Unpacking Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Trauma counselling is a form of psychotherapy that helps people overcome the psychological effects of an upsetting or distressing event. Whether it’s being involved in a car accident, witnessing a crime, or suffering from childhood abuse, the impact of trauma can leave lasting mental scars and emotional difficulties that may not go away without professional help.

Many survivors of trauma experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Symptoms include difficulty concentrating, persistent feelings of fear and anxiety and physical responses such as a racing heart or tightness in the chest. Some people also develop depression, numbness, self-harming behaviours or alcohol or drug use. People who experience PTSD can often struggle to relate to others, or find it difficult to express their emotions.

The cause of PTSD can be hard to identify, although it’s most likely caused by a combination of factors including genetics, past negative life experiences and environmental factors like poverty or lack of safe housing. It can also be exacerbated by the way we react to stressful events and how we cope with them. Sydney Trauma counselling can help you understand the effects of traumatic experiences, as well as provide you with the tools to manage and control them.

Experiencing a trauma is one of the most difficult things a person can do and it can have lasting effects on their mental, emotional and physical health. It can have a significant impact on a person’s relationships and ability to function, and people who suffer from untreated trauma may develop secondary problems such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse.

In some cases, it can take years for a person to overcome the symptoms of trauma. The good news is that there are effective treatments for PTSD, including cognitive processing therapy and EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing). Cognitive processing therapy is a specific type of CBT designed specifically to treat trauma. It involves a series of weekly sessions with Psychology, where they will explore how your thoughts and beliefs about the event can influence how you feel. They will teach you coping skills and encourage you to challenge and change any maladaptive thoughts you have about the traumatic event.

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Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing is another trauma treatment that involves focusing on certain sounds or movements while thinking about the traumatic experience, aiming to make it less upsetting over time. Prolonged exposure therapy is another trauma treatment that encourages you to face the thoughts and situations you’ve been avoiding, and work towards reintegrating them into your daily life.

In addition, trauma counseling can be used to support people who are in recovery from a substance use disorder. It’s estimated that around 70% of people with a substance use disorder have experienced some form of trauma during their lifetime, and this can make it harder to recover if left untreated. Trauma counselling can help people regulate their emotions, reduce the need for drugs or alcohol and build healthy and fulfilling relationships.