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Trauma & PTSD

Most people will experience trauma in their lifetime whether it’s a car accident, abuse or neglect, the sudden death of a loved one, a violent criminal act, exposure to the violence of war, or a natural disaster.

While many people can recover from trauma over time with the love and support of family and friends and bounce back with resiliency, others may discover effects of lasting trauma, which can cause a person to live with deep emotional pain, fear, confusion, or posttraumatic stress far after the event has passed.

In these circumstances, the support, guidance, and assistance of a therapist is fundamental to healing from trauma.

Trauma Symptoms

According to the four types of symptoms listed in the DSM-5

Avoidance Symptoms

  • Avoiding specific locations, sights, situations, and sounds that serve as reminders of the event
  • Anxiety, depression, numbness, or guilt

Re-experiencing Symptoms

  • Intrusive thoughts, nightmares or flashbacks

Hyperarousal Symptoms

  • Anger, irritability, and hypervigilance
  • Aggressive, reckless behavior, including self-harm
  • Sleep disturbances

Negative Mood and Cognition Symptoms

  • Loss of interest in activities that were once considered enjoyable
  • Difficulty remembering details of the distressing event
  • Change in habits or behavior since the trauma


Posttraumatic stress disorder – also known as PTSD – is a mental health challenge that may occur in individuals who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a terrorist act, an act of war, a serious accident, rape, or any other violent personal assault.

It is believed that PTSD affects nearly four percent of the U.S. adult population. While it is usually linked with veterans who’ve experienced combat, PTSD occurs in all people regardless of occupation, age, race, nationality or culture. In fact, women are twice as likely to experience PTSD than men.

Trauma treatment

Research has proven psychotherapy to be the most effective form of treatment for trauma. There are many approaches used in therapy to treat trauma, including cognitive behavior therapy, cognitive processing therapy, psychodynamic therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and internal family systems.

Posttraumatic growth

What often gets missed in the treatment of trauma is this idea of posttraumatic growth (PTG). PTG can be a side effect of trauma, that involves growth in areas of functioning such as personal relationships, life philosophy and direction, appreciation of life, personal strength, and spiritual change. Therapy can guide the process of healing and help increase the level of functioning to beyond what it was before the trauma to achieve this posttraumatic growth.

If you or someone you know matches the trauma symptoms listed above, we can help! We invite you to contact us today for a free consultation.