We’ve all heard of PTSD, but what is it exactly? Put simply, post-traumatic stress disorder is a problem that some individuals develop after one or more traumatic events.
Of course, many people are upset or disturbed after bad things happen, but when those symptoms last weeks, cause a great deal of distress or deeply affect home or work life, PTSD may be correctly diagnosed.
In this piece, we’re going to talk about a range of PTSD treatments that do not involve drugs or medication. In fact, medications like antidepressants are a common treatment for PTSD, but in many cases, a range of psychological treatments (or psychotherapy) can actually be more effective and desirable.
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is when skilled professionals listen to someone who is dealing with emotional and mental health issues and decide the best strategies to help resolve those problems.
So what are some of the best ways of treating PTSD without drugs?
1. Watchful Waiting
If the symptoms are initially mild, or they’ve been present for four weeks or less, the best place to start with treating PTSD is watchful waiting.
Basically, it’s about vigilantly monitoring symptoms for either signs of improvement or deterioration, as in many cases PTSD will resolve naturally within weeks.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is about changing how someone thinks and behaves in relation to a problem.
It may be something like simply talking about the traumatic event in detail – exposure therapy or cognitive restructuring, for example – and learning how to process and cope with the thoughts and distress.
3. Group Therapy
Talking about problems can often be done best in the company of others who are going through the same thing, with PTSD sufferers sharing their experiences and gaining understanding through connecting with peers in a safe, judgement-free space.
We’ve all heard of hypnosis, but less well known is how being put into a hypnotic state can really help.
But it’s this altered state of consciousness that can both relax and focus the mind, with the therapist then better able to suggest and re-program thought and behaviour patterns.
5. Other Therapies
In truth, there are actually many ways in which psychotherapists will attempt to tackle PTSD, including less well-known strategies like eye movement desensitisation reprocessing and psychodynamic psychotherapy, and others like meditation, acupressure, exercise and more.
The Richards Trauma Process is in many ways like cognitive or emotional therapy – and at the same time entirely different. Instead, it’s a step-by-step, 3-session process involving gestalt, hypnosis, mindfulness, ego-state therapy, choice therapy, parts therapy, motivational interviewing, dream rehearsal therapy and much more, that all combine to relieve PTSD and other emotional problems.
Indeed, perhaps the best thing about TRTP is that while the therapy is structured, it is also dynamic as it can so easily be tailored to an individual’s particular circumstances and needs.
It’s not just about dealing with the PTSD symptoms, but finding the underlying cause of the problem and getting an individual quickly and effectively back on their feet in a short amount of time.