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Understanding Trauma and PTSD

When one thinks of trauma and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) the image of a combat soldier often comes to mind. The truth is, anyone can experience a traumatic event and not everyone will have the same response to it. Not everyone that is exposed to trauma will experience symptoms at a diagnostic level for PTSD. In fact, it is natural to experience flashbacks, nightmares, hypervigilance, avoidance, and other psychological and physical symptoms, with varying degrees, after a traumatic event. Trauma affects several areas of our lives such as trust, intimacy, power and control, safety and esteem. It's when the above symptoms do not resolve that PTSD is diagnosed. To some, the effects of trauma seem overwhelming and unyielding at times.

The upside is there are several treatment options available that have been proven effective. The most important thing to consider when choosing a treatment is finding a counselor that you are comfortable with and trust. Some of the most common treatments for trauma are cognitive-behavioral techniques, desensitization, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Cognitive-behavioral techniques are centered on how thoughts on the traumatic event affect feelings and behaviors in order to process the event. Cognitive behavior therapies can also include coping skills such as relaxation, grounding, and meditation. Desensitization involves repeated exposure to the traumatic event, with the end goal of lessening the above-noted symptoms. EMDR uses a patient's own rapid, rhythmic eye movements. These eye movements dampen the power of emotionally charged memories of past traumatic events.

Therapists that work with trauma survivors usually have specialized training in cognitive-behavioral techniques, desensitization or EMDR techniques. If you feel that you or a loved one may benefit from trauma treatment you can contact Texas Online Counseling and book an appointment. Or you may call your insurance company for referrals and a list of providers in your area.

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