Trauma or PTSD is an anxiety disorder which may develop following exposure to any one of a variety of traumatic events that involve actual or threatened death, or serious injury.
The event may be witnessed rather than directly experienced and even learning about it may be sufficient if the persons involved are family members or close friends. Typical traumatic events which may trigger
- Serious physical assault
- Sexual assault
- Motor accidents – the most common trigger of PTSD
- Child abuse – especially when the stress endured is prolonged
- Fire, flood, earthquake, plane crash
- Battle experiences
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for Trauma
CBT currently has the largest amount of research carried out on its effectiveness. CBT/REBT focuses on what people think, how those thoughts affect them emotionally and how they ultimately behave.
When someone is distressed or anxious, the way they see and evaluate themselves can become negative. CBT/REBT therapists work alongside the person to help them begin to see the link between negative thoughts and mood. This empowers people to assert control over negative emotions and to change the way they behave.
CBT/REBT can be delivered at a number of levels of intensity, meaning it can be useful to those who have only just started feeling anxious as well as those with longstanding anxiety problems. CBT/REBT is delivered by a trained therapist, usually in a clinical setting.
This form of therapy focuses on the ‘here and now’ and is not overly concerned with finding the initial cause of anxiety. Once the problem has been explored, the therapist will help you examine your thought and behaviour patterns and help you to work on ways of changing these.