Therapy for treating PTSD can be highly effective, allowing people to feel free from the symptoms of a traumatic event(s).  In this article I am discussing therapy to help with treating PTSD due to isolated traumatic events and not complex forms of PTSD.

Many of us have experienced stress at some point and quite a few people feel very stressed all of the time. Everybody responds differently though, as quite a few people can find a scenario far more stressful than others.  In certain traumatic situations, a person can become overwhelmed by the feelings of stress, and this overload can lead to an inability to cope.  It is at this point that real problems can develop in their lives that they find it difficult to control. Once the affect on day to day living becomes severe, this can lead to a diagnosis of PTSD.

PTSD can be caused by being involved in any traumatic event, for example, a tsunami, the London bombings, a car accident or being assaulted.  Memories of distressing events can badly affect people, particularly people serving in the armed forces or emergency services  Left untreated, the symptoms of PTSD can have a long lasting effect on daily life.

Certain situations can trigger the memories of the trauma, known as ‘flashbacks’, and these memories can bring back all the feelings of fear, anxiety and panic of the original event.  These ‘flashbacks’, and the feelings that come with them can be very tiring, leading to lack of sleep, nightmares, difficulties with mental focusing and therefore problems at work and at home.  Depression and anxiety are not uncommon with individuals suffering with PTSD. The traumatic event(s) often feel very ‘current’ to the person with PTSD, as if the event(s) only happened very recently, although it might be years before.

For medical practitioners, the first line of treatment usually includes medication to help deal with the anxious feelings and depression symptoms.  Medication can be enough the stabilise the sufferer, but long term relief is much more likely to happen when the underlying thoughts and triggers are resolved.  The Rewind Technique which is a gentle therapy can achieve effective long term relief for sufferers.  For mild to moderate cases of PTSD, BWRT therapy is also a quick and effective treatment.  Both therapies do not require you to discuss anything about the traumatic event(s) for therapy to be effective which, in my experience is a relief for people I’ve treated.

When treating PTSD, generally, the first session is a chance for the hypnotherapist to learn how the person is being affected, and the kinds of events which may trigger ‘flashbacks’.  When they have this information, a bespoke treatment plan will be put together and agreed upon.  Therapy can then begin straightaway.

In most instances, therapy will focus on removing the panic feelings linked to the original event and thus changing the unwanted responses they are experiencing. The idea is to change the persistent behaviours triggered by the event into more appropriate ones that might be considered ‘normal’ in the situation.  Therapy is usually a brief treatment that aims to help the person return to a more usual life that they would have expected, had they not lived through the traumatic event(s).  It can also help with day to day living as a whole and tackle any problems with family and work life.

Written by Karen April Mills Hypnotherapy, UK.

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