Who might suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
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The survivor of a traumatic event?
The partner or family member of a survivor of a traumatic event?
A witness to a traumatic event?
A member of the emergency services at a traumatic event?
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Maybe they knew they were living with PTSD because they were jumping at nothing, felt survivor guilt, had IBS, restless sleep, looked grey in the face, felt emotionally numb, were hypersensitive and had a ‘thousand yard stare?’
These are all common symptoms.
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I’m a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist who uses a Solution Focused Approach to help clients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I am also a veteran, who served in the Royal Navy, and have seen first-hand the impact of PTSD on colleagues and friends. This gives me a unique understanding and makes me especially passionate about supporting members of the Armed Forces, past and present, who are living with PTSD.
What’s different about the Solution Focused Approach?
We don’t focus on the traumatic event. We don’t use regression techniques. We don’t dig into your past.
We do look forward. We do focus on how you’ll deal with life so much better as a result of getting over the trauma. We do crack on to make sure the traumatic event doesn’t colour your future. We do work with your brain.
How do we do this?
Following a Discovery Consultation, in which I learn more about how you would like me to help you and what you want to achieve, we will arrange weekly 1 hour sessions together.
During these sessions we work together and:
- Calm down the stress response.
This is in the primitive and emotional part of your brain, which has been on high alert for a significant period of time.
The stress response is there to protect you but should be switched on and then off like a light switch.
When it doesn’t get switched off, cortisol is constantly flooding your system making you hypervigilant.
By working directly with your subconscious we can reassure it to relax that stress response, which will improve your mental and physical wellbeing.
- Boost your confidence levels, encourage peace of mind and promote positive thinking.
This stimulates the beneficial neurotransmitters in your brain, which are our natural coping mechanism in life.
- Use a specific technique called a ‘rewind’ to move past current problems.
Whilst in a relaxed state we use visualisation to rewind situations in the here and now so that your emotional response is taken away – similar to replicating REM for the brain.
Importantly, I am not a hypnotherapist who will ask you to rewind the specific PTSD source incident or conduct regression.
I will ask you to choose moments that you’re having problems with now so that you can move past them. We may do this exercise a few times.
For example, you are in the Armed Forces and suffering with PTSD due to an incident from combat operations in Afghanistan. I will not ask you to ‘rewind’ and visualise the incident(s) in Afghanistan. We will work on the impact of flashbacks and avoidance specifically affecting your day to day life – such as being unable to walk around a supermarket, watch a certain TV advert, travel on the train or go to the cinema.
- Use a specific technique called a ‘reframe’ to train your subconscious to realise there are other ways to respond to situations from now on.
Again in a relaxed state, you are guided to visualise in detail what you want to do now and exactly how you want to be doing it.
Your brain can’t tell the difference between imagination and reality so this imagined exposure creates a new, better template to inform your behaviour going forward.
For example, we ‘reframe’ going to the supermarket as an easy activity so that you’re calm, confident and in control throughout and return home feeling pleased and at ease.
- We focus your attention on your goals.
What will you be able to do when you’re back at your best again and how will things be?
Initially this may be an uncomfortable shift in perspective. But by giving your brain the chance to visualise, think and consider this in detail, it helps your brain make it a reality.
As this is practicised, your neural pathways change making it easier to do by yourself moving forward.
For example, when you give your brain colourful, specific and vividly compelling pictures of how you want things to be (rather than how you don’t want things to be) your brain will seek out all the information it can to make that picture a reality for you.
If you have been diagnosed by a doctor as having PTSD and are looking for help moving forward, a Solution Focused Approach is an excellent option to consider, which can be a less traumatic experience than other therapeutic approaches.
Please do contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can talk about your situation and how I can help you personally.
If you haven’t been diagnosed with PTSD, but can relate to the feelings in this article, please do contact your GP immediately before going ahead with therapeutic support and do reach out if I can help in any way.
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