PTSD & trauma
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating set of symptoms originating with a traumatic event which may be a single incident such as a car accident or an ongoing traumatic situation like a violent relationship.
People are left with a high level of constant anxiety, they relive the experience through disturbing flashbacks or dreams and they start to avoid anything which reminds them of the incident. So they stop driving past the location of the accident or stop driving altogether. Their feelings toward life, themselves and others become negative, and they withdraw eventually losing confidence and some of their life skills. They find themselves trapped in a cycle of anxiety and avoidance.
Treatment for PTSD involves training in strategies for handling anxiety symptoms including breathing and relaxation and ways to calm and cope in the face of a trigger situation. The person is then assisted to identify areas of life they would like to be able to face again and are helped to gradually do so while implementing the strategies. In some ways it’s getting back on the horse that threw you off but in a measured, gradual way with lots of support and techniques to feel you can cope. For example, if the person has stopped working, driving and socialising, they may start by going on a short drive with one trusted friend as support whilst using skills taught in therapy sessions. This is the cognitive behavioural approach and involves many other skills. It is well-researched for its effectiveness with PTSD and has been found to be very effective.
BayWellbeing therapists deliver this treatment in a client-centred collaborative manner to ensure the client is involved and supported through each stage of the challenge of returning to their normal life.
EMDR is another well-researched treatment for trauma. Kristen Bayliss is trained and qualified to deliver this treatment.