This month in the counseling corner, the Ohana Homefront Foundation is raising awareness for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) & PTSD Awareness Month.
According to the National Center for PTSD and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs research, approximately 8 million adults have PTSD in any given year. Nearly 60% of men will experience at least one trauma in their lifetime and nearly 50% of women. Research shows that 7-8% of the population will have PTSD some time in their lives.
PTSD is a mental health experience which can arise from adverse events that overwhelm the ability to cope, integrate, and make meaning of the situation. Symptoms of PTSD can include reliving or re-experiencing the event, negative changes in beliefs or feelings, avoidance and/or hyper-arousal in response to activation points of the trauma.
Experiencing symptoms of PTSD can result in experiencing shame and isolation due to stigma surrounding mental health. This experience of shame can further exacerbate the intensity of symptoms and disconnection from the community, creating a greater risk for suicide, addictions, etc.
There are many evidenced-based practices for the treatment of PTSD, including:
· Prolonged Exposure (PE)
· Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
· Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Each of these treatments is geared towards helping the client address intrusive thoughts, feelings, and memories of the event, and can help to create new meaning of the experience.
Some lesser known therapies that are beneficial include:
· Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
Each of these treatments is designed to impact how the trauma is stored in the body and how it is physically experienced. When an individual goes through a trauma experience, information is stored on a sensory level (i.e. five senses, touch, sight, sound, taste, smell). Brain-spotting and sensorimotor work can use this information to reprocess the experience and promote healing and release of the activation points.
If you have any questions about PTSD or treatments available, please contact our counseling department at: firstname.lastname@example.org