Online Therapy for Trauma and PTSD
On the United We Care mental health platform, you can find licensed trauma counselors and PTSD therapists who are specialized in assessing, diagnosing and treating the symptoms of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder.
What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychological disorder that develops in people who have witnessed a terrifying or shocking event which invoked feelings of fear, shock and/or danger.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is the body's emotional response to a horrifying or terrifying event, such as an accident, assault or natural disaster.
Types of Trauma
There are 2 types of trauma:
This is a type of trauma in which a single life-threatening experience or traumatic episode caused intense shock, fear, helplessness, or horror (such as a horrifying accident, assault, or natural disaster).
This is a type of trauma that is a result of psychological damage incurred by an individual as a result of stressful childhood experiences accompanied by neglect by the primary caregiver. This results in emotional wounds that can last well into adulthood.
Examples of Trauma
Here are some examples of a traumatic experience:
- Loss of a Loved One
- Fatal Accident
- Childhood Abuse
- Stress at Work
- Violent Incidents
- Medical Trauma
- Loss Due to a Disaster
PTSD Triggers | What Causes PTSD?
PTSD is caused by someone experiencing a terrifying or horrifying event that caused them to have a traumatic experience, such as:
- Being involved in a car crash
- Being raped or sexually assaulted
- surviving a natural disaster, such as flooding, earthquakes or pandemics,
- Being diagnosed with a life-threatening condition
- Being kidnapped, held hostage or any event in which you fear for your life
- Experiencing violence, including military combat, a terrorist attack, or any violent assault
Triggers can include sights, sounds, smells, or thoughts that reminds the patient of the traumatic event in some way. An obvious PTSD trigger is seeing a news report of an assault. Others might be less clear. For example, if you were attacked on a sunny day, seeing a bright blue sky might make you upset.
PTSD Symptoms | Signs and Symptoms of PTSD
Here are the signs and symptoms of PTSD:
- Vivid flashbacks (feeling like the trauma is happening right now)
- Intense distress at times of real or symbolic reminders of the trauma
- Panicking when reminded of the trauma
- Physical sensations of the traumatic event (pain in the body, sweating, nausea or trembling)
- Extreme alertness, also sometimes called hyper-vigilance
- Feeling physically numb or detached from the body
- Doing things that could be self-destructive or reckless
PTSD Avoidance Coping | Is PTSD Avoidance Behavior Helpful?
Emotional avoidance is a common reaction to trauma. People battling with PTSD avoid certain situations in order to escape extreme painful or difficult emotions. Avoidance behavior can be both helpful and unhelpful.
For instance, sometimes it's good to avoid movies that you know will upset you. However, avoidance can also cause damage or problems in everyday life. Emotional avoidance may be effective in the short-term, and might provide some temporary relief. In the long run, however, it often causes more harm - as avoidance behaviors are associated with increased severity of PTSD symptoms. This is where professional guidance can help to recognize patterns of avoidance of PTSD scenarios.
Do I Have PTSD? | Online Stress Self-Assessment
You can take a free online stress assessment and screening test to diagnose your stress-related symptoms.
Treatment for PTSD
Trauma therapy is a type of talk therapy where the aim is to treat the emotional and mental health consequences of trauma. There are different types of effective trauma therapies:
Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
It is a unique kind of cognitive therapy that helps those experiencing trauma. This therapy will help people battling with trauma by making them understand the trauma and the effect it has on their brain. The counselor will suggest going back to the specific spot where the traumatic event happened through virtual reality or in person. When the person gets exposed to the traumatic event happened in the past, it opens up a room to deal with such a condition in a new way (through copying skills acquired from trauma-focused therapy).
The aim of psychodynamic therapy is to uncover the conflicts and content that live in the unconscious mind of someone. The therapist helps in identifying the source of the problem while discussing the symptoms, thoughts, and specifics of the traumatic event, which provides insight that leads to the resolution of challenges faced in daily life.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an interactive psychotherapy technique used to relieve trauma and PTSD. The trauma therapist uses some form of external stimulus to direct your attention outward. This can be eye movements, hand tapping, or audio stimulation. As you process the memories and thoughts related to the experience, you'll gain insight from within. You'll realize that you have the strength that helped you survive. Your experience is, thus, transformed from a horrible memory to a vision of your own power.
Tips for PTSD Self-Healing | How to Treat PTSD Yourself
Here are some tips to calm down when having a PTSD episode:
In simple terms, momentary awareness (being mindful of everything you do in your daily routine) helps identify triggers and manage them effectively. It can also help individuals with PTSD overcome uncomfortable thoughts and memories, and allow them to pass without judgment.
Physical activity such as walking, jogging or running for 30 minutes every day can be a source of happiness and provide relief from flashbacks and negative views of the world. As exercise induces a positive mood, it can also help with PTSD symptoms, such as anxiety and irritability.
Friends, family members, or coworkers who know about your PTSD and are available to talk, can be important for recovery. Social support can reduce some symptoms associated with trauma.
Aromatherapy is a process of using essential oils to reduce illness ranging from headache to depression. It may also involve diffusing, inhaling, consuming or rubbing oils on the skin. As it is considered to have a calming effect, it can prove useful to treat PTSD symptoms.
Blogs About Stress | Expert Advice
How to Deal with PTSD Anxiety
Learn how to deal with anxiety without therapy with 8 natural remedies for reducing anxiety and symptoms PTSD-induced anxiety attacks.
Do you think you are having a PTSD attack? PTSD attacks can cause trauma victims to have severe anxiety. Here is a guide to deal with anxiety.
Learn the best guided video meditation to deal with stress and PTSD attacks.