There are lots of different types of therapies and therapists out there. I highly encourage you to seek out a therapist who specializes in your problem area, and also to “buy in” to the types of treatment they offer. You want to feel like you can partner with them to get you the results you want, not like you’re being “forced” into a treatment or going in week after week seeing nothing change for the better.
I fell in love with treating PTSD in 2007. I was fortunate to have trained under some of the best in the trauma world, and have been lucky to have had the extensive experience I’ve had. With that said, my training and my experience is what brought me to be the type of therapist I am today.
I offer the two most widely researched and most widely utilized PTSD therapies to date. Not only do research studies say they work, but I’ve had 11 years of seeing them work. I’ve seen people smile again and reconnect with others. I’ve seen people start living again.
One of the therapies I offer is Cognitive Processing Therapy, or CPT. CPT is usually completed in 12 weekly sessions. CPT is a treatment that focuses on how your past traumatic event(s) have impacted your thinking. If your thoughts are impacted, that will affect your feelings and your behaviors as well. This therapy is particularly helpful if you struggle with thoughts like blaming yourself that lead to a lot of emotions like guilt, shame, and self-blame. It is also helpful if you have negative thoughts in areas such as safety, trust, power and control, self-esteem, and/or intimacy.
Throughout this process, you learn to identify places in your thinking where you’ve gotten “stuck”, how to evaluate those thoughts, and ultimately how to change them to be more balanced. The set of tools you acquire through a course of CPT you can use in your day-to-day life and will become automatic. Our minds are powerful things, so paying attention to what our minds tell us is very important! Here is a short video explaining CPT:
Another therapy I offer is Prolonged Exposure, or PE. PE is usually completed in 10 weekly sessions. PE is going to target a very, very powerful set of PTSD related symptoms: avoidance. I think of avoidance as the very foundation that PTSD is built upon. It tells us if something is painful to think about or uncomfortable to do, to just avoid it. This can be helpful in the short run, however, in the long run it will continue to make things worse for you and strengthen PTSD. If avoidance worked, no one would ever have PTSD because you’d just avoid and it would be gone!
Instead of avoiding, PE helps you to regain control over your life in two ways: in-vivo and imaginal exposure work. In-vivo exposures (“real life” exposures) are derived from things you want to get back to doing comfortably. We work with small steps to eventually be able to make huge strides in reducing anxiety doing things you want to be doing. Imaginal exposures help you to target trauma-related memories head on. While this can elicit a “what?! HELL NO!” response, keep in mind that’s the avoidance talking. These memories are already in your mind and are already causing a great deal of pain and unnecessary suffering. PE helps you to process these in a very effective, safe way and quickly get relief- putting the control back in your hands instead of PTSD dictating what you can and cannot do. Here is an awesome video to explain PE a little bit more:
These are two treatments I am well versed in and proudly offer in my practice. How do you know which one may be better for you? Well, we’d decide that together. One isn’t better than the other necessarily, but I’m happy to talk with you after your assessment about this further. Once I am able to get a clearer picture of how PTSD is causing problems for you in your life, I can help explain what each of these therapies might “look” like and help you to decide which one sounds like it would be the best fit.
I’m excited to meet you, and even more excited to help you squash these symptoms that plague your life. Please call or text me at 513-780-5313 for a free 15-minute phone consultation. If we are a good fit, we will get your initial assessment scheduled asap! For more information, Please check out my website www.thrivetherapyinc.com.