The Significance of Trauma
Over half the population in the UK will experience trauma at some point in their lives. Trauma is experienced by everyone differently. Similar events can cause very different responses from individuals. This can relate to genetics, personality alongside, developmental factors and how in childhood we have been soothed and seen our care givers respond to adversity.
After a traumatic event an individual may experience symptoms such as a replay of upsetting memories, sleep can be impacted, we can feel different, detached, feel irritable and on edge. This understandably impacts our day-to-day life, relationships to others and we may use unhelpful ways to cope such as avoidance.
When does trauma become Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD?)
Most individuals will see symptoms fade within one month, day to day life will start to come back to what their normal is. However with PTSD symptoms continue, last longer than six to eight weeks, there is a disruption to daily life, the amount of distress associated with the trauma does not fade. It is important to recognise that in some individuals with PTSD and with Complex PTSD (C-PTSD), symptoms may start months or years after the trauma. This is especially true if this was sustained or repeated trauma such as childhood abuse or domestic abuse.
A psychological assessment is needed to fulfil a diagnosis of PTSD or C-PTSD and to discuss treatment options further. I am an experienced PTSD and C-PTSD psychotherapist who can offer assessment and treatment online, in London alongside within your home. Within an assessment, I will screen for symptoms which indicate PTSD such as:
In the past month, have you:
▪ Had nightmares about the trauma or thought about it when you didn’t want to?
▪ Tried hard not to think about the trauma, or avoided people or places that remind you of the trauma?
▪ Felt ‘on guard’, been more jumpy, irritable or had difficulty concentrating?
▪ Felt numb or detached from people, activities, or your surroundings?
▪ Felt guilty or unable to stop blaming yourself or others for the trauma, or any problems following the trauma?
If you answered “yes” to 3 or more of these questions, it suggests that you are experiencing many of the common symptoms of PTSD and C-PTSD and it is likely they are having a significant impact on your life.
Effective treatments recommended for PTSD
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
The underpinnings of CBT explore how our thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and behaviours are all interlinked and interact with each other. When a person experiences trauma these interactions can be misaligned and extremely over sensitive. Therefore, when an individual's thoughts, emotions and behaviours can feel chaotic, impulsive and hard to manage. CBT assists with building emotional regulation, self compassion and helps the individual to reclaim life that is inline with their values whilst reducing distressing symptoms through challenging avoidances.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend CBT for effective treatment of PTSD and C-PTSD. For recommendations you can read more here: Overview | Post-traumatic stress disorder | Guidance | NICE
Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is an evidence-based treatment that has been researched extensively and is also recommended by NICE as effective treatment to assist with recovery. You can read more about EMDR here https://www.homebasedtalkingtherapy.com/post/what-is-emdr
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommend EMDR for effective treatment of PTSD and C-PTSD. For recommendations, you can read more here: Overview | Post-traumatic stress disorder | Guidance | NICE
PTSD and C-PTSD are treatable, recovery is a realistic goal. It is however important to seek the correct support. Counselling is not recommended for effective treatment of PTSD or C-PTSD. If you wish to seek suitable psychological evidence-based treatment from an experienced PTSD therapist in London, (in person homevisits available) please send an email with any questions to: email@example.com.