Goals of PTSD Therapy

When someone endures a traumatic incident or experience, they may experience post traumatic stress disorder in the aftermath. The Mayo Clinic says that most individuals will initially have a difficult time readjusting to life and coping with their experience in the aftermath of undergoing something traumatic, but will be able to see improvement in their wellbeing if they invest time into self care and allow enough time to pass. If, however, you have survived something traumatic and notice that your wellbeing is consistently worsening--potentially to the point that it interferes with your daily life--you could be suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD.

Over time, the intensity of your various PTSD symptoms may fluctuate; experts say that you could experience heightened symptoms if you come across any reminders of the traumatic event, or if you have been generally feeling more stressed than usual. The Mayo Clinic suggests that you seek professional help for PTSD if you:

  • Are having a hard time regaining control in your life in the aftermath of a traumatic event
  • Experience severe, disturbing feelings and thoughts surrounding the traumatic event
  • Experience these disturbing feelings and thoughts for more than a month after the event occurred

The American Psychological Association strongly recommends four major types of interventions for individuals living with PTSD; all of these are variations of a therapeutic approach known as cognitive behavioral therapy. The goal is to improve the quality of life for individuals living with PTSD, hopefully lessening their trauma symptoms and making life more livable. The four recommended therapeutic interventions are:

  1. Cognitive behavioral therapy: rooted in the relationship among your behaviors, thoughts, and feelings, cognitive behavioral therapy zeros in on current symptoms and issues. Furthermore, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on helping you change your behavioral patterns, as well as other feelings and thoughts that could make it difficult for you to function.
  2. Prolonged exposure: a particular type of cognitive behavioral therapy, prolonged exposure seeks to help you gradually approach your feelings, memories, and specific situations related to your trauma. The goal of prolonged exposure is to help you face things you have been avoiding in the hopes that you will learn that your associations with those situations, feelings, and memories are not dangerous; there is no need to avoid them.
  3. Cognitive therapy: born from cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy seeks to help you change the memories surrounding your trauma and the pessimistic evaluations you may associate with it. The underlying goal of cognitive therapy is to interrupt thought patterns and/or behaviors that disturb your ability to live your day to day life.
  4. Cognitive processing therapy: also derived from cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive processing therapy’s goal is to help you learn how to challenge and change maladaptive beliefs you may hold related to your trauma.

If you would like to seek help for PTSD symptoms, you may do so by enrolling in a group therapy program; therapy groups have been proven to be effective in treating PTSD and other mental illnesses. We here at Grouport are thrilled to offer online group therapy for PTSD and much more; our offerings, which are totally online, offer a viable way to safely seek out therapeutic intervention from the safety of your own home in today’s post COVID-19 world. You can find a series of FAQs here.

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