Unfortunately, trauma touches many of our lives. Many of us have experienced traumatic events such witnessing or being subject to a fearful or life-threatening situation during which we may feel helpless or fear for our lives. Some of these events may include war, a natural disaster, an accident or physical or emotional abuse.
Although we all react differently to traumatic situations, some experiences are quite common and include anxiety, fear, worry, sadness, flashbacks, sleep difficulties, avoidance of triggers, recurring thoughts of the event, feeling as though the event is happening again, feeling overwhelmed and helpless, problems concentrating and being easily startled, to name a few. Some people may even go on to develop Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).These symptoms can be very distressing and make it difficult for people to function at work, home, school or in a social environment.
Through trauma treatment programs (either individually or in a group) healing from trauma can begin. At the Centre for Psychological Assessment, Treatment and Education, we offer treatment for PTSD. We work from a Cognitive Behavioral framework and provide evidence-based trauma therapy which includes psychoeducation about the symptoms one is experiencing, understanding thoughts, feelings and behaviours and how these are connected to the traumatic event.We identify, explore and challenge negative thoughts and develop a repertoire of skills to cope with the negative feelings and physiological experiences. We also assist the client in learning relaxation strategies and in developing a hierarchy of feared places, objects or situations and, through a process called systematic desensitization, assist them in approaching these places, objects or situations with reduced anxiety. Through these methods, trauma healing can begin.