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  • Therapy for Trauma

    PTSD Screen

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care, they usually get better. If the symptoms get worse, last for months or even years, and interfere with your day-to-day functioning, you may have PTSD.

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms and behaviors include, among others:

    • Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence in one or more of the following ways:
    • Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic events.
    • Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and or effect of the dream are related to the traumatic event.
    • Dissociative reactions (flashbacks) in which the individual feels or acts as if the traumatic events were recurring.  (Such reactions may occur on a continuum, with the most extreme expression being a complete loss of awareness or present surroundings.)
    • Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic events)
    • Marked physiological reactions to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic events.
    • Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic events
    • Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic events.
    • Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic events
    • Negative altercations in cognitions and mood associated with traumatic events, beginning or worsening after the traumatic events
    • Inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic events (typically due to dissociative amnesia and not to other factors such as head injury, alcohol, or drugs.
    • Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (eg. I am bad, No one can be trusted, the world is completely dangerous, My whole nervous system is permanently ruined.)
    • Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic events that lead the individual to blame him-self/her-self or others.
    • Persistent negative emotional state (eg fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame).
    • Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities.
    • Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.
    • Persistent inability to experience positive emotions (eg. inability to experience   happiness, satisfaction, or loving feelings)

    If you can relate to any of the above symptoms or behaviors, it may be time to consider addiction counseling.

    As an licensed marriage and family therapist, I have a good amount of study and experience working with children, young adults, adults, and families who have experienced trauma.