How is post-traumatic stress disorder treated in therapy?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental disorder that is often very painful and disabling; It is therefore very important to go to therapy to find a solution as soon as possible, without leaving the problem too entrenched. Now … how do you get there?

In this article we will see how to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in a psychotherapy center like ours.

    What is post-traumatic stress disorder?

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychopathological disorder linked to trauma. This means that it occurs after experiencing a traumatic event, Usually related to a disaster or violent or death-related experience, such as a car accident or attempted murder.

    What makes PTSD a psychopathological phenomenon are the consequences it leaves on the person, which has to do with reliving memories associated with the trauma over and over again and maintaining an almost constant state of stress. This psychological disorder can last for many years if it is not treated with psychotherapy.


    Let’s see in more detail what are the symptoms that characterize PTSD.

    1. Tendency to relive the traumatic experience through flashbacks

    It is common for people with post-traumatic stress disorder to suffer flashbacks to what happened to them (or what they believe happened to them) during the event that caused the trauma. At times like this, the person’s attention is focused on very vivid memories that come with a great emotional load, usually generating anxiety or distress.

    2. Avoid sites likely to trigger flashbacks

    Due to the discomfort caused by flashbacks, the person begins to try to predict when they will take place, which predisposes them to avoid certain situations.

    3. Nightmares

    Nightmares are very common in people with PTSD, And often do not even have a direct relationship with the content of traumatic memories.

    4. Irritability and fits of frustration

    Because PTSD causes a person to spend a lot of time under stress, they become more sensitive to anything that is causing them discomfort. As a result, you are more likely to experience temper tantrums and be irritable in your social relationships.

    5. Emotional fatigue

    Due to all of the above, a person with PTSD spends a lot of time in a state of physical and mental exhaustion.

    6. Dissociative symptoms

    It is very common for people with post-traumatic stress disorder to experience dissociative symptoms. Specifically, two: unrealization and depersonalization, in which the person feels emotionally disconnected from their environment or their own body, respectively.

      It is the treatment of PTSD in a psychology center

      Here are some of the therapeutic strategies and resources used to treat PTSD.

      1. Exposure technique

      It is a therapeutic resource widely used in anxiety disorders in general. It consists of “training” the patient to get used to what is causing him anxiety or distress., Without trying to move away physically or mentally. Following the instructions given by the psychotherapist, he manages to make his body adapt to this type of situation, so that in the event of PTSD he loses respect for the trauma, he stops mythologizing and assuming that it is a wall against which he will crash emotionally.

      2. Cognitive restructuring

      Cognitive restructuring is one of the most widely used components of cognitive behavioral therapy because it has a wide variety of applications and is useful in the treatment of many disorders.

      It consists of helping the patient to detect unsuitable thought patterns which reinforce the existence of psychopathology.Already get rid of the beliefs that usually give way to this problematic way of interpreting reality. For example, among people who have developed post-traumatic stress disorder, it is common for them to come to assume that they are predestined to suffer and try to avoid situations that may trigger flashbacks.

      3. Image rewrite therapy

      Image rewriting is a resource that helps deal with post-traumatic stress disorder and its associated effects, such as post-traumatic nightmares. It consists in recreating in the imagination the experience that gave way to trauma, in reinterpreting it in a way that is easier to accept and process.

      4. Applying Emotional Management Guidelines

      In psychotherapy, it is normal not to limit oneself to the treatment of the specific problem for which the person went for consultation: also it seeks to improve those habits that promote a greater ability to manage emotions in general.

      These steps to take vary greatly depending on the characteristics of each patient, but a few examples are relaxation and mindfulness techniques, establishing routines for good sleep, guidelines for managing conflict, and expressing frustrations. , etc. .

      Are you looking for professional support in the face of post-traumatic stress?

      If you think you have developed the typical symptoms of PTSD and are looking for psychotherapeutic support, contact our team of professionals. Fr Majadahonda psychologists we assist both in person and through online video call therapy, and we have many years of experience with this type of psychopathology. Our contact details are available here.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Azcárate Mengual, MA (2007). Post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injury. Madrid: Díaz de Santos.
      • Bisson, J .; and. at. (2019). The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies New guidelines for the prevention and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder: methodology and developmental process. Traumatic Stress Journal. 32 (4): pages 475 to 483.
      • Rothschild, B. (2000). The body remembers: the psychophysiology of trauma and trauma treatment. New York: WW Norton & Company.
      • Villalta, L .; Smith, P .; Hickin, N .; Stringaris, A. (2018). Difficulties regulating emotions in traumatized youth: meta-analysis and conceptual review. European child and adolescent psychiatry. 27 (4): pages 527 to 544.
      • Waltman, SH; Shearer, D .; Moore, BA (2018). Management of post-traumatic nightmares: review of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments since 2013. Current psychiatric reports. 20 (12): 108.

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