Wellness Road Psychology
Psychologists located in Midtown East, New York, NY & Tarrytown, NY
Living through a traumatic event can leave lasting and debilitating psychological scars. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can significantly impact daily life, relationships, and overall well-being. Fortunately, there are treatments and therapies available, such as PTSD therapy, that can help individuals reclaim their lives and overcome the challenges posed by PTSD. The therapists at Wellness Road Psychology, provide counseling and other treatments to help you work through your trauma and manage the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Call or click to book your PTSD consultation at Wellness Road Psychology today.
- Understanding PTSD involves recognizing the symptoms and seeking help from mental health professionals.
Different types of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral, exposure, talk therapy and medications are available to treat post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Coping strategies and support systems can aid in recovery for individuals with PTSD.
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness characterized by symptoms such as:
A range of painful or unpleasant emotions
These symptoms are common in individuals experiencing mental health problems, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
These symptoms can arise following exposure to a traumatic event involving the threat of death, violence, or serious injury. It is important to recognize that PTSD is a treatable condition, and seeking help from mental health professionals is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment.
The primary forms of PTSD treatment include short- and long-term psychotherapy and medications, which help individuals process traumatic events and manage their symptoms. For many people, talking therapies like cognitive therapy are the initial recommended treatment. Talking therapy is often a recommended treatment for severe or persistent PTSD. In some cases, medication may also be recommended in combination with this.
It’s worth noting that two-thirds of individuals who experience trauma will demonstrate improvement within a few weeks without intervention. This is why active monitoring, or observing symptoms to assess if they are improving or worsening, is an essential part of the treatment process. However, if symptoms persist for more than a month or are severe, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional to explore available treatment options.
Traumatic events that can cause PTSD down the road include:
Witnessing a violent crime
Threats of violence
Many people who go through traumatic events experience a subsequent period of adjustment, but soon return to a state of normalcy. Even in these cases, PTSD can appear long after you think you’ve forgotten the event.
Types of Therapy for PTSD
There are several types of therapy that can help individuals overcome their symptoms and process their traumatic experiences. These therapies include various forms of cognitive-behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, and talk therapy, each with its own unique approach to addressing PTSD symptoms. In the following sections, we will explore these therapies in more detail.
Cognitive Processing Therapy
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a 12-week therapeutic approach that focuses on recognizing and altering unproductive attitudes connected to the traumatic event, aiding individuals in processing their emotions and regaining control. This form of therapy, known as trauma-focused CBT, employs techniques such as confronting traumatic memories through a detailed description of the experience and identifying any irrational beliefs related to it, ultimately helping individuals to process traumatic memories.
During the 12-week treatment program, individuals attend weekly sessions lasting between 60-90 minutes. A therapist plays a crucial role in assisting individuals in gaining control of their fear and distress by evaluating any inferences they have made about the experience and encouraging them to gradually resume activities that they have been avoiding.
CPT has proven to be an effective treatment for PTSD, helping individuals develop new understandings of their traumatic experiences and fostering a sense of control over their emotions and reactions.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy
Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET) is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. This therapy involves a gradual approach to trauma-related memories, helping individuals confront their fears related to the trauma and ultimately regain a sense of safety and control. In addition to PET, stress inoculation training is another method that can be utilized for treating PTSD symptoms.
PET has been associated with a reduction in PTSD symptoms, an enhancement in the quality of life, and an increase in self-esteem. By gradually confronting and reducing the fear associated with traumatic memories, individuals can reclaim their sense of control and well-being.
Talk therapy is a widely utilized treatment that involves engaging in a dialogue with a physician or mental health specialist concerning one’s condition. This form of therapy can be combined with other treatments for PTSD, such as prolonged exposure therapy, cognitive processing therapy, and eye movement desensitization.
It is important to note that all effective therapies for PTSD incorporate a behavioral aspect. Talk therapy provides a supportive environment for individuals to discuss their experiences and emotions related to PTSD, helping them process their thoughts and feelings and work towards recovery.
Medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other antidepressants, can play a significant role in PTSD treatment by helping to improve symptoms and overall well-being. Paroxetine and sertraline, both SSRIs, are commonly prescribed for adults with PTSD.
When prescribing medication for PTSD, doctors should:
Explain the potential side effects and withdrawal symptoms
Collaborate with the individual to identify the most suitable medication for their symptoms and situation
Consider the duration of medication, which is typically 12 months
Take into account the individual’s preferences and any concerns about side effects
It is crucial for individuals with PTSD to work closely with their doctor to ensure they are receiving the most appropriate medication with the least amount of side effects for their specific needs.
If individuals experience adverse effects or difficulties with their PTSD medication, it is important to inform their doctor. This allows for adjustments to be made to the medication or dosage, ensuring the most effective treatment plan is in place.
Seeking Help from Mental Health Professionals
Seeking help from mental health professionals is crucial for the proper diagnosis and treatment of PTSD. These professionals are qualified to accurately diagnose and treat PTSD, offering ongoing assistance and direction throughout the recovery process. Before an appointment with a mental health professional, creating a list of questions to ask can help ensure all concerns are addressed.
During the appointment, it is important to be candid and transparent about symptoms and experiences, and to ask questions and address any worries that may arise. Following all instructions and advice given by the mental health professional, keeping any follow-up appointments, and taking any prescribed medications as directed is essential for successful treatment.
In addition to professional help, support from friends and family can play a significant role in the recovery process. Providing understanding, patience, and encouragement can make a difference in the life of someone dealing with PTSD.
PTSD Treatment for Children and Adolescents
Treatment for children and adolescents with PTSD often involves trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is generally recommended for this age group. This therapy typically consists of 6 to 12 sessions, adapted to the child’s age and needs.
Families play a crucial role in the treatment of PTSD in children and adolescents, as they can provide support and direction throughout the process. Involving family members in the treatment process can help create a supportive environment for the child, aiding in their recovery.
Coping Strategies and Support Systems
Coping strategies and support systems play a vital role in the recovery process for individuals with PTSD. These strategies involve self-care, stress management, and connecting with others who have experienced similar trauma. Activities such as maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough rest, and engaging in regular exercise can help manage stress and promote overall well-being.
In addition to self-care, support groups can be helpful for those dealing with PTSD. Connecting with others who have experienced trauma can provide a sense of understanding and camaraderie, making it easier to share experiences and coping strategies. Mental health professionals can often recommend local support groups or online forums tailored to those dealing with PTSD.
Lastly, friends and family members can provide invaluable support for individuals with PTSD by offering understanding, patience, and encouragement. By being a reliable and empathetic presence, loved ones can make a difference in the life of someone dealing with PTSD.
Driving and PTSD
PTSD may influence the capacity to drive safely. The potential impact of PTSD on driving safety should be considered, and it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure any necessary guidelines or restrictions are followed.
Individuals with PTSD should consult with their General Practitioner for medical advice regarding driving safety. By addressing the potential impact of PTSD on driving and following any recommendations, individuals can maintain their independence while ensuring their safety on the road.
Wellness Road Psychology for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
At Wellness Road Psychology, the therapists offer focused therapy to help you manage life after experiencing extreme trauma. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps you learn to evaluate and manage your thoughts and feelings.
CBT for PTSD might include exposure therapy to help you learn to encounter your triggers gradually and peacefully. The therapists enable you to see a different side of your trauma to make sense of it and work past any resulting guilt that you feel.
If distress from your past affects your day-to-day life, don’t hesitate to book a post-traumatic stress disorder consultation by phone or online at Wellness Road Psychology today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of therapy is best for PTSD?
CBT is a type of psychotherapy that has been found to be the most effective treatment for PTSD, both in the short term and long term. It has been shown to reduce symptoms of PTSD, such as flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance of reminders of the traumatic event. It can also help to reduce anxiety, depression, and other related symptoms. CBT is a cognitive behavioral therapy.
What to do when PTSD is triggered?
When PTSD is triggered, it is important to practice grounding techniques and be aware of what triggers the symptoms. It can also be helpful to confide in someone or give yourself time to process your emotions. Peer support or specialist help may be necessary, as well as taking care of physical health.
How do you calm yourself down when you have PTSD?
Take time to relax, practice mindfulness and meditation, try aromatherapy, progressive relaxation, or green tea, and avoid drugs and alcohol. Comfort yourself by cuddling a pet, listening to soothing music or wrapping up in a blanket. Seek professional help if needed and talk to someone for support.
What is the number 1 medication that helps with PTSD?
The number one medication used to treat PTSD is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) or Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SNRI). These medications are effective in reducing anxiety and depression associated with the disorder.
What kind of doctor do you need for PTSD?
If you have symptoms of PTSD, you can see a mental health specialist such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or community psychiatric nurse for help. Most state psychological associations offer ways to search for local PTSD therapists who are trained to provide treatment and rehabilitation. It’s also possible to get referred to a licensed mental health professional who specializes in PTSD by a health care provider.