PTSD TREATMENT: THE ROAD TO RECOVERY For people with unremitting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD treatment is a solution that includes several types of valuable therapy. When traumatic experiences occur, there can be severe trauma to the body and brain and those who suffer from PTSD often find that their lives are disrupted on a daily basis as a result. PTSD treatment is available to help those suffering from PTSD, as they often turn to alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism instead of effective therapy. The drug and alcohol abuse only increases the health risks and intense levels of psychological stress and fear already associated with PTSD. The road to recovery from PTSD can be overwhelming at first, which makes effective PTSD treatment all the more important. TYPES OF PTSD TREATMENT Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, also known as EMDR: IN EMDR, therapists utilize and repeat bilateral stimuli in order to arouse various areas of the brain for memory processing. Some examples of bilateral stimuli include audio tones, vibrating hand-held devices, tapping or light pulses. Additionally, therapists work with the client to focus on specific images or negative self-beliefs that add to the impact of the trauma the client has experienced. As the painless, external stimulation concurs with the therapeutic work, the trauma’s intensity reduces dramatically. EMDR as a form of PTSD treatment has proven highly successful and has shown to be healing for trauma survivors. Cognitive Therapy (talk therapy): After a traumatic event, a person with PTSD is likely to blame themselves for the things they had no control over. In cognitive therapy, a therapist helps the client discover and change perspective on how their trauma and its aftermath are thought of, and also helps the person understand that the traumatic event they lived through wasn’t their fault. The goal is to understand how certain thoughts about the traumatic event can lead to more stress and only worsen the symptoms. Clients will learn to identify the thoughts about themselves and the world that make them feel afraid, upset and trigger the feelings associated with PTSD. With the help of a therapist and this type of PTSD treatment, the client will learn to cope with feelings such as fear, anger and guilt. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Similar to EMDR, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been proven extremely successful as a form of PTSD treatment when it comes to reducing or eliminating PTSD symptoms. Through behavioral conditioning, CBT uses positive reinforcement for favored outcomes as well as exposure therapy to eliminate triggers. It also looks to correct negative self beliefs in survivors of trauma. Unlike Cognitive Therapy, where the client simply talks about the problem, CBT attempts to identify the problematic patterns of behavior or thought and goes further to amend them through behavioral therapy. This appears to be one of the most effective forms of PTSD treatment. Hypnotherapy: Sometimes hypnotherapy can be an effective form of PTSD treatment – particularly when the memories associated with the traumatic event have been suppressed, partially or fully, due to extreme emotional trauma. A hypnotherapist can actually access the subconscious mind and allow the buried or repressed memories to resurface in a safe environment. For those who have gone through such traumatic events that they cannot fully recall what exactly happened yet they are still displaying regular and persistent symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, hypnotherapy can be extremely helpful in PTSD treatment. Art therapy: There are times, of course, when traumatic experiences are unspeakable in the eyes of the trauma survivor. For those that display the symptoms of PTSD and are not able to clearly verbalize their feelings associated with their traumatic experiences, art therapy can be a wonderful and non-threatening aid in PTSD treatment. This form of therapy gives the survivor a safe and creative outlet which can help express what they can’t yet speak. Often throughout the course of art therapy exercises, therapists spend time discussing the trauma themes with their patients that may have surfaced through the exercises. There are, of course, other helpful methods that can be combined with the above-mentioned types of PTSD treatment. In addition to EMDR, Cognitive Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Art Therapy and in many cases medication, combining group therapy, brief psychodynamic psychotherapy, and in most cases family therapy, can also significantly aid in the process of a person recovering from PTSD. At Safe Harbor Treatment Center for Women in California, these techniques and more are used for our clients suffering from the grip of drug and alcohol addiction. To go beyond substance abuse and into the realm of dual diagnosis, Safe Harbor has opened up the new Capella Treatment Center to provide intensive and comprehensive treatment for women struggling with trauma and addiction. Women suffering from PTSD, panic disorders, acute stress disorders, anxiety disorders, obsessive/compulsive disorders, mood disorders and co-occurring addictions would have their individual needs met by a multi-disciplinary team. The individualized treatment program is integrated with the current 12-step model and includes innovative techniques such as psychodrama, dialectical behavioral therapy, somatic therapy, EMDR, art therapy, systematic family therapy, equine therapy, recreational therapy, experiential therapy and yoga – all proven techniques in aiding in the recovery of trauma survivors. We invite you to watch the video below and take the first step in starting your life over.