Trauma Treatment

Recent estimates suggest that one out of every 10 Canadians may experience an event traumatic enough to result in a diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While we know that one must experience a traumatic event for PTSD to develop, traumatic events do not always result in this diagnosis. In short, one can be traumatized without developing PTSD; however, it is a common experience for PTSD to occur after a traumatic event.

After a traumatic event occurs, the majority of people will experience some combination of the following:

  • Nightmares
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Not wanting to think about, or talk about what happened
  • Feeling on edge and jumpy
  • Unpleasant physical sensations, like shaking, sweating
  • Feeling detached or disconnected from others

These are common reactions, and often will go away without treatment.

While circumstances that cause the symptoms to persist can vary, it is common to develop PTSD if the traumatic event involved the loss of a loved one, or if the event was particularly terrifying or horrifying. Sometimes, there is no one around to help support someone who has suffered a traumatic event, which can prolong recovery. This is particularly true if the traumatic event happened during the course of your profession.

If a natural process of recovery does not happen after a traumatic event, PTSD can develop. Symptoms of PTSD include those listed above, as well as:

  • Being easily triggered by things in your environment that cause you to remember the traumatic event
  • Changes in beliefs, such as compromised thoughts and feelings about safety and trust
  • Isolation from others

When someone is traumatized, it is common for anxiety to develop and persist on a daily basis, irrespective of a PTSD diagnosis. Moreover, it is common for someone to develop feelings of persistent sadness and depression, and to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope following a traumatic event.

If any of this information resonates with you, we can help. Whether you have been diagnosed with PTSD or you have been traumatized by a difficult event, contact us today.

Wayfound Trauma Treatment

Our psychologists are trained to provide a range of empirically-supported treatments for PTSD, anxiety disorders, and mood conditions.  Regarding treatment of PTSD specifically, there are three main treatments we employ:

  • Prolonged exposure (PE): This is a cognitive-behavioural therapy used to treat PTSD. PE employs cognitive and behavioural methods to support the individual to confront trauma-related memories and reminders in a safe fashion. This therapy is highly collaborative in nature, and through rigorous study has been found to be a highly effective treatment for PTSD.
  • Cognitive processing therapy (CPT): This is also a manualized, exposure-based treatment for PTSD. CPT supports individuals to confront erroneous beliefs that develop following a traumatic event. In doing so, this approach facilitates effective processing of the cognitive and emotional consequences of trauma. CPT can be employed in individual or group formats.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR uses bilateral sensory stimuli to support processing of distressing memories associated with traumatic events. While developed as a treatment for PTSD, EMDR has been found to be effective in the treatment of a range of other mental health conditions.

For individuals seeking treatment for other mental health problems, such as depression, many of our psychologists employ cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as a first line of intervention. Beyond CBT, there are a multitude of other empirically-validated therapeutic approaches to mental health difficulties. For information on the treatments we have available, or to find out how we can best help you or your family, please contact us today.

Wayfound Trauma Treatment for Children and Adolescents

Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (TF-CBT): an exposure-based treatment for PTSD and trauma. This therapy is an evidence-based technique for children and adolescents suffering from trauma symptoms. TF-CBT includes the following components (when appropriate):

  • Psycho-education:Psycho-education: providing factual information to help correct common misconceptions about emotions, trauma, and the outcomes of traumatic experiences (e.g. ensuring the understanding that the traumatic event is not the victim’s fault)
  • Emotional identification, regulation, and coping
  • Cognitive processing and coping
  • Trauma narrative: creating a detailed description of the traumatic event(s) to help process and reintegrate information
  • Behavioural support: techniques to help parents and children manage possible disruptive behaviours
  • Parent-child sessions: parent involvement is often an important component to help children feel accepted and reduce shame

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