PTSD Therapy Plantation FL
Treatment for PTSD & Trauma
PTSD symptoms (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) can include: depression, anxiety, hyper-awareness of your surroundings, difficulty sleeping, nightmares, flashbacks, obsessive thoughts, etc. What’s frustrating to most people who are experiencing PTSD symptoms is that it feels like they are not themselves, are out of control, and they can’t seem to “shake it off”. That’s because trauma plays a trick on us and temporarily re-wires the brain a bit. Let me give you an example. If you were a law enforcement officer working undercover and found yourself in very dangerous situations where the people who were a threat to your safety happened to have gold teeth, your brain might associate gold teeth with life-threatening danger. Even if intellectually you know differently, somehow the brain still creates that association. The next thing you know, you’re in the mall shopping with your wife, you see someone with gold teeth and your heart starts to pound. That’s PTSD! Luckily, trauma can be treated. There are a number of PTSD treatments that can be very effective. Here are a few:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This type of therapy is specifically designed to break the problematic association that PTSD has created in your brain. In a sense, it helps re-wire your brain back to normal. CBT teaches you how to recognize (and change) the thinking errors your brain is committing. It also helps you to develop new behaviors (that will help reduce your anxiety), and help understand and eliminate the old behaviors that sustain your fear.
Narrative Therapy & Emotional Processing Therapy
Narrative Therapy and Emotional Processing Therapy help reduce the intensity of the emotions you feel related to the trauma. In the beginning after a trauma, most people feel a bit numb or disconnected. Then, after a little time has past, strong emotions can set it. Narrative and Emotional Processing Therapy help to clear those strong emotions out of your system in a sense. After an appropriate course of this type of treatment, you should be able to remember what happened to you without being upset by the memory. It just becomes one more experience that has been a part of your life.
Exposure Therapy and Systematic Desensitization
This type of therapy has gotten a lot of media attention lately because it’s often used for returning war veterans who are experiencing combat-related PTSD. The basic idea with these types of therapies is to teach the patient relaxation techniques first, and then practice those techniques while having some exposure to the trauma image or memory. For instance, it’s not uncommon for people in severe car accidents to be afraid to drive after their accident (even weeks and months later). Exposure therapy in this type of case might involve practicing relaxation techniques while watching videos of car crashes. Eventually, this helps to reduce and eliminate the fear of driving.
Types of Trauma Therapy I Provide in Plantation FL
I am trained in and provide all of the above therapies. As with all of my services, I tailor my approach and treatment modalities to the specific need and circumstances of each client. Not everyone responds the same way to all therapies, so as a therapist, it’s important that I remain flexible. You may not always know what type of therapy (or combination of therapies) you are receiving in the course of a session because many therapies can be integrated seamlessly. So that’s why it’s important to select a therapist you trust and feel comfortable with.