Life hasn't been the same since it happened.
You might have episodes where you suddenly feel like you're reliving it.You might have nightmares, anxiety, or anger that interferes with your day-to-day functioning. You might find yourself avoiding anything that reminds you of it, or struggling with the fear of being reminded--which is making it hard to live your life the way you want. You could have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
You may also be reminded about trauma by the type of work you do...day, after day, exposed to the suffering of others. That's known as vicarious, or secondary trauma.
With time and good self-care, the stress you feel usually gets better, but if it doesn't...that's where I, your therapist, come in.
So, what's the best way to treat traumatic stress? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) methods can help you get better by helping you learn to manage, discomfort, fear, anxiety or anger and live your better life.
For children and adolescents, trauma-focused CBT (TF-CBT) therapy involves sessions with both the child and parent or caregiver, to help manage the effects of trauma on development and the behaviors that result.
Getting effective treatment after post-traumatic symptoms begin can be critical to reduce symptoms and improve function.
What is Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)?
(White board video: "What is Cognitive Processing Therapy"?)
CPT has been used effectively with both simple and complex cases of trauma, including childhood trauma. It can be helpful any time from 1 month to 60 years after the experienced traumas.
CPT is designed for people who have multiple symptoms of PTSD, but you do not need to meet the full diagnostic criteria in order to benefit from it.
CPT has been found in numerous studies to reduce depression syptmos, improvements in sleep, and reduced relationship difficulties.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) (White board video: What is "Prolonged Exposure Therapy"?