Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health condition that can occur after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. PTSD can impact your daily life, relationships, and overall well-being. Seeking treatment is the first step towards leading a happier, healthier life.

Causes of PTSD

In the aftermath of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, a person may develop PTSD.  While PTSD always involves a triggering event, factors contributing to the development of PTSD can vary.  Some key factors include previous trauma, genetic predisposition, weak social support systems and/or other mental health conditions.

Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD can have a profound impact, affecting emotional well-being, relationships, and overall quality of life. Common symptoms include:

Intrusive thoughts and memories: Recurrent and distressing memories, flashbacks or nightmares of the traumatic event.

Avoidance: Avoiding reminders or situations that trigger distressing memories or emotions associated with the traumatic event.

Negative mood and thoughts: Persistent negative beliefs about oneself, others, or the world, along with a diminished interest in activities previously enjoyed.

Hyperarousal: Feeling constantly on edge, hypervigilant, irritable, unable to concentrate, and having an exaggerated startle response.

mellahealth anxiety therapy woman sitting on couch looking hopeful

The Benefits of Therapy for PTSD

Therapy for the treatment of PTSD can provide a range of benefits:

Symptom reduction: Therapy can assist in reducing the frequency and intensity of intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, and nightmares. Individuals undergoing PTSD treatment will learn how to face situations and triggers that previously had been avoided.

Improved coping strategies: Therapists can teach you effective coping strategies to manage triggers, anxiety and emotional distress related to your PTSD.

Enhanced emotional well-being: Therapy provides a safe space to explore and address the emotional impact of the traumatic event, fostering emotional healing and resilience.

Restored sense of control: Through therapy, you can regain a sense of control over your thoughts, emotions, and life.

Our Approach to PTSD Therapy

The MellaHealth team of therapists is highly experienced at providing effective, evidence-based treatment for PTSD. We create a safe and supportive environment where you can feel comfortable discussing your experiences.

Our therapists work collaboratively with you to develop an individualized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs and goals. We utilize cognitive behavioral therapy, a highly-effective, evidence-based treatment method for treating PTSD. We also offer trauma-focused approaches, such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), an effective technique to help you process and heal from a traumatic event.

woman against leaves relaxing and confident after depression treatment from mellahealth

Effective Coping Strategies for PTSD

Learning effective coping strategies to manage PTSD is essential in navigating the challenges associated with the condition. Here are some practical techniques that you may find helpful and may be utilized in therapy:

Identify and understand your triggers

Triggers are specific situations, events, or stimuli that can evoke distressing memories or emotions associated with a traumatic event. Take time to identify and understand the specific triggers that affect you. This awareness is a crucial first step in developing effective coping strategies.

Practice grounding techniques

Grounding techniques can help you stay present and connected during triggering moments. Focus on your senses by describing what you see, hear, touch, and smell. This can help shift your attention away from distressing thoughts.

Utilize deep breathing exercises

Deep breathing exercises can help regulate your emotions during triggering situations. Practice slow, deep breaths in through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth. This can help calm your nervous system and reduce anxiety.

Engage in relaxation techniques

Explore relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, or meditation. These techniques can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and provide a sense of calm during triggering situations.

Seek social support

Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or support groups who can offer understanding and empathy. Having a supportive network can provide reassurance and help you process difficult emotions triggered by the traumatic event.

Practice self-care

Prioritize self-care to support your overall well-being. Engage in activities that bring you joy, relaxation, and a sense of fulfillment. This could include hobbies, exercise, spending time in nature, or engaging in creative outlets.

Seek professional guidance

Work with a MellaHealth therapist experienced in treating PTSD to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific triggers and symptoms. Your therapist can provide interventions, coping techniques and additional support to help you effectively manage this condition.

Coping with PTSD is challenging. However, with the right strategies and support, you can regain a sense of control and resilience in the face of triggering situations.

PTSD Therapy FAQs

What is the duration of therapy for PTSD?

The duration of therapy for PTSD can vary depending on your unique circumstances. It depends on factors such as the severity of symptoms, personal goals, and your response to treatment. Your therapist will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan to meet your unique goals.

Can therapy for PTSD be done virtually?

Yes, therapy for PTSD can be conducted virtually through teletherapy. Remote therapy has been proven to be as effective as in-person treatment in most situations. Virtual treatment offers convenience and accessibility, allowing you to receive treatment from the comfort of your own space.

Will therapy for PTSD make me relive the traumatic event?

MellaHealth therapists employ evidence-based approaches that focus on gradually addressing and reducing the impact of traumatic memories while ensuring your safety and well-being.

How do I know if therapy for PTSD is right for me?

If you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD or struggling with the emotional aftermath of a traumatic event, therapy can be beneficial. A MellaHealth therapist can assess your symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment options tailored to your needs.

Will therapy for PTSD be confidential?

Yes, therapy sessions for PTSD are confidential. MellaHealth therapists adhere to HIPAA compliant strict confidentiality guidelines to ensure your privacy is protected.