Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Many people know that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has become an occupational hazard for soldiers at war – especially those who have been in life-threatening situations such as being shot at, or blown up by landmines. Or even seeing that happen to others, close by.
PTSD may result from non-military experiences too. It may follow after powerful one-off stressful experiences like accidents, floods, bushfires, crimes, or witnessing violence or death in any context. It is basically the brain and emotions struggling to make sense of shocking experiences – and the sudden apprehension of one’s vulnerability to dangers in the world.
Another, more gradual or chronic form of PTSD is Complex Trauma, which may follow on from intentional mistreatment by others, such child abuse, neglect, physical violence at home, or intentionally inflicted deprivation.
In PTSD, the human mind’s ability to process extreme, life-threatening fear becomes stuck, so that the sufferer keeps reliving the feared situation in the form of flashbacks, and/or by remaining stuck in a highly sensitised state of anxiety. Their “safety threat” and “fear” related emotions stay on full alert, too easily triggered off by sudden sounds or perceived threats
How can Psychological Counselling Help PTSD?
First, it is paramount that a person who has been traumatised feels safe with the counselling process. They must feel they can trust the psychologist to be sensitive to their needs and to be respectful, allowing the sufferer to go at their own pace.
Some traumatic memories may be too painful to return to, for a very long time, perhaps never. In the long run, it is the sufferer who will decide how far to go in retelling the experiences, in collaboration with the psychologist. The kind of things that may overwhelm one person to mention, may not have the same effect on another.
One of the signs of eventual recovery can be the gradual return of a more comfortable consciousness of self-chatter – the familiar stream of consciousness “voice” within – that may begin to feel gradually more and more released from the strict or tight controls of the traumatised thinking patterns in the brain.
Call us on 1300 739 531 to make an appointment
- Phones answered Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 8pm, Saturdays 9-4pm
- After-hours appointments available weeknights to 8pm, Saturdays 9am to 4pm.
- Medicare and Private Health rebates can be processed at your session.
- For details on our psychologists, see Our Team
If traumatic experiences are robbing you of motivation, joy and interest, let us help. Open Sky Psychology serves people in the local areas of Ryde, Gladesville, Putney, Lane Cove, Meadowbank, Hunters Hill, Top Ryde, East Ryde, West Ryde, North Ryde, Denistone, Drummoyne, Eastwood, Epping, Chatswood, and surrounding suburbs.
Victoria Road buses also make our practice accessible for city workers, see Contact Us. But if Our Team’s areas of specialisation make a good match for your particular needs, we welcome people from anywhere.