Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an emotional illness that is classified as an anxiety disorder and usually develops as a result of a frightening, life-threatening, or otherwise highly unsafe experience. Those who experience PTSD re-experience the traumatic event or events in some way, tend to avoid places, people, or other things that remind them of the event (avoidance), and often highly sensitive to normal life experiences (hyperarousal).
Virtually any trauma, defined as an event that is life-threatening or that severely compromises the physical or emotional well-being of an individual or causes intense fear, may cause PTSD. Such events often include either experiencing or witnessing a severe accident or physical injury, receiving a life-threatening medical diagnosis, being the victim of kidnapping or torture, exposure to war combat or to a natural disaster, exposure to other disaster (for example, plane crash) or terrorist attack, being the victim of rape, mugging, robbery, or assault, enduring physical, sexual, emotional, or other forms of abuse, as well as involvement in civil conflict.
Treatments for PTSD usually include psychological and medical treatments. Education about the illness, helping the individual talk about the trauma directly, exploration and modification of inaccurate ways of thinking about it, and teaching the person ways to manage symptoms and are the usual techniques used in psychotherapy.
Family and couples’ counseling, parenting classes, and education about conflict resolution are other useful psychotherapeutic interventions. York Region Psychological Services have therapists experienced in treating PTSD and its associated disorders. We use a variety of treatments, including hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and EMDR.