PTSD Treatment and therapy
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Increased hypervigilance, intrusive thoughts, feeling disconnected, anxiety, irritability, avoidance, feelings of guilt, difficulty concentrating, and trouble sleeping are all symptomatic of living in survival mode.
These responses to stress are the body’s natural response to our being overwhelmed. While it is normal to want to “push” through all of this, one of the things that we have learned from modern science is that the body traps all of this energy, unwanted emotion and distressful thoughts inside our minds and bodies. For some people, past experiences and unpleasant sensations from life threatening incidents, violations of our bodies or neglect of emotional or physical needs get triggered by current events and are relived all over again.
Trauma can result from a single event or recurring events. It can be direct or experienced when we witness what others go through and empathize with them. First responders and mental health professionals have the additional burden of having responsibility to help that other.
A Progressive Approach to Treating PTSD
Accelerated Resolution Therapy
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is prevalent in about 8% of the U.S. population. While shock and denial are common after any trauma, it is the longer term reactions such as flashbacks, physical symptoms and intrusive thoughts that are problematic for some and require more than talk therapy to work through and resolve the trauma.
Psychotherapy is a powerful process to transform this distress particularly when it is used to target both the mind and the body. Indeed, using somatic interventions that soothe body sensations and modalities that use the brain’s natural brain processes for memory reconsolidation and learning have proven most effective in terms of healing PTSD.
Accelerated Resolution Therapy is a cutting edge treatment for PTSD currently in use at Walter Reed Medical Center and the Betty Ford Foundation. It uses eye movement therapy to simulate the kind of eye-brain activity associated with REM sleep. It draws on cognitive therapies such as imaginal exposure and image rescripting to help trauma sufferers reprogram the way the brain stores traumatic memory.
Many clients report immediate relief after their A.R.T. sessions. It is not uncommon for people who have suffered for years to report significant improvement in just a few sessions. Clients remember the facts of certain events, but do not generate the strong emotions or physical sensations. What was disturbing that occurred in the past remains in the past.
Don’t Stay Stuck in Trauma and Suffering