Disorders and Treatment
- Mental Illness
- Bipolar Disorder
- Mood Disorders
- Borderline Personality
- Mental Health Diagnosis
- Mental Health Treatments
- Alternative Meds
- Case Studies
By Jenn Pedde
Advances in PTSD Recovery Methods
The type of trauma that can cause Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), varies from person to person, but can range from being involved in a life-threatening situation, such as war, to sexual abuse, to witnessing a violent crime. PTSD often results in the sufferer experiencing flashbacks of the traumatic event or having nightmares relating to the event. Other symptoms include difficulty sleeping, increased anger and hyper-vigilance.
Many PTSD sufferers find the medications used to treat the condition to be ineffective; however, there are new, alternative methods that are helping sufferers cope with and overcome the disorder.
Information Processing Therapy
According to the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Institute, traumatic events can interfere with effective information processing because the strong negative emotions tied to the event prevent the person from being able to use adaptive information from their memory networks. Without this adaptive information, the person is unable to effectively cope with the event. The goal of information processing therapy is to essentially “rewire” the brain and how it processes specific events and stores memories. Some information processing treatment methods are as follows:
Hypnosis is also an effective therapy option for those who suffer from PTSD. During hypnosis, hypnotherapists use the power of suggestion to reframe the sufferer’s feelings surrounding the traumatic event without focusing too much on the past. Through hypnotherapy, the brain is essentially retrained in the path it takes to view the event and the emotions that have developed around it.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) treatment is similar to hypnosis in that it does not focus on the past event that caused the trauma, but rather the present and future, to help the sufferer redirect his or her focus. During NLP treatment, language is used to “redesign” memories and the feelings surrounding those memories. The creation of new feelings surrounding the events obviously will not change the past, but patients are better equipped to cope with the situation that caused the trauma because they no longer have the traumatic feelings associated with the event. NLP treatment involves isolating specific thoughts surrounding the traumatic event, identifying specific ways in which these thoughts negatively impact the sufferer’s life and then redirecting the negative thoughts towards positive ones.
This post is written by Jenn Pedde, the community manager for the Masters of Social Work Program at the University of Southern California, which has one of the nation’s leading military social work concentrations. Recently, the msw program published a PTSD infographic for PTSD Awareness Day. Jenn is also an avid traveler and loves photography.
The opinions in this post are solely those of the author. To contribute to ‘Professional Perspective’ contact Michele.
The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.