Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, is a form of therapy that aims to change the way you think and act in order to aid you in managing the negative effects of PTSD. Trauma-focused CBT specifically looks at ways of allowing you to come to terms with events that have traumatised you through a broad range of different psychological techniques.

As an example, one means of allowing you to confront the traumatic events of the past is to consciously consider them in detail. It may seem counter-intuitive to purposefully dwell on the cause of your trauma, yet part of the problem PTSD causes is a disordering of thought and memory. It can be tough to recall events accurately, and one might suffer from the loss of memories, or recall events incorrectly, out of order, or in an understated or exaggerated manner.

In other words, the mind suffering from PTSD can confuse its own recollection of events. Without a true memory to steady yourself, it can be very difficult to react in a rational, proportionate manner to events, both past and present. You may over-react to certain situations and triggers, or experience a sense of detachment from reality as a result.

Consciously and carefully recalling the trauma events in as much detail as possible allows you to correct this disruption in your thoughts and regain control.

This process, quite naturally, causes distress while you’re working on it. Recalling events that were traumatic to you is, in itself, traumatic. It is, however, a necessary process that allows you to deal with the trauma. Your therapist will be there to help you cope with any distress the process causes, while simultaneously identifying unhelpful thoughts you may be having or misrepresentations about the experience that you believe.

Through this process, your therapist will help you find ways of taking control of your distress and fear and shifting from the negative way you perceive events – usually characterised by a sense of blame for what happened, or fear it will happen again.

You may also be encouraged to gradually restart any activities you have avoided since your experience, such as driving a car if you had an accident.

You will usually have 8-12 weekly sessions of trauma-focused CBT, although fewer may be needed if the treatment starts within one month of the traumatic event.

Sessions where the trauma is discussed will usually last for around 90 minutes.

Read more about CBT on the NHS website.

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.

How hydrotherapy can be useful for PTSD sufferers

When it comes to mental ill-health, many people think it only affects what is going on in the person’s brain. However, these conditions are complex and multi-faceted, often having physical implications too. For those experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma survivors

Read More »

How pottery can help ease PTSD symptoms

Art therapy has been steadily gaining traction as an effective method to reduce and ease the symptoms of mental health problems. In particular, PTSD sufferers could find that pottery is especially helpful in the healing process. Getting lost in clay

Read More »
Emotional freedom therapy for PTSD

Emotional Freedom Therapy for PTSD

Albert Einstein proved in the 1920’s that everything (including our bodies) is comprised of energy. Emotional Freedom Therapy (EFT) is a scientifically proven technique which can release any ‘blockages’ in this energy, which can be the source of emotional intensity and discomfort.

Read More »
Scarring from PTSD

Physical scars from PTSD stress symptoms

A large number of skin diseases including dermatitis and psoriasis, appear to be caused by, or exacerbated by, psychological stress, and scientists have long confirmed the role that the stress hormone, cortisol, plays in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – however

Read More »

Are you looking to fundraise for PTSD UK?

THANK YOU!!  We are a small charity so our main goals at the moment are to increase awareness that we exist (so people can get the support and information they need) and to maximise fundraising to allow us to achieve our mission of supporting everyone in the UK affected by PTSD, no matter the trauma that caused it.