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POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

ARE YOU STRUGGLING WITH PTSD?

Experiencing or witnessing a traumatic life-event can have a lasting impact. Though everyone experiences difficult situations differently, sometimes it may be hard to process the memories of the event, making it harder to understand what happened and why. At Select Psychology, our team  of mental health professionals can help you work through processing your trauma in a safe and confidential environment.

Talking About Your Mental Health

WHAT IS PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a mental health problem caused by exposure to either a single event, a series of events or prolonged exposure to traumatic events. You do not have to have directly experienced the event, you could be a witness or have been told about it third hand. There are many known causes of PTSD: 

  • Combat exposure
  • Childhood sexual abuse
  • Rape/sexual assault
  • An accident
  • Sudden death of a loved one
  • Being threatened with violence, including domestic violence
  • Life threatening medical diagnosis

Symptoms of PTSD

The symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder may appear immediately or they may not appear until years after the event. Each individual will experience symptoms in varying degrees of frequency and intensity. An initial reaction to such an event might be shock and disbelief. Over time this can either fade or more troubling thoughts and feelings can then emerge. These might include anger, helplessness or fear. It can be difficult to process your memories of the event, or understand what happened and why.

 WHEN TO SEEK THERAPY FOR PTSD

You should consider therapy for PTSD when you experience:

Flashbacks and feeling like you are reliving the traumatic event, including the physical symptoms

Avoidance of places, people or situations that remind you of the event

Being on edge and ‘on the look out’ for a repeat of the traumatic event. This could include having difficultly going to sleep, being on guard for danger, difficulty concentrating

Constant negative thoughts about yourself, others or the world

Difficulty in maintaining close relationships

Increase in drug or alcohol use to block out distressing thoughts

Symptoms of depression and anxiety

THE BEST THERAPIES FOR TREATING PTSD

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (TF-CBT)

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)

Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

Counselling & Psychotherapy

BENEFITS OF THERAPY FOR PTSD

Develop skills and techniques on how to identify and cope with symptoms of PTSD and build resilience

It can help you learn how to have a more positive view of oneself and the world 
after experiencing something traumatic

Treat other mental health issues related to a traumatic experience such as depression, anxiety or drug and alcohol misuse

THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP WITH PTSD

If you are suffering, it is best to seek treatment as soon as you are able to, but in the meantime there are some things that can help while you are waiting for your first appointment:

Practice positive self-talk
Tell yourself that you are safe, the trauma you have endured is in the past. It can be difficult to think like this when experiencing a flashback, so it can be helpful to make some phrases and affirmations that you can look back at when experiencing flashbacks.

Breathing exercises and relaxation methods
When experiencing symptoms, you should turn your focus to your breathing pattern and regulate normal breathing by taking deep breaths. Concentrating on breathing slowly in and out while counting to five can help reduce feelings of fear and panic.

Avoid drugs and alcohol
Use of alcohol and drugs can give a momentary respite from scary feelings that you might want to run away from, but in the long run, drug and alcohol abuse can lead to addiction and other serious health problems.

Reach out
Talking to someone you trust can help ease the burden of facing a difficult experience alone and make you feel like you have people you can rely on and express yourself around.

One day at a time
To keep things manageable, break tasks down into small, manageable chunks. Maintaining a daily routine can provide your life with structure and help keep you busy and your mind focused on the task in front of you.

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HOW CAN OUR PSYCHOLOGY SERVICES HELP WITH PTSD?

We offer a wide range of therapies to help with PTSD and give you the tools to cope and understand your emotions. We are a private mental health service with highly trained therapists and no waiting lists.

This is how therapy would work:

Step 1

Get in touch

The first step is recognising you have an issue and seeking help – BOOK A FREE TELEPHONE CONSULTATION and start the process by providing a space and time to share your needs with us.

Step 2

Telephone Consultation

You will be heard and understood through a confidential phone conversation. Often called the ‘triage’ this is where you can share more about your needs, and we can advise on therapy pathways and provide initial guidance where possible.

Step 3

Appointment Offer

We will match your needs with the best fit practitioner for your therapy pathway and offer you an appointment within two weeks.

Step 4

Initial Assessment

Before you begin a course of therapy, your therapist will need to conduct an assessment in order to agree a course of therapy with you that will best help you and address your goals. This is still part of the therapeutic process and will provide you with a better understanding of your difficulties and how you may start to approach them.

Step 5

Your Therapy

Following on from your assessment, you will move onto therapy. Appointments are 50 minutes – these can be anything from weekly to monthly, depending on your individual circumstances. The number of sessions required to feel better will depend on your needs and therapy plan, this can range between 8-16 sessions, but in general more time is needed to address more complex issues.

Step 6

Feeling Better

As you start to improve, you can agree on changes to the frequency of sessions as required. Ultimately, there will be a time when both you and your therapist agree that you no longer need to continue in active therapy

HELPFUL THINGS TO KNOW

Can PTSD go away naturally?

Usually, PTSD does not disappear by itself; without treatment symptoms can last for months and even years. These symptoms may come and go in waves. Getting professional treatment for PTSD can make a massive difference in an individual’s life. With appropriate intervention, symptoms associated with PTSD can improve and become manageable, enabling an individual to carry out everyday tasks and cope with the trauma.

Does PTSD affect memory?

Scientific studies show that there are actual changes that occur in a person’s brain after experiencing PTSD. For many people with PTSD, it can impact their ability to concentrate and can even lead to memory loss, especially with memories linked to the traumatic event.

What triggers PTSD?

Triggers of PTSD can include scents, sounds, sights or  even thoughts linked to the traumatic event. Some triggers can be more directly associated with the event than others.

LEARN MORE OR BOOK AN APPOINTMENT