Imagine going through a traumatic experience such as a car accident, fire, assault, or death of a close one.
Sounds horrible, right?
Now imagine if you had to relive the flashbacks of these experiences, each day like a haunting nightmare. Episodes like this have the intensity to mentally and emotionally devastate a person. People worldwide seek counselling and therapy sessions to combat this situation and make their lives much more sorted and relieved.
Seeking professional help can help one decide how to deal with such conditions properly. Several short-term and long-term counselling sessions and medications are available for needy people.
What is PTSD?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychological condition people often deal with if they are directly or indirectly involved in a threatening or horrible event. Any person can be exposed to PTSD, regardless of age, gender, or culture. PTSD can affect people indirectly as well. Sometimes, even learning about a traumatic experience of a friend or family can lead to PTSD. PTSD has a set of symptoms ranging from cognitive, somatic, behavioural, effective, etc., resulting primarily from psychological traumas and experiences.
Psychotherapy & counselling for PTSD.
As mentioned earlier in the blog, a series of psychotherapy and counselling in Singapore, along with medications, are available to help people deal with episodes of PTSD. The main goals of therapy for PTSD are:
- Improving the symptoms of trauma
- Teaching skills and methods to deal with trauma
- Help restore the lost self-esteem and confidence.
Mostly, therapies for PTSD fall under the broad umbrella of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). It mainly focuses on changing the thought processes and patterns that trigger and affect one’s life. The blog will discuss several therapy options and medications that can aid people dealing with PTSD.
1. Prolonged Exposure Theory:
As suggested by the term itself, prolonged exposure theory can help you if you have been trying to avoid a traumatic experience for an extended period. Having at least 8-12 sessions is advised to see effective results.
Earlier in PE, the session will focus primarily on several breathing techniques to ease the anxiety when one thinks about a particular event. As the sessions proceed, the therapist might ask to list the experiences they have avoided.
Sharing trauma incidents with your therapist and listening to them can help confront your emotions.
2. Somatic Trauma Therapy:
Somatic is a term associated with anything relating to the body. Body-centered therapy is a relatively new technique in Western medicine, but it has been acknowledged in Eastern medicine and philosophies for quite some time.
Somatic Trauma Therapy is quite distinct from psychotherapy. In the latter, the therapist focuses on ‘talking’ things out, which makes the patient come to terms with their traumas. In somatic trauma therapy, the body is the central point for healing. The therapist engages one in mind-body healing techniques to release any negative or traumatic experiences that might be stored in your body that affect your overall mental well-being.
Breathing techniques, meditation, dance, and other forms of body movement help with trauma in somatic trauma therapy.
3. Cognitive Processing Therapy:
Cognitive processing therapy, also known as CPT, is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy that has been proven to reduce the effects of PTSD. Usually, 12 sessions are delivered to help the patient challenge and modify ways to deal with unhelpful and unreal beliefs associated with the trauma.
The therapist will first discuss the traumatic occurrence with you and how it has affected your life due to your ideas. After that, you’ll describe what happened in great detail. This method assists you in examining the mental models of your trauma and developing new coping mechanisms.
Maybe you’ve been blaming yourself for something, for instance. Your therapist will assist you in considering all the circumstances that were out of your control so you may move on while knowing and accepting that, despite what you did or did not do, it wasn’t your fault.
4. Stress Inoculation Training
Stress Inoculation Training, or ST, is a Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) type. One can complete it alone or with others. You won’t need to describe what happened in great detail. The emphasis is mainly on altering how you approach event-related stress.
You might study massage, breathing, and other relaxation methods to help you eliminate worrying thoughts. You should be able to release the extra tension from your life after around three months of psychotherapy and counselling in Singapore.
Medications for PTSD
People with PTSD process “threats” in their brains differently, partly due to an imbalance in the chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters. You feel jittery and uneasy because they have an easily elicited “fight or flight” response. Attempting to block that out all the time could make you feel emotionally distant and cold.
With medication, you can cease reflecting on and responding to what happened, including experiencing nightmares and flashbacks. Additionally, they can aid in boosting your attitude on life and making you feel more “normal” once more. Fluoxetine (Prozac), Paroxetine (Paxil), Sertraline (Zoloft), and Venlafaxine ( Effexor) are among some common medications prescribed by therapists.
Choosing a therapist for yourself:
Dealing with traumatic experiences may seem like a never-ending journey. People with Post-traumatic stress need proper medical assistance and guidance to deal with it effectively. Getting out of the cocoon is the best step towards the cure. Seek help. For instance, search for ‘Psychotherapy & Counselling in Singapore’ or your respective location and go
through the available facilities.
Pick someone who seems promising, and go for it.
All the best! You got this!