PTSD and Trauma

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury.

A heightened sense of danger

A traumatic event is something that threatens your life or safety, or the lives of the people around you. Many people experience traumatic events over the course of their lifetime; some estimates are as high as 8 in 10 people! Traumatic incidents range from childhood sexual and physical abuse, to motor vehicle accidents, physical assaults, rape, robberies, natural disasters, and critical incidents experienced in occupational settings, such as the Police, Fire Brigade, Paramedics, and other emergency service workers.

Often, people can experience repeated intrusive memories of the incident, nightmares, heightened arousal and emotional reactivity, sleep problems, alcohol or other drug problems, and at times, may feel suicidal. Some individual’s feel emotionally disconnected from others around them, and may be left feeling “numb” after they experience a trauma. It is common for veterans to experience difficulties managing anger and to feel disconnected from family and loved ones.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects about 7% of people throughout their lifetime, and is among the most common stress/anxiety related mental disorders. PTSD typically involves four clusters of symptoms including intrusive symptoms (e.g. memories of trauma), avoidance symptoms, negative alterations in cognitions and mood, and arousal and reactivity symptoms. 

Sometimes people experience early childhood traumas such as sexual and physical abuse or neglect, that do not eventuate in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but result in a complex picture of emotional disturbance, relationship problems, poor self-image or low self-confidence. 

There are a range of therapies that can help! 

  • Schema Therapy: This therapy addresses the underlying beliefs, memories, emotional experiences that are connected with early childhood traumas so that they do not continue to present as problems in adulthood.
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT): Teaches you to reframe negative thoughts about the trauma. It involves talking with your provider about your negative thoughts and doing short writing assignments.
  • Eye-Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR): Helps you process and make sense of your trauma. It involves calling the trauma to mind while paying attention to a back-and-forth movement or sound (like a finger waving side to side, a light, or a tone)

We can help

  • Overcoming flashbacks and intrusive memories
  • Improve sleep
  • Rebuild confidence in self and others
  • Feel connected with others on an emotional level
  • Reduce anxiety

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What to expect

Making your first appointment

Once you’ve decided to try therapy, call our kind and caring admin team on (02) 9139 0126 to discuss what you are having difficulty with and book your first appointment.

Attending the initial consultation

In the initial consultation, your therapist is looking to build a picture of how you’ve come to where you are today and what you are looking to get out of therapy. Your therapist will do their best to address any questions or concerns you may have about the process.

Creating a treatment plan together

Over the first three sessions, your therapist will work collaboratively with you to establish goals for therapy. They are designed to be specific, realistic, and tailored to your needs.

Undergoing therapy

As your therapy goes on, you will continue the process of building a trusting relationship with your therapist. You will work with them to find alternative ways of thinking and behaving, build resilience and learn new skills that will help to see yourself and the world differently, and promote helpful actions in life.

Book an appointment today

Ready to see a psychologist?

There can be lots of questions that come up when you’re trying to make a decision about whether to see a psychologist. If you have a question that we haven’t answered in our FAQ, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on (02) 9139 0126  or email . Our friendly support team will get back to you within one business day.