Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Most individuals experience at least one major trauma in their lives; however, not everyone who experiences a trauma develops PTSD. Examples of trauma that can trigger PTSD include sexual assault, domestic violence, combat, natural disasters, and serious accidents. Some individuals may be at risk for PTSD related to incidents that they are exposed to through their jobs, such as first responders or medical professionals who worked with COVID patients.
PTSD symptoms can include:
- Unwanted memories, nightmares, or flashbacks of the trauma
- Avoiding reminders of the trauma
- Feelings of depression, numbness, or guilt
- Anger, irritability, and hypervigilance
- Aggressive or reckless behavior
- Sleep disturbances
- Loss of interest in activities
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of isolation
- Changes to your belief system
Good neighbor psychology offers two types of evidence-based therapy for PTSD: cognitive processing therapy (CPT) and prolonged exposure therapy (PE). In order for a treatment to be considered evidence-based, a number of research studies must show that many (but not all) individuals who complete the treatment will experience at least some reduction in their symptoms. It’s important to know that both of these treatments involves discussing your traumatic experiences in every session. Your therapist can help you learn coping skills to address emotions that may come up during this process.
Good Neighbor Psychology also offers CPT in a time-condensed format called massed-trauma treatment. Read more about it here.