Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Cliff hangingPost-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

We aim to help individuals, families and communities that

have been impacted by trauma, adversity, and loss to

re-establish a sense of safety and predictability in the

world.

 

What can cause Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?

Anyone who has experienced trauma through life threatening situations or serious injury that lead to feelings of intense fear, helplessness or horror. They include:

  • Physical or sexual assault
  • A motor vehicle accident
  • Work place harassment
  • An industrial accident
  • Bush fire or flood
  • War experiences

Persistent symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder include:

  • Anxiety levels raised – in situations where the person may feel at risk or in any situation that reminds them of the incident.
  • Intrusive thoughts and flashbacks
  • Panic attacks may occur.
  • Vulnerability levels raised – even in one’s home, as most people loose their trust and confidence in people
  • Suspicion increases – victims are suspicious of most people with whom they come in contact.
  • Sleep Disturbances – reminiscent nightmares are common
  • Concentration level drop – some victims are unable to work
  • Irritability – inconsequential incidents may take on huge proportions.
  • Isolation – victims may withdraw from social contact believing no one else understands their situation.
  • Physical symptoms – fatigue, headaches and/or GI disturbance
  • Low self esteem and Relationship problems
  • Depression

Other Responses to Trauma

Depression is also a response to trauma. Over time, perhaps after the initial anxieties have subsided, there can exist a numbness or lack of feeling that can lead to symptoms of depression.

Even if the full range of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, are not experienced, it is still reasonable to seek treatment to help adjusting to life events.

Treatment for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

The National Health and Medical Research Council treatment guidelines state that the recommended first line treatment is trauma-focused therapy. Clinical research shows a high level of effectiveness in the reduction of anxiety following this treatment.

Whilst debriefing – onsite counselling provided very soon after an incident, may not be beneficial, best practice guidelines state that early support and effective treatment in a secure situation is recommended.

We provide trauma counselling according to best practice guidelines.

Clinical psychologist Margaret Mitchell takes a meta-cognitive therapy approach.

Jo England takes an EMDR approach.

John Gwiazdzinski has a particular interest in working with members of the armed forces.