PTSD & Trauma

Working together on outcomes.

PTSD & Trauma – how we can help

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that develops after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. First recognised in war veterans when it was referred to as ‘shell shock’, it can affect anyone who has experienced an emotional shock following a physical injury or stressful incidents, such as assault, abuse, disaster, accident or other terrifying events.

PTSD & Trauma can have a severe impact on your life. The effects of PTSD & trauma may be experienced physically, mentally and emotionally and can create a range of symptoms including trembling, nausea, intrusive thoughts and vivid flashbacks. While most people recover from the effects of trauma, if symptoms do not go away and begin to have consequences on day-to-day living, it could be a manifestation of PTSD.

If you are feeling unable to cope after a traumatic event or emotional trauma, our psychologists can offer you the support you need to restore your wellbeing and empower you to enjoy life again.

PTSD behaviour typically starts within a month of the stressful event, but sometimes it may be years later. The symptoms can interfere with everyday activities and cause significant problems with relationships and in work or social situations. There are four main groups of symptoms associated with PTSD & Trauma:

What are the Symptoms of PTSD & Trauma?

Intrusive Memories

  • Recurrent, distressing memories of the event and reliving it as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
  • Nightmares or upsetting dreams
  • Severe emotional distress or physical reactions, such as nausea, heart palpitations or panic attacks to reminders of the event

Negative Emotional Changes

  • Negative thoughts about yourself or the world
  • Emotionally numb
  • Feeling detached from friends and family
  • Sense of hopelessness
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Memory problems

Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions

  • Hypervigilance; feeling jumpy
  • Self-destructive behaviour—drinking too much alcohol or driving too fast
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Unable to concentrate
  • Irritable; aggressive outbursts that are out of character
  • Overwhelming shame or guilt

Avoidance

  • Deliberately avoid talking about the trauma and avoiding places, people and activities that remind you of it
  • Avoiding places with heavy crowds, social gatherings with lots of noise or lots of people

Being dismissive that their behaviour is causing problems at home or work

Becoming secretive and withdrawn emotionally

Seeking out situations where they can indulge in their compulsive behaviour

While most people recover from the effects of trauma, if symptoms do not go away and begin to have consequences on day-to-day living, it could be a manifestation of PTSD.

Therapies for PTSD & Trauma

Our holistic approach at Direct Focus Solutions provides a range of support options for people dealing with the effects of PTSD & Trauma. We have a multidisciplinary team of fully accredited and qualified professionals with expertise across of range of disciplines and techniques.

Psychological injuries, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma, require time and support to heal—just like physical injuries do.

Some of the strategies that have been formulated to provide the best support for individuals with PTSD & Trauma are medication and behavioural counselling and include strategies such as:

  • Psychotherapy “talk therapy” – is used to open your mind to discovering ways to cope with distressing memories. During the process, your therapist helps you cope with unhelpful thoughts or misrepresentations you have about the experience.
  • Cognitive therapy – helps you to manage PTSD & Trauma by changing the way you think about the traumatic event and how it has impacted negatively on you. It is particularly helpful for people who are “feeling stuck”.
  • Exposure therapy – by slowly confronting your fears and your reactions to the event that caused the trauma you can deal with them in a safe, controlled way until they are no longer a threat.
  • Alpha/theta brain training – can help to address emotional dysregulation when experiencing complex trauma, or when abreaction techniques are too distressing.
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) – This helps you to process trauma without becoming re-traumatised.

Scheduling an Appointment with DFS

We offer a multidisciplinary approach to therapy that helps you discover a path to a more empowered life. You will benefit from the wide range of tools at our disposal, including psychological and behavioural therapy, neurofeedback, and biofeedback training.

Our diversely specialised staff are equipped with the skills, training, and experience required to tackle PTSD & Trauma or any other issues that may be adversely affecting your wellbeing. You can book a consultation with us at one of our offices in Sydney or Illawarra, or you can arrange a Telehealth appointment if you prefer.

“Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise”

Sigmund Freud

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