What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Any one of us can experience something that we find traumatic. This could be something recent that has happened to us or it could be from our earlier years. Either way, around 30% of people who experience something traumatic go on to develop symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Traumatic events can vary widely, from road traffic or other accidents, involvement in military combat, near death experiences, or some form of abuse as a child or adult.
PTSD is a name given to a range of symptoms that someone may experience. Often, when we experience a situation that is traumatic, we may at first feel quite numb, but later experience symptoms such as:
- Nightmares or frightening thoughts
- Re-living the traumatic event, often termed ‘flashbacks’
- Avoidance of reminders of the event and of talking about it
- Irritability or outbursts of anger
- Hyper vigilance and alertness to possible danger
- Problems with concentration and memory.
These are all symptoms of PTSD and are usually very distressing to us.
What we offer
We have a dedicated team to help people who are experiencing symptoms trauma or stress. Depending on your needs, we will recommend the best way to get the support you need.
Our assessment sessions last up to 90 minutes and we would talk through how you are currently feeling and managing, what has happened that has led to you feeling this way, and decide with you what might be the best approach to take to help you overcome your difficulties.
Our team are trained to use a range of therapeutic approaches, which includes Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). These therapies are recommended in the NICE guidelines for PTSD.
Who might benefit from our services?
Many of the PTSD symptoms are normal reactions to difficult situations and some people find their symptoms reduce in time. Some people improve without professional help, especially in the first few weeks. Others may find that their symptoms continue. If they do continue for longer than a month then you may be experiencing PTSD and could benefit from additional help.
The approach that might be best for you will be discussed with you and explained in the assessment session so that you know what to expect from a course of therapy. The amount of sessions you may be offered will depend on the nature of your circumstances. For example, you may be offered between eight to twelve sessions of psychological therapy, which is usually the case for the majority of adults who have had a single traumatic incident such as a car accident, a violent physical assault or an accidental injury. Alternatively you may be offered a longer course of therapy if you have experienced a number of traumatic events over a period of time. This would often be appropriate for those who have experienced sexual violence such as rape, or adults who were sexually abused as children.
How to access the service
All therapies are accessed via our Initial Therapies Assessment.
To refer yourself to our general therapies service, or just to talk to us about whether we can help, please call us on 01904 412551.
Alternatively, you can complete the form here and email it to us at APTinfo@theretreatyork.org.uk