POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD. It is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help.
If you have mild symptoms of PTSD, or you have had symptoms for less than four weeks, an approach called watchful waiting may be recommended. Watchful waiting involves carefully monitoring your symptoms to see whether they improve or get worse. It is sometimes recommended because 2 in every 3 people who develop problems after a traumatic experience will get better without treatment within a few weeks.
If watchful waiting is recommended, you should have a follow-up appointment within one month.
The aim of hypnotherapy is to unlock stored emotion using the trance state so that the trauma can be revisited and processed while exploring it from a different perspective.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that aims to help you manage your problems by changing how you think and act. Trauma-focused CBT uses a range of psychological treatment techniques to help you come to terms with the traumatic event.
You may also be encouraged to gradually restart any activities you have avoided since your experience, such as driving a car if you had an accident.
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a relatively new treatment that has been found to be very effective in reducing the symptoms of PTSD. EMDR involves making side-to-side eye movements, usually by following the movement of my finger, while recalling the traumatic incident, or EMDR software when appropriate.
It is not clear exactly how EMDR works, but it may help the malfunctioning part of the brain (the hippocampus) to process distressing memories and flashbacks so that their influence over your mind is reduced. I have found it to be very successful in treating clients who have experienced serious assaults, traumatic births, car accidents and even earthquakes:
“Since our last session and the unbelievable thing you did with the EMDR I cannot believe how different I feel, it's truly amazing, for a few days after I questioned HOW it can work, in terms of the power of the mind etc, but then just started to relax about it and see I had achieved what I wanted to achieve which was to feel like ME again, relaxed, peaceful, happy yet strong enough to deal with life and its tests!!
I feel like me again…THANK YOU. You are clearly gifted to be a therapist in this field and I have done nothing but talk about how AMAZING you were/are your calm and kindness radiates from you and made me feel instantly comfortable in your company, considering my then condition and being complete strangers about an unknown science I think that’s pretty amazing. ” Rachael Beeton, victim of New Zealand earthquake." (2 sessions)