Deciding to seek treatment for Trauma can feel like a daunting step, and one that can often come with a lot of anxiety. Our friendly intake team have a good understanding of trauma-informed practices, and will work with you to understand your concerns and match you with a therapist that is right for you. Exactly what your treatment will look like depends on your own preferences and the therapeutic approach used by your therapist. Some trauma therapists will use exposure techniques to help you relive and understand the traumatic event, and reduce the associated anxiety when you remember what has happened. Other therapists will instead focus on helping you understand and reframe some of the assumptions and guilt that are often associated with traumatic events. Whatever approach is chosen, therapy will always be done in a collaborative way and move at a pace you feel comfortable with.
After going through a traumatic experience, it is common to experience a range of overwhelming emotions, including anxiety, anger and hopelessness. This is particularly expected for a period of time immediately after the traumatic event. However, when these symptoms persist and start to cause serious impacts to your way of life it may be worthwhile to consider treatment. It is not uncommon to feel frustrated that you have not been able to recover on your own. No matter when the event occurred, if it is affecting your ability to enjoy life then it is not worth putting off any longer.
Whilst PTSD is often thought of as the aftermath of a single, horrific event, PTSD can also occur from being exposed to a number of smaller events over a longer period of time. A common example includes ongoing experiences of physical, sexual or verbal abuse throughout a certain period of your life. These forms of trauma can lead to similar difficulties, however the experience will always be unique to each person. Some people may experience flashbacks of the memory, which may appear to be random, or in response to a specific trigger. You may have noticed that you are avoiding certain situations or are unable to do the things that you used to do because of these flashbacks. You may also feel physical sensations such as constant alertness, general aches and pains, or fatigue.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur soon after a trauma, or have a delayed onset more than six months after the trauma. It develops as a result of an extreme and often unexpected event or series of events. These may include physical or sexual assault, accidents, natural or man-made disasters, and war and/or military combat.
There are three main symptom clusters in PTSD:
Alternatively, you may be experiencing more subtle effects of trauma, which may have contributed to you to put off seeking help until now. This could include having a thought or memory randomly entering your mind and making it difficult to concentrate. Some people also experience a general feeling of dissatisfaction with themselves – such as wanting to be more confident, happy or trusting as a person.
No matter what the effects are, if there is a chance that your past is still having impacting on your current wellbeing then it is worth seeking help to finally move on. There are a number of VCPS practitioners who are specialised in working with trauma and PTSD. They can:
If you would like to hear more about the treatment options available to you at VCPS from our Melbourne-based therapists specialising in trauma, please contact our friendly intake team on (03) 9419 7172.