Talking therapies and counselling for PTSD

Talking therapies and counselling for PTSD

As with any mental health condition, PTSD is a complicated illness to manage. It can be both life-altering and devastating, not only for the individual experiencing it, but also for their friends, family, and loved ones. And yet, despite the difficulties posed by the condition, PTSD is manageable. In order to give yourself the best possible system to get your illness under control, it’s best to take a two-pronged approach that addresses both sides of your brain.

Left side, right side

The left side of the brain does all the thinking for you. That’s where your logic lies. Meanwhile, the right side of the brain handles imagery, creativity, and functions more on instinct and emotion than logic and reason.

Choosing a recovery path that helps you heal the disruption to your thought patterns and behaviour by working on both the logical and the instinctual is the most effective means of treating PTSD. Talk therapy and counselling are both options that provide a strong foundation that will enable you to process and express thoughts and feelings. Despite the huge benefits of both talk therapy and counselling, these alone are not enough to effectively treat PTSD.

Additional strategies that can help treat your PTSD

There are additional options you can use in your treatment plan, such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and trauma-focused psychological treatments including Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR). Before jumping into talk therapy, it’s worth being aware that both it, and counselling, may cause an initial ‘re-traumatisation’, as you work through your trauma story over and over again. This is how you process and ultimately manage your trauma, but it can be a difficult and upsetting process.

Psychological therapies

For those suffering from PTSD, there are two major forms of psychological therapy used to treat the condition: cognitive behavioural therapy and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing. These treatments will allow you to process the trauma, and reduce and ultimately rid you of PTSD and it’s symptoms.

 

What if you don’t start to feel better?

If you’ve tried talking therapies and counselling to treat your PTSD, but have not found anything helpful, it’s important to tell your therapist or doctor that you were expecting to feel different. You may need more treatment, or you might need a different type of treatment. A follow-up course of therapy or alternative treatment should be suggested to ensure you continue to receive support in your recovery.

https://www.healthline.com/health/left-brain-vs-right-brain

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1023/A:1024448814268

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0005791696000298

https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/treatments/cognitive-behavioral-therapy

Treatments for PTSD

It is possible for PTSD to be successfully treated many years after the traumatic event occurred, which means it is never too late to seek help. For some, the first step may be watchful waiting, then exploring therapeutic options such as individual or group therapy – but the main treatment options in the UK are psychological treatments such as Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Traumatic events can be very difficult to come to terms with, but confronting and understanding your feelings and seeking professional help is often the only way of effectively treating PTSD. You can find out more in the links below, or here.

PTSD UK Blog

You’ll find up-to-date news, research and information here along with some great tips to ease your PTSD in our blog.

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