PTSD, otherwise known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur after witnessing or experiencing a life threatening event. These traumatic events can include anything from military combat, being homeless, serious accidents, abuse, physical or sexual assault or witnessing the death of another person.
Living with PTSD or trauma is real. It is exhausting and without treatment often leads to severe depression and/or addiction. Survivors sometimes describe themselves as symptom free immediately following an event of this nature. However, closer examination often uncovers unresolved problems including nightmares, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, difficulty finding pleasure in life, relationship problems and feeling numb. Over a period of time, these symptoms may escalate, sometimes leading to avoidance of crowded areas, inability to venture outside or participate in once pleasurable activities and scanning rooms to look for danger. The body is not meant to be in a constant fight or flight mode and many individuals may find themselves constantly angry, isolated or feeling alone. Partners or spouses may feel shut out and relationships may deteriorate.
What do I do if I think I may have PTSD?
If you or your loved one believes you have PTSD or have experienced trauma, there is hope. Despite how you may currently feel, these feelings need not be permanent, however, studies show that “time does not heal all things.” PTSD is one of those things that left untreated can last a lifetime. PTSD treatment for veterans is necessary to help you mitigate symptoms and find relief.
What If I’ve been to therapy before and it didn’t do any good?
One of the most important things to understand is that military PTSD is considered to be complex trauma. This means that “talk therapy” (therapy where you and the therapist just talk) has been proven to be ineffective. The therapist that you see needs to know how to work with complex trauma and use proven modalities to reduce PTSD symptoms.
I’ve never told anyone. I’m ashamed to show weakness.
We understand you were trained to hold your feelings and emotions in and that was necessary to save your life. But, the mental gear that you wore to save your life is now what is drowning you. We can teach you how to take that gear off and replace it so that you can experience and enjoy life again. You were trained to kill, but never trained how to live with that. That is where we come in.
I don’t understand how dragging up the past could possibly help.
PTSD is like an infected wound that is oozing with infection but treated with only a small band-aide. Many of the top evidence-based modalities or tools that a therapist can help you apply involve minimum talking about what happened. We have helped Marines who have said, “We don’t’ know how to feel anymore.”.We’ve processed war trauma including deaths, anniversary dates and even the things nobody wants to talk about – casualties of women and children in war, desecration and even torture. We understand you may be experiencing guilt, shame, depression and anger. This is not something that you need to bear alone. Understanding therapists will keep your information confidential and will team up with you to navigate through this dark tunnel.
What kind of results can I expect from PTSD treatment for veterans?
Research studies show that depending on what modality the therapist uses, 84-90 percent of single incident trauma victims no longer have PTSD after three 90-minute sessions. Another study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100 percent of the single-trauma victims and 77 percent of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after six 50-minute sessions. Millions of people have been treated successfully over the past 25 years using the same tools that we will use with you.
We are trained and experienced in working with complex military trauma. We provide options so that you can choose which tools are best suited for you. We will work as hard as you do in helping you to properly care for your internal wounds so that you can get on with your life. No soldier is the same and neither is every situation. You deserve someone who is trained and qualified to assist you with the complexities that war and military trauma can bring.
We have no waiting list. We keep our services confidential ,which means our sessions won’t be noted on your military record. Our goal is to help you recover.
What if my PTSD or trauma is from something other than war?
PTSD or trauma can occur from witnessing or experiencing anything that is life threatening. Regardless of when this incident(s) occurred, we can help. If your partner or children have suffered from trauma we can treat them too.
What if I don’t live close by? What are my options?
If you are located in Utah we can do all of the necessary preparation work over the phone, including follow-up care. When you are ready for the reprocessing part of therapy, we will need to see you in our office. Even if you live out of state, we have successfully helped clients book appointments every day of the week, allowing them to complete therapy in about a weeks time. Please call us for details.
What should I look for in a PTSD or trauma therapist?
- Does your therapist have experience treating complex trauma?
- Do they have experience treating military and war trauma?
- Is the therapist trained in modalities, such as EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing, PE (prolonged exposure) or CPT (cognitive processing therapy, that can help reduce symptoms? If not, what are they using? Does research show that their treatments can actually reduce symptoms? Remember that just talking about problems (talk therapy) is rarely successful.
- How much training do they have using these tools on war trauma, PTSD and the trauma you are experiencing?
- Do they feel comfortable hearing the worst of the worst stories involving war, death, abuse or whatever you may be suffering? Some therapists are not trained or capable of helping people suffering from trauma in these areas. As a result, some types of therapy are often counterproductive.
If you or someone you love is suffering from PTSD or trauma, we are ready to help. We invite you to contact us with any questions. We offer a free confidential consultation with a licensed therapist. It is our goal to team with you to bring peace back into your life.
The experience of watching a loved one suffer from PTSD can take its toll. Many civilians find they, too, could benefit from counseling. If you’re a civilian and are concerned both about your loved one and yourself, consider Civilian Counseling.