Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Trauma can result in a wide range of emotional, physical, and behavioural difficulties, as outlined below. Whilst many of the reactions listed below are a normal response to trauma, and resolve with time, in some cases problems arise when time does not heal, and people develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There are a number of factors which can contribute to a more complicated reaction to trauma, such as other stressors in a person’s life at the time of the event, and earlier traumas. On occasions, PTSD symptoms do not appear for a long time after a traumatic event (months or years). A diagnosis of PTSD is made where a cluster of symptoms persist for a long time (one month or more), the level of distress is severe, and ability to function is greatly impaired.
Indicators of Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD)
If you were to answer yes to the following question, then the subsequent information may be useful to assess how the traumatic event has impacted on your life. This could help you to determine whether seeking professional assistance from a psychologist would be beneficial.
- Have you experienced or witnessed a traumatic event in your life which involved a threat to life or safety, such as: a natural disaster, war, a physical or sexual assault, a serious accident or illness, childhood abuse, childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence, a home invasion, or receiving tragic news (amongst others)?
As a consequence of such a traumatic event:
- Have you experienced significant distress, and intense feelings of helplessness and fear?
- Do you continue to feel terror long after the event has occurred?
- Have you felt shocked, sad, hopeless, irritable, angry, or guilty?
- Have you felt overwhelmed by the experience of the trauma and the intensity of your emotions?
- Are your reactions to the traumatic event impacting negatively on your relationships and your work?
- Have you felt agitated, panicky, unable to relax, or depressed?
- Have you found yourself easily startled or constantly on the look out for any signs of potential danger?
- Have you felt emotionally numb and disconnected from family or friends?
- Have you felt disconnected from yourself, as though you are in a fog and observing life from outside yourself?
- Do you experience recurrent nightmares, memories, or flashbacks of the trauma, which are intense and distressing, and where you feel as though you are reliving the event?
- Do you go to great lengths to avoid anything related to the traumatic event (including thinking about it, talking about it, associating with other people who also experienced the trauma, or going to the place where the trauma/s took place), or keeping yourself excessively busy?
- Have you lost your sense of safety and security, and feel that the world is a dangerous and frightening place?
- Do you try to ‘escape’ the memory of the traumatic event and ‘self-medicate’ by using alcohol or drugs?
- Have you lost your sense of meaning or purpose?
Psychological Treatment for Trauma and PTSD
Talking to a highly experienced Clinical Psychologist like myself can help in ameliorating or overcoming the adverse effects of traumatic events and the symptoms of post traumatic stress. I provide Psychological Therapy (a talking therapy also referred to as psychotherapy) in a safe, supportive and caring environment, utilising a range of evidence-based therapeutic interventions tailored to suit your specific needs. I use an integrative approach and interventions are drawn from therapy models such as Cognitive-Behavioural, Trauma Focussed, Person-Centered, Humanistic, Brief Psychodynamic, Interpersonal, and Mindfulness (amongst others).
Benefits of Treatment for Trauma and PTSD
I can help you to:
- understand your reactions to the trauma and provide you with support and understanding
- learn how to regulate your strong emotions
- learn stress management strategies
- restore your sense of safety and control
- reduce your level of avoidance and reconnect with people
- process the trauma-related feelings and memories, at a pace with which you are comfortable, and in a safe environment
- reduce or eliminate the distressing symptoms you have been experiencing so that the memories are no longer as traumatic
- process grief associated with the losses you have experienced due to the trauma
- rebuild your ability to trust people and feel secure in the world
- restore hope, increase resilience, and strengthen your sense of self.
How we can help
- re-establish your sense of security and safety in the world following a traumatic event
- process trauma-related feelings and memories, at your own pace in a caring and supportive environment
- learn to regulate intense and overwhelming emotions
- reduce the intensity of distressing symptoms of trauma and PTSD such as flashbacks, intrusive thoughts and memories, fear, and hyper-vigilance (being on the alert for danger)
- reduce your level of avoidance, and reconnect with people
- restore your sense of control and trust
- re-engage with life no longer constrained by the distressing effects of the trauma or PTSD
Call 0409 415 323
PENNY JANIS – PSYCHOLOGIST TRAUMA AND PTSD
Contact me to commence the journey of reducing your pain and distress, and moving towards a more peaceful and enjoyable life.
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls. The most massive characters are seared with scars.