Therapies For Someone With PTSD

Introduction to PTSD

Luckily, for some people, when they encounter vehicular accidents, the death of someone special, or abuse, they are strong and resilient enough to overcome these traumatic events. Unfortunately, for some – especially those who have suffered from violence from combat or war – these individuals become overwhelmed and their lives are affected with their trauma forever.

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When someone you know is diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder, you wish only that he or she can be immediately attended to by a mental health professional. Individuals who are afflicted by this distressing illness struggle to live normal lives one day at a time. Often, when they recall the trauma that they experienced, they become different. They are sometimes attacked by the traumatic event suddenly, or in parts – slowly but equally devastating. They lose their ability to be resilient and they become so afraid when they think about what they went through. 

 

“PTSD is a response to trauma that can make individuals feel scared, hopeless, or horrified for at least one month following the trauma.” Rob Cole, LMHC said

 

As posttraumatic stress disorder cannot be cured, therapies for this illness are meant to manage its symptoms and help the individual function as normally as possible. The essential therapies that a mental health professional can utilize are psychotherapy, medications and a combination of both. Let us discuss the types of psychotherapy that are proven effective in helping the PTSD individual overcome his triggers and successfully cope with the illness for life. 

 

Therapies

 

  • Psychotherapy. Simply put, psychotherapy or talk therapy is a method that utilizes personal interaction where the therapist guides the patient into opening up and discussing the traumatic event/events that he has experienced. These interactions are focused on resolving the patient’s negative emotions and the ill effects of their trauma. The most commonly used psychotherapy techniques are: 

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Proven to be the most effective form of psychotherapy, CBT involves understanding and pinpointing behavior patterns and teaching coping skills that the patient can practice outside of the scheduled treatments. Here, the patient is encouraged to face his fears and try doing things that he avoided since the trauma happened. The therapist attempts to change the patient’s negative thoughts and develop a fresh and positive perspective on things.

 

“CBT is a relatively brief, skills-focused treatment that has been shown to be effective for a wide variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, anger, social skills deficits, and relational problems.” Shelby Harris, PsyD, CBSM said.

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Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). This modality attempts to change the patient’s negative emotions and thoughts by exposing him to the memories of the traumatic event/s while instructing him to also focus on a stream of lights or a group of sounds and assessing his eye movements. If successful, the negative thought ‘it was my fault’ changes to ‘I did my best.’ The outcomes of EMDR trials have been very effective for the past 15 years.

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Exposure Therapy. Intervention through exposure of the patient to the traumatic event by journaling, teaching mental imagery, and encouraging him to visit to places that remind him of the traumatic event. This technique is used in part by the desensitization method, which aims to help the patient get used to the trauma and the feelings that have arisen due to the trauma. Later on, the patient becomes less sensitive and is able to cope with the fears that grew in him after the fateful event/s. 

 

 

  • Medications

 

 

Most individuals who suffer from PTSD are recommended to take medications to keep the symptoms under control. The more commonly used are antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. When used appropriately, these meds can also help ease their sleep and concentration problems. Patients, however, are not allowed to take medications for PTSD without a written prescription from their doctor. 

 

Conclusion

There are other treatments suggested for the management of PTSD, some of which have not yet been proven to be definitely effective for the majority of patients. However, it may work for some, so the best option would be to discuss these matters with a physician. Nevertheless, the option for treatment should always be considered, as it is the only way for the individual with PTSD to help him regain his life. Remember, “Making the decision to enter into treatment requires a commitment to prioritize your mental health and make some significant life changes.” Catherine “Katie” Ness, MA, LCPC said

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Different Types of Therapy and Their Benefits

Therapy for Everyone

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We often think of therapy as a treatment or a way for ‘mentally ill’ individuals to get well and recover. We hear of addicts going to addiction therapy to help them stop their addictions. We know of some friends who are undergoing therapy to help them deal with their past traumas. We encourage our parents and other relatives to visit a therapist after we have lost a loved one. We often relate therapy mostly with adults and mostly with depression, stress, and trauma. 

 

However, it is vital to know that there are also other forms of therapy that are utilized by people who are simply confused or have lost direction in their lives. There is help for couples who are struggling to keep their relationship or marriage afloat and want to save it. There is actually therapy for everyone. This article discusses different types of therapy and their benefits for different types of individuals – young and old. 

 

Different Types of Therapy

 

Play therapy.One of the most common types of therapy, play therapy is utilized to help individuals, especially children, cope with mental challenges and social and communication difficulties. Through play, they are able to express themselves better, learn how to communicate with people through their play therapist, and ultimately instill in themselves positive behaviors and attitudes for the future. Children with low self-esteem, sleep and eating problems, excessive shyness, and those who have experienced trauma can benefit greatly from play therapy. “Play therapy may be helpful for your child if they are between the ages of 3-12 and you are concerned about their behaviors, emotions, self-esteem, or if they have experienced a big life adjustment or trauma.” Julie Simmons, MS LPC LLC said.

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Hypnotherapy. Previously controversial but now accepted by the National Health Service (NHS), hypnotherapy has become one of the most successful ways to stop smoking, lose weight, get rid of stress and anxiety, and develop a positive outlook to achieve success in life. The process involves assisting the individual in achieving a relaxed state of consciousness while the therapist guides him through positive and healthy suggestions, helping him overcome whatever challenges he is facing. “Hypnosis is often recognized as being used by performers in comedy or entertainment, and is typically seen as fun and harmless in those situations.” Ann Marie Sochia, MS, LPCA, CHT, NLP explained.

 

Couples therapy. Also called relationship or couples counseling, this type of therapy is aimed at bridging gaps between partners and married couples. They are given the opportunity to express how they feel about each other and discuss the issues that are keeping their relationship on the rocks. Some personal problems may be better left kept between the people involved, but issues such as finances, domestic violence, issues with raising kids, and infidelity often become magnified and need mediation. The efficiency of couples therapy mostly depends, however, on the commitment and determination of partners and couples and how much they want to save their relationships. 

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Group therapy. A form of psychotherapy that entails one or two therapists to work with a group of individuals with similar issues and wanting the same resolution for their problems. The sessions are usually composed of 12 people who meet once or twice a week. There are open sessions, where new participants can join anytime. This benefits those who are experiencing depression and anxiety, where individuals are encouraged to speak about themselves and share their feelings towards their problems and how they are handling them. “[T]here is encouragement to both talk about your life outside the group and also to talk about the dynamics within the group.” Psychotherapist Ali Miller, MFT said.

 

Conclusion

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There are various other forms of therapy that individuals from different walks of life can get help from. When your emotions need some extra handling and you can’t cope with the stresses in life – even the simple ones – there is always therapy available for you, because therapy is for everyone. 

 

Middle Child Syndrome

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Some people say that a middle child is always the attention seeker, the complainer, the troublemaker and everything else. Well, for the information of everyone, Middle Child Syndrome is real and true. It is a condition being experienced by the middle child. A research done by experts in Stanford University showed that a middle child has difficulty “finding” himself within the family. They easily get envious, they’re not that brave or confident, and “middles” are not very sociable.

But if you look at US Presidents in history, 52% of them are middle children. Well-known personalities like Martin Luther King, Abe Lincoln, Warren Buffett, and Bill Gates are also middles. Does it mean that middle children are great leaders? Yes, they can be and it has been proven. Growing up has never been easy for them. This is the reason why some middle children emerge successfully in their fields because they wanted to prove themselves to their families.

How middle children stand out on their own

Most parents will deny this, but middle children are often neglected. That’s because the baby of the family and the first-born are always the “stars”. They steal away the spotlight from their siblings, unknowingly. The youngest is given much attention because he is small and needs utmost care. For the eldest child, his parents will always treat him well because he is the first born and the favorite. It is usually like that.

With this, the middle child learns to self-soothe and becomes more independent. Their parents are not too strict with them and so, they can get away with little things – this means they can try out stuff and learn new skills. This shapes them up to become great leaders or outstanding people when they get older because nothing bars them from growing and learning. This is one of the positive effects of being a middle child. “middle children are the toughest to pin down because they play off their older sibling,” Dr. Kevin Leman said.

 

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The great things about being a middle child

Middle children are great at negotiating and because they have always been deprived of time and things when they were younger, they learn how to be manipulative – in a good way. They use this to their advantage especially in business. They are relentless, risk-takers, open and willing to try new things. Middle children are also expert thinkers. They tend to argue their way out successfully and if they can’t get what they want, they know how to compromise. “Although it may seem like siblings compete for their parents’ attention and “fusion,” middles who are less fused actually grow up to be healthier, better-adjusted adults.” Katie Davis, PsyD. said

What a middle child needs to improve on

They are sometimes discriminated in the workplace. HR officers don’t hire middle children because they are such and they possess the negative characteristics brought about by their Middle Child Syndrome. These characteristics include low self-esteem, avoiding conflict, and they are very trusting that people take advantage of them. But a middle child can overcome all of this and he or she can be a better version of himself or herself, as long as you’re determined to move on.

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Advice for a middle child

– Don’t let your birth order define you. Even if your parents don’t give you much attention, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you.

– Be strong and say NO to people who are taking advantage of you. You must also find the courage to resolve conflicts and face them head on. It must be settled by you.

– Take a risk, but calculate it first. You will be happier and more secure when you do this.

– It’s ok to lose yourself, once in a while. You’re only human. Tip the boat and learn to save yourself when necessary. “Each style takes a different approach to raising children, and can be identified by a number of different characteristics.” Amy Morin, LCSW said.

– If all else fails, seek therapy. It is a life saver.

 

The Importance Of Family Therapy

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No family is perfect. You may be rich and have a successful career – it doesn’t mean that your children are automatically happy that you’re always busy and not often around. It can be that you’re contented with your average income life, but the struggle is real and you can see your children lacking the things that they need. Life is truly hard and it gets harder when the family is always in conflict. The home is never peaceful which means that your life is not in harmony, as well.

“Therapy is right for anyone who is interested in getting the most out of their life by taking responsibility, creating greater self-awareness, and working towards change in their lives.” Chris Corbett, PsyD. explains.

This is where Family Therapy comes in. For those families who opted for this type of counseling services, issues have been resolved, petty and major fights have been settled and love fills the home. So, to know more, here are the basics:

What is Family Therapy?

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Family Therapy is also a form of psychotherapy wherein members of a family unit are being treated to help all of them improve how they communicate and interact with each other without troubles. This promotes harmony within the home and foster love among each other. It is also a very effective way of settling problems and conflicts within the household. For example, if one or more of the family members are always fighting and can’t seem to see each other eye to eye, then, Family Therapy is the best way to repair that chronic problem.

“The goal of family therapy is to help family members improve communication, solve family problems, understand and handle special family situations, and create a better functioning home environment. “Dave Kaplowitz, LMFT, CGP

What is the purpose of Family Therapy?

In Family Therapy, members of the family will go and see a licensed therapist or certified counselor so they can talk about whatever issues they have within the family. It can be relationship disputes, addressing troublesome behaviors of one or more family members, talking about feelings and beliefs, and other matters. The purpose of Family Therapy is to resolve problems of the family so that they can live together in peace.

What are the Goals of Family Therapy?

There are three important goals in Family Therapy. The first goal is to make each member of the family realize how their behaviors, ways and actions affect everyone in the family. They need to be able to identify their problems and how their specific behaviors can be hurtful or destructive to others. The second goal is to learn how to relate with everyone in the family after their realization which leads us to the third goal – resolve all conflicts peacefully by open communication.

What is Behavioral Family Therapy?

Behavioral Family Therapy was a system developed by Professor Ian Falloon and his associates back in the 80’s. The whole system is an intervention program which can be completed in as short as 10 to 14 sessions. It follows all the goals of Family Therapy as well as talking about mental health problems – if one or more family members are experiencing such disorders. This happens through effective communication and information sharing. There will be a program or plan to treat the problem as a family and also, the purpose is to put a stop on any type of relapse in the future.

“You’re considering therapy because something doesn’t feel right. You want relief, healing, or increased insight.” Sarah Rumpf, MA, LPCC

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What is the Importance of Family Therapy?

The importance of Family Therapy is very simple – to bring back the love within the family. When the family is in disarray, there is nothing good that comes out of it. Nobody wants to stay at home and not one of the family members will have that inner peace.

The home should be our sanctuary. It is supposed to be our place of zen and tranquility. But if people inside the home are not in good terms, then, the home is just a house or a building where “strangers related by blood” live in. It is depressing and sad to be in a house where parents and siblings are not communicating well with each other. Hopefully, with Family Therapy, the family will be able to work out their differences.

 

Which Outdoor Activities are the Most Therapeutic?

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Outdoor activities are not only good for your physical health, but it’s also beneficial for your emotional and mental health too. Outdoor activities are therapeutic because they help with building up confidence and one’s self-esteem. It’s also used for many people who are suffering with various mental health issues such as: addiction, depression, trauma, stress, and other mental health issues. 

Besides outdoor activities being therapeutic, it also keeps us occupied and keeps us stress-free. Outdoor therapy is recommended by many mental health professionals and they are also used in recovery centers. It’s also good for kids who have suffered with trauma or any other mental health issues. Here’s a couple of outdoor activities that are very therapeutic:

 

Ropes Courses:

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Abseiling and zip lining are examples of a rope course. This form of therapy is being used to treat many people who are suffering with mental health issues. Rope exercises strengthens both the upper and lower body. It also improves the blood circulation, this is a huge advantage because it improves the sleep. The improvement of the blood flow also relaxes the body. Rope courses also help an individual with staying in shape and it increases both the cardiovascular and muscle strength. 

Some people might be afraid at first, but it can actually help boosting your self-confidence and self-esteem. It takes you out of your comfort zone and leaves you with a sense of achievement. It’s very good for people who have suffered with trauma.

Equine Therapy:

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According to Melissa Burns, LCPC, LLC “It is noted that the Ancient Greeks used horse-assisted therapy as early as 600BC to raise the spirits of the incurably ill.” Horses were once upon a form of transportation. They have also provided us with many things over the years, but the best one is their companionship and unconditional love. Horses are large animals and may seem intimidating, this helps with breaking fear in people. This is also good for children and adults who have suffered traumatic experience, especially physical abuse experiences. 

Building a relationship and friendship with a horse also helps people and they find that companionship and trust in horses. Working as a team with the rider and the horse brings a sense of achievement to the rider. 

People also find it easier to connect with horses. Unlike people, horses are not judgmental and they are sensitive animals. Riders are also taught how to behave around horses and how to handle them too. This not only breaks fear within people, but it can also increase one’s confidence and self-esteem. Many disturbed people have found comfort in horses and horse-riding. 

Swimming:

Swimming is one of the best exercises. It’s good for your cardiovascular health, lungs and even your mental health. Swimming can also be done at your own pace. It also relaxes the body, which makes it one of the best therapeutic outdoor activities. It’s also a great way to de-stress. “Staring at the ocean actually changes our brain waves’ frequency and puts us into a mild meditative state.” Richard Shuster, PsyD said.

Adventure Therapy:

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Nature is not only one of the best therapy options for mental health conditions but it’s also lots of fun and good for your physical wellbeing. Some examples of adventure therapy are: hiking, camping, walking, kayaking, jogging etc. There’s a variety of adventure activities to choose from. “Nature-based/experiential interventions produce increased treatment success more rapidly than traditional talk approaches. There is a relationship between humans who connect with and spend time in nature and increased environmental awareness or stewardship.” Dr. Carlene Taylor, LMHC, LPC, CPCS, NCC explained.

Adventure therapy also usually involves being exposed to the sun. Sun exposure is one of the easiest ways to get our daily dosage of vitamin D. Vitamin D has many benefits for our physical wellbeing and it can also help us with sleeping better at night. 

Adventure therapy is also used as a therapy treatment to treat many different types of mental health conditions. It’s a stress reliever and it is very relaxing. The sights, sounds and smells also help with relaxing the mind and body. It changes the chemistry in the brain and allows you to enjoy the simplest and most natural things in life. Adventure therapy is also a great way to keep fit, which also has a positive impact on your mental health.

Confessions Of A Working Mom

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I believe that the Almighty created women to be the stronger sex. It’s not about the bicep muscles and the towering height in men that makes them powerful. Physical attributes – in this case, body strength – is not all that. I am a living proof that moms like me are more resilient, more powerful and indeed, much stronger. You know why? Because we are MOMS and MOMS not only work 8 hours a day. We take care of our kids (I have 5), tend the house and look “attractive and sexy” for our husbands, on top of working 8 hours on a serious career. I say, no man could top that and I’ll explain why. 

 

Moms work full time too, like the dads.

 

Moms, like the dads, also work 8-hour jobs. If the daddies spend 8-10 hours in their offices or businesses, the moms do that too. We wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning and then, cook breakfast. After that, we fix what the kids need to wear for school and the suit that our husbands wear for the office. 

 

“Stress can seem omnipresent. Between working, socializing and taking care of the home, it sometimes seems we don’t have a minute to ourselves, let alone enough time to really take care of our bodies and minds.” Sonja Seglin, LCPC

 

Then, we wake all of them up – make sure they all take a bath and eat. We even drive the kids to school, and sometimes, with no breakfast eaten and make up not yet put on. After that, we go to the office to start our professional day and smile like everything is great. Only the moms can do that.

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Moms move faster and are more efficient than the dads.

 

“Chronic work stress, insufficient mental health resources, feeling overworked and under supported — these are issues facing too many workers, but it doesn’t have to be this way,” David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA

 

Let’s say, the moms have an extra 30 minutes before they go to their place of work after the whole morning routine with kids and hubby. (Actually, on school days – 30 minutes is an indulgence! It’s more like 10-15 minutes extra.) What do we do? 

 

Comb hair, brush teeth, arrange clothes you’re wearing, cut nails, clean shoes, put makeup on and eat breakfast in between – all that in just 10 minutes. True! Moms can do all of that. It’s like moms are the female version of The Flash! It’s called multitasking, you know. Everything done quickly and correctly. Only the moms can do that.

 

Moms can function all-around, not like the dads. 

 

After the gruesome morning and a tiring shift at work, moms must go home and be the “all-around worker”. Yes, we clean the house, wash the dishes and laundry everyone’s clothes. After that, we must cook again because the kids will be home soon and they need to eat. And so, dinner begins and it is a noisy table. 

 

“Mom this”, “Mom that” – everybody wants to talk to mom. And even with that, US moms still have the energy. We help our kids with their homework. Our husbands need their “quality time” with us too – you know very well what I mean. We provide that, as well. Around 12 midnight, the day ends and we go to sleep. Only the moms can do that.

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That cycle begins again the next day, and it is always like that – 365 days a year, excluding weekends. Now, do you or don’t you agree? Women… Moms are “stronger” because we can do everything and anything in just 24 hours! 

 

If not for my “textmate”, my online therapist, I would be crazy-locked-up-in-mental-institution-mom right now. My therapist would text me back the words “Hold on. You’re WONDERWO-MOM. Breathe in and Breathe out, girl!” after I say – “Hey, I’m losing it for the 10th time today.” 

 

For the most part, moms are brave enough to show their weakness and strong enough to bounce back in a snap. Only the moms can do that. If in case, “You might come away from a good self-help book with a changed attitude, different behavior, fresh motivation, or something else shiny and new to test-drive.” Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist said.