When you or a loved one has suffered from a traumatic event, what can you expect when you seek treatment? There are a lot of different types of treatments out there, and the success always depends on the individual. But according to The American Psychological Association, there are four main types of treatments that they recommend during therapy for those suffering from PTSD.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Cognitive Processing Therapy
- Cognitive Therapy
- Prolonged Exposure
CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a very common and well know treatment for clients who are seeking psychological help for their PTSD. It generally has the client focus on the behaviors, thoughts and/or feelings that they are associating with the trauma they experienced. When these behaviors, thoughts, and feelings are identified, they are then worked to change them from a negative pattern to a more positive one. When changing a behavior, it can then change the thoughts or feelings that go along with that behavior. And vice versa, changing the thoughts and feelings associated with a certain type of behavior can then in turn change the behavior.
CPT or Cognitive Processing Therapy is the specific type of CBT that allows clients to learn how to change the negative thoughts/feelings and behaviors associated with the trauma. It will give clients the tools to change and replace behaviors and thoughts in order to eliminate the negativity in their lives.
CT or Cognitive Therapy involves focusing on the thoughts a person is having that keeps bringing them back to the trauma and negative experience. CT will change or “interrupt” the thought process, in order to redirect the thoughts so that they are not having such an impact on the persons every day life.
Prolonged Exposure is a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that has the client focus on the memories, thoughts and/or feelings they have been avoiding that surround the traumatic event. It helps the client get rid of the avoidance, and face the memories head on, in order to challenge the memories/thoughts/feelings. This can help the client become aware the memories do not need to be avoided, and can actually be worked through in a positive manner.
Whatever type of treatment is done, or is sought out by the client, we know this can be a very difficult time in a persons life. We encourage anyone who has suffered or is suffering from something traumatic to seek help. You deserve to feel better, and to have control over your life!
To read more on the treatments at APA go here.
What are some of the signs you might be suffering with, or that you might be seeing someone close to you suffer with that could be an early indication of PTSD?
According to American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V2, in order to be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder you must exhibit a few different groups of behaviors. Those are intrusion symptoms, avoidance, negative alterations in cognitions and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity. And these groups of symptoms are diagnosed by a Psychologist or a Psychiatrist.
Before this diagnosis happens, one might start having difficulty immediately after a particularly traumatic event. These early signs of stress after trauma can be a wide range of behaviors and emotions. The thoughts and emotions can lead to reactionary behaviors that could be considered warning signs that PTSD might be on the horizon. When trying to heal from a traumatic event, understanding how the event has changed your thought process, your emotions and your entire life early following the event is the key to help from developing PTSD. It is important to get help soon after, or get your loved one help soon after the event and if they start to exhibit emotions or behaviors that are not consistent with how they were before the event.
Some signs to look out for:
1- Sleeping Difficulties
3-Numbness and Disconnection
6-Reliving the Trauma
9-Relationships Changes (person might become more irritable, angry, and have more conflicts in their relationships)
10-Loss of Self Esteem
11-Work Performance Declines
12-Lifestyle Changes (person might stop going to their gym classes, or stop engaging in other hobbies they used to love)
13-New Use (or increased use) of Drugs and Alchohl
Experiencing a traumatic event affects the person it happened to, as well as everyone surrounding this person. It is important to be supportive and loving, and to recognize when someone might not be coping with the event in a healthy manner. It is also important to recognize as a loved one, when you yourself might not be coping with the change in the loved one. Keeping communication open, getting the help that is needed on all accounts, are great first steps before a diagnosis of full fledged Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is considered. To read more about the early signs of PTSD, check out this article at Psychology Today by Jennifer Sweeton PsyD.
Happy May everyone! We hope you are all having a wonderful Spring, and getting ready for those hot temperatures for Summer! Because at the end of May we will be honoring those who served in the military on Memorial Day, we will focus this month on various topics related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We will not only be talking about the Veterans we have in our lives, but the families and friends around them. We will also talk about other things that can cause PTSD, not just those who have returned from war and might be struggling.
There are many different traumatic experiences that can cause symptoms and prolonged PTSD. We want our blog to be beneficial and full of useful information for all people who may be in a situation where they are suffering. Even if you yourself have not experienced anything like this, or think you can’t relate, there might be someone in your life who is suffering. So this month we aim to talk about a plethora of information to help uplift ourselves and those around us!
What is PTSD and how do you know if you’re suffering from it? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the after affects of someone who has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. These events can range anywhere from a physical/emotional attack, serious accident, natural disaster, war, and much more. People who suffer from PTSD continue to have visions, thoughts, nightmares, and reactions long after the traumatic event has ended. The person who is suffering can often feel sad, depressed, anxious, and withdraw from friends, family, work, and social situations.
Here are a few of the topics we’ll be exploring for the month of May on our blog:
-What to do if you are struggling with PTSD?
-How to help someone who is going through symptoms of PTSD?
-Living a healthy and happy life after a traumatic event.
And much more!
Marriage is a big step in a couple’s lives. The best way to set yourselves up for a successful partnership, is to tackle the difficult subjects before getting married. This can be uncomfortable. But it truly is the best way to see the compatibility and goals of both as individuals and as a couple.
Statistically speaking there are a few topics that are generally important for two people to discuss during their pre-marital phase.
- How to solve conflict
- Long Term Goals
Disagreements around finances is one of the leading causes of divorce. If you’ve ever spoken to your partner about money, you can probably understand why. Each person has grown up with different values, habits, and goals attached to their finances.
It’s important to come together, and lay everything on the table. Do either of you have debt currently or in the past? What is the plan to pay off that debt? What are your individual spending habits? How much will you save? Do you have the same long term goal for retirement? Will you have joint accounts or separate accounts? Who will be the primary person responsible for the finances?
Do you want children? Does your partner want children? If yes, how many? When? Be honest about what you see your future looking like, and what you want or don’t want. Fundamentally people usually know their stance on children, and often do not change their mind. If one partner has hopes that the other will change their mind in the future, it can set you both up for a lot of heartbreak and hurt.
Having in-laws can be a blessing or an added stress to a relationship. How close are you with your family? Do you expect your family to be a big part of your lives as a couple? How will you spend the holidays? How important is it that your spouse and your family get along?
How to solve conflict
Every couple fights. But learning how to solve your disagreements and communicate effectively is key. Ask each other: How do we handle conflict? Do we both want to learn how to solve the conflict or do we choose to ignore it? Are we willing to listen to the others point of view? Are we hoping our partner will change? Is it easy for us to forgive our partner when they have hurt us?
Each partner probably has individual expectations for themselves. Now it’s time to discuss the expectations of the other, and the expectations as a couple. Learning how to solve small things like: who does the laundry? Who does the grocery shopping and cooks? How clean do we expect each other to be?
And then there can also be bigger expectations: do we expect our partner to work less and spend more time at home? Do we expect a certain salary of each other? How do we add value and fulfillment to each others lives?
Long Term Goals
Having the same long term goals can be a really important factor for a couple. Where do we see ourselves in 10 years? Do we have a savings goal? Do we want to buy a house? Do we want to make time for travel? What age do we hope to retire?
If the communication lines are healthy and effective in your relationship early on, it can be really helpful when difficult times arise throughout your marriage. Every couple will go through difficult times, it is how you both recover from those difficult times that sets the tone for a great life together.