PTSD is an intense response to a traumatic or stressful situation when it persists weeks and months and even years after the stressful event. It has been estimated that approximately 1.0% to 2.6% of the population suffer from PTSD
What can cause PTSD?
Traumatic or stressful incidents run from natural disasters through to deliberate human acts. They can be experiences at the extreme end of the trauma spectrum (e.g., being taken hostage or kidnapped, victim of terrorism, war, natural disasters, incarceration in a concentration camp) to more everyday experiences that could happen to anyone anywhere (e.g., natural disasters, bullying, harassment, physical, psychological or sexual abuse, sexual assault, childbirth, sudden loss of a loved one, being attacked, automobile accidents, being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness). This list is far from exhaustive as there are potentially many other situations which may be perceived as traumatic.
What tools I use to help people with PTSD?
• EMDR – Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: while the therapist directs the client’s eye movements they briefly relive specific traumatic experiences. EMDR aims to help people process and integrate traumatic memories.
• EMIT – Eye Movement Integration Therapy: similar to EMDR however in EMIT the eye movements are slow and it uses multiple movement patterns in a variety of directions.
• Rational Emotive Cognitive Behaviour Hypnotherapy: CBT helps people to change their thought patterns in order to influence their behaviours and emotions. It is most effective when the new thought patterns are integrated using hypnotherapy.
• Clinical Hypnotherapy: it enables the client to understand and integrate traumatic memories and even interpret any residual PTSD-related dreams. It also helps clients to integrate emotions and eliminate nightmares.
• Self-hypnosis training
All the techniques I use are focused on empowerment and self-reliance so that the patient feels empowered enough to continue healing on their own. Not only the traumatic memories become fully integrated but also dissociative parts become more and more united and thus the personality as a whole is more integrated. Furthermore, with each session clients become increasingly able to cope with daily life challenges and develop a more positive self-esteem.
If you suffer from post traumatic stress the following recommendations can help you to improve your mood and well-being:
• Mindful breathing and other mindfulness-based exercises to get focused in the present.
• Connection with family and friends
• A balanced lifestyle: sleep, relaxation and diet.
• Avoid alcohol
• Spend time doing activities that you enjoy
However if the symptoms persist or are severe you should consult a mental health professional or a therapist.
“It’s not what you remember that is so important; it’s what you forget!” PTSD patient