After having been experienced a traumatic event (an actual physical attack, an emotional trauma such as a major financial reverse or job loss, sexual or physical abuse) many people develop a persistent set of emotional, cognitive, and/or behavioral symptoms. The immediate response of fear, helplessness, or horror caused by the traumatic event often gives way to lingering effects that can be intense at times and can affect your life in many ways. This constellation of symptoms is known as PTSD, posttraumatic stress disorder. It is not a condition that will easily resolve by itself and professional help with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy or EMDR are frequently the only approaches that will produce lasting relief.

What is PTSD?

Over the 25 years since the acceptance of the PTSD diagnosis in the formal psychiatric nomenclature, there has been a veritable explosion of studies on the effects of trauma on individuals and communities. The recognition of PTSD fostered the emergence of a large group of basic and clinical researchers who could devote their professional lives to the study and treatment of psychological trauma. Presently, there exists at least one journal devoted exclusively to the study of psychological trauma: the Journal of Traumatic Stress. Another, the Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, is devoted to specialized issues regarding those topics; a number of other peer-reviewed journals, including Child Abuse and Neglect and Developmental Psychopathology, focus exclusively on traumatized children. Particularly in the area of childhood trauma, important efforts have been made to integrate the research on failures in early parental attachment patterns with the impact of specific traumatic events. Starting in 1985, a variety of professional organizations focused on the study of the effects of trauma on children and adults were founded in the United States, Europe, Australia, Israel, Japan, and Argentina. In the United States, the National Institutes of Mental Health founded a Violence and Traumatic Stress branch, the U.S. Veterans Administration founded the National Center for PTSD, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Since 1980, significant advances have been made in understanding the epidemiology of PTSD, and the issues of vulnerability, course, and phenomenology. Many of these advances are highlighted in this book, but three of the most significant advances concern (1) understanding of the impact of trauma on a variety of developmental competencies through the life cycle (Putnam, 1995; Pynoos, Steinberg, Ornitz, & Goenjian, 1998; van der Kolk et al., 2005a, 2005b), (2) elucidation of the several of the underlying neurobiological processes of trauma (Friedman, Charney, & Deutch, 1995; Yehuda & McFarlane, 1997), and (3) systematic exploration of treatment outcome in various trauma populations (Foa, Keane, & Friedman, 2000). These lines of research have intersected, representing a true biopsychosocial approach to the study of trauma. Source: Ch. 2: The History of Trauma in Psychiatry by Bessel A. van der Kolk in Handbook of PTSD : Science and practice – edited by Matthew J. Friedman, Terence M. Keane, Patricia A. Resick.

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What is CPT?

Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) is a cognitive-behavioral treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related problems. The overall goals of CPT are to improve your PTSD symptoms, and any associated symptoms you may have (such as depression, anxiety, guilt, or shame). It also aims to improve your day to day living. CPT consists of 6–24 individual (one-on-one) therapy sessions; the average is 12. Each session lasts 50–60 minutes. In these sessions, you will learn about the symptoms of PTSD and the reasons why some people develop it. You will also be helped in identifying and exploring how your trauma or traumas have changed your thoughts and beliefs, and how some of these ways of thinking may keep you “stuck” in your symptoms. CPT does not involve repeatedly reviewing the details of your trauma(s). However, you will be asked to examine your experiences in order to understand how they have affected your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In addition, after each session you will be given practice assignments to complete outside the sessions. These assignments are designed to improve your PTSD symptoms more rapidly outside the treatment sessions.

Get Help With Emotional Trauma and PTSD

PTSD & Trauma

To make an appointment with Dr. Z, call (678) 554-5632 or fill out the online appointment request. We can go over your current situation, identify the ways in which the lingering effects of emotional trauma or the symptoms of PTSD are affecting your life and that of your loved ones. We will put some dimensions to the problem, and identify your current resources that may be applied toward meaningful and lasting change. If additional resources and skills are needed, we will use CBT, CPT or EMDR to treat your severe symptoms and help you feel calmer and increase your ability to choose the most appropriate response to each situation. Treating emotional trauma and PTSD is feasible, it’s proven to be effective, and has helped many people who had a variety of different symptoms and challenges. Call and make your appointment today and we can get started!

Am I suffering from PTSD?

This questionnaire is designed to help you focus on and identify the specific symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that you may have experienced or may still be experiencing. After you complete the questionnaire and submit it, the results (point score) will be displayed on your screen. Depending on your questionnaire results, please consider cognitive behavioral therapy to help reduce the severity of the symptoms and work toward their complete management. Please make sure to fill in your contact information if you wish to make an appointment with Dr. Z, either by providing your name, email and phone number on the questionnaire and indicating in the comments that you wish to schedule an appointment, or by filling out the online appointment request form.

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