• Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders

    Posttraumatic stress disorder – also known as PTSD – is a mental health challenge that may occur in individuals who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a terrorist act, an act of war, a serious accident, rape, or any other personal assault.

    While many people recover from trauma over time with the support of family, friends, and other resiliency factors (known as post-traumatic growth), others may experience more lasting impacts. PTSD can cause a person to live with deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, or posttraumatic stress long after the event has passed. In these circumstances, the support, guidance, and assistance of a therapist is fundamental to healing from trauma.

    Trauma Symptoms

    Trauma responses and symptoms include:


    ● Avoiding specific locations, sights, situations, and sounds that serve as reminders of the event

    ● Anxiety, depression, numbness, or guilt


    ● Intrusive thoughts, nightmares or flashbacks re-experiencing the events

    Physiological Arousal

    ● Anger, irritability, and hypervigilance

    ● Aggressive, reckless behavior, including self-harm

    ● Sleep disturbances

    Negative Mood and Dissociation

    ● Loss of interest in activities that were once considered enjoyable

    ● Difficulty remembering details of the distressing event

    ● Change in habits or behavior since the trauma

    ● Altered sense of reality about self or surroundings (e.g., time slowing, being in a daze)


    Research has proven psychotherapy to be the most effective form of treatment for trauma. Most commonly, cognitive- and behaviorally-focused therapies, such as CBT and cognitive processing therapy (CPT), are used to help those who have experienced trauma learn about their experiences and return to a place of hope with a greater sense of understanding and control of their thoughts and behaviors.