Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD can develop after a stressful event or situation which is of an exceptional threatening or catastrophic nature (NICE Guidance CG26, March 2005).

The main characteristic symptoms of PTSD relate to re-experiencing aspects of the traumatic event in a distressing way. This can include flashbacks, nightmares and avoidance of stimuli which remind the person of the traumatic event.

PTSD can stem from single traumatic life events. This includes violent, sexual or psychological assault, traumatic childbirth or road traffic accidents. PTSD can also develop from loss of limbs.

PTSD can also develop from repeat exposure to distressing events. This could include bullying or victimisation, exposure in war situations or repeat childhood abuse or neglect.

Sometimes, individuals presenting with PTSD symptoms have experienced some form of distress for an extended duration of time. A traumatic incident may have occurred months or years previously. The feelings and sensations experienced at the time of the original trauma can be “re-triggered” by a current threatening nature.

EMDR can also be used for phantom limb pain following accidents or amputations. It can also be used for chronic pain management.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy or eye movement desensitisation reprocessing (EMDR) for PTSD.

As a trained EMDR Practitioner, I can use EMDR therapy in order to reduce the impact and severity of your PTSD symptoms. Results can be rapid although treatment duration would depend upon your subjective experiences. Treatment would also incorporate elements of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).