomed to it.

It might be difficult for us to empathize with a friend or a family member that is suffering from PTSD because we have no idea what they are going through. We also have to be careful about how we talk and deal with them because one insensitive remark might be detrimental to them.

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