Have you experienced an extremely stressful or traumatic event that has significantly changed your life? Are you more anxious or fearful than before? Do you find yourself unable to break away from negative or anxious thoughts? Do you feel jumpy, anxious, or on edge? Maybe you’ve found yourself being more argumentative or picking fights? If so, you may have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. We can help.
Neurocove Behavioral Health, LLC specializes in the treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD. While ~90% of adults in the United States will experience traumatic experiences at some point in their lives, somewhere between 13-15% will develop symptoms of PTSD. Much of the time, symptoms associated with PTSD resolve on their own within approximately 30 days.
These symptoms might include problems sleeping, anxiety, or feeling like the traumatic event is happening again. Generally, it’s difficult to tell who will or will not develop PTSD following traumatic events. The fact of the matter is, for a while, these symptoms are normal, adaptive responses. It is when these symptoms persist or worsen that we need to intervene.
Therapy for PTSD can take many different forms. The two primary frameworks used during therapy for PTSD are either cognitive or behavioral. Both have been shown to be remarkably effective in reducing the symptoms of PTSD and improving quality of life, and both can be conducted virtually or face-to-face.
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When a cognitive framework is utilized, such as Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), we spend much of our time exploring how our experiences have change how we think and feel about the world around us. Following traumatic events, we often change how we think about life. Safety, Trust, Self-Esteem, and Power & Control are issues that are particularly susceptible to change following traumatic events. CPT critically examines these changes and explores ways to refine and modify our thinking in more adaptive ways.
In behavioral therapy, exposure therapy techniques are used to reduce physiological responses caused by stimuli associated with the traumatic events. Sights, sounds, or smells can be utilized to illicit emotions related to the traumatic event without the negative outcome. When completed appropriately, this breaks down the relationship between those people, places, or things, and the intense emotional responses caused by the traumatic event. This often results in rapid reductions in anxiety, fear, or other intense emotions.
PTSD is often assumed to be a chronic, lifelong condition. It doesn’t have to be! Those who completed an evidence-based therapy for PTSD often fail to meet diagnostic criteria for PTSD after completing therapy. Further, the improvements that result after counseling for PTSD often last even 6-months after therapy has been completed.