Treating Trauma and PTSD With CBT Therapy

Traumatic experiences – both those we have early in life, and those we have as adults – can leave a lasting emotional response, including interfering with how we function in our daily lives, and how we manage our relationships and emotional states. (It’s important to note that not all bad experiences are trauma, and having bad memories of an event does not necessarily mean that you are traumatised – working with a therapist can help you to figure this out!)

Many people equate trauma with the condition post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), where a person re-lives or re-experiences aspects of a traumatic event, engages in avoidant behaviours, and regularly feels out of control. While PTSD is one possible outcome of a traumatic event, it is not the only type of clinically-relevant trauma – often trauma manifests itself in more subtle (and sometimes more serious) ways.

If you have experienced trauma, and you believe that it is impacting your life, I can help. You can book a free initial consultation, where we can discuss your situation, and talk through what a course of treatment would entail.

Living with trauma doesn’t mean that you can’t function at all – in fact many people who have complex traumas are very capable of functioning in their daily lives. However, trauma may manifest itself as difficulties in building healthy relationships, coping with distressing or threatening situations in a healthy way, or experiencing shame and guilt.

It’s possible to experience more than one type of trauma. It’s also possible to live for many years after a traumatic event without experiencing ongoing symptoms of trauma, but then to have a new (possibly related) event trigger the trauma response.

Living with trauma can feel extremely lonely, distressing, and all-encompassing. However, it’s important to be aware that trauma can be treated successfully. I use trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques; CBT is one of the best-validated therapeutic approaches for the treatment of PTSD/CPTSD1.

Facing your trauma will take courage. My role is to provide a safe place where we can work on managing the symptoms of trauma, and processing your response to the underlying events in a healthy way, with the ultimate goal of changing the behaviors and emotions that prevent you from engaging fully with life.

Further reading

  1. Jonathan I. Bisson & Miranda Olff (2021) Prevention and treatment of PTSD: the current evidence base, European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 12:1, DOI: 10.1080/20008198.2020.1824381