Garrett Counseling Blog
Therapy & PTSD
According to the National Center for PTSD, as many as 7-8% of people in the United States will suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives. This number jumps to 11-20% when looking at veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and/or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). With numbers this large, we felt it was important to discuss how therapy can help individuals suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
What is PTSD?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur following any type of traumatic event. A traumatic event is an event where you are put in a state of shock or danger, or an event where you believe that your life or the life of a loved one is in danger. Examples of events that can be classified as traumatic are sexual assault, combat, disaster, etc. Please note: This is not an exhaustive list of traumatic events.
What Types of Therapy Are Available?
Psychological therapy has been recognized as an effective form of treatment for PTSD for many years. Forms of therapy include:
- Exposure Therapy: This form of therapy assists the patient in facing the fears associated with the traumatic event. The patient is allowed to discuss the trauma in a safe environment.
- Cognitive Therapy: In this form of therapy, the patient is helped in the process of understanding the trauma and its aftermath while also changing the way he/she thinks about the event.
- Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: This therapy places a large emphasis on the unconscious mind. It looks at different factors (called defense mechanisms) that a person may use to protect themselves from the results of a trauma, such as current relationships.
- Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR): In this form of therapy, a patient will focus on a back-and-forth movement or sound while thinking about the upsetting memory long enough for it to become less distressing.
- Play Therapy: This form of therapy has been shown especially helpful in children. In play therapy, a child uses play to communicate emotions and experiences.
What Are the Results Of Therapy?
Cognitive Based Therapy (CBT) has been shown to have many results among PTSD patients including loss of PTSD diagnosis, improvement of depression symptoms, lessening of PTSD symptom, less frequent PTSD symptoms, and fewer avoidance symptoms. Art therapy, while understudied in this case, has shown positive results in treating combat-related PTSD.
How Can We Help?
Garrett Counseling is a leader in our fields of practice. Our team would be honored to assist you or your loved ones in the path to recovery. Contact us today!
We participate in Courage Beyond and Give An Hour, which both promote free mental health services for active duty military, veterans, and their families. We also participate in Mental Health First Aid which educates people on how to help individuals experiencing a mental health crisis.
Want To Know More?
We recommend these articles:
- From NPR: First Responders, Rescuers Come Forward With PTSD
- From Good Therapy: When Helping Hurts: Trauma’s Effects on First Responders