Therapy for Trauma and PTSD
The psychologists at Foothills CBT in Boulder, CO
specialize in therapy for trauma and PTSD.
What is Trauma & PTSD?
There are many stressful and impactful experiences that can be addressed in therapy. “Trauma” specifically refers to experiences that involve actual or threatened harm or danger, which you may have directly experienced, witnessed happen to someone else, or learned about happening to someone close to you in great detail. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that occurs when people get stuck in their recovery from the trauma.
Most people will be exposed to at least one potentially traumatic experience in their lifetime, and experiencing at least one of the symptoms outlined below in the immediate aftermath is common. Individuals who meet criteria for PTSD have more numerous, severe, and persistent symptoms that do not resolve on their own over time. PTSD can happen to anyone and is not caused by weakness. Research shows that factors like the type of trauma and social support available afterward are associated with risk for developing PTSD. Approximately 6.8% of U.S. adults meet criteria for PTSD at some point in their life.
What are the symptoms of Trauma & PTSD?
In addition to exposure to a potentially traumatic event, PTSD symptoms are grouped into four different clusters: intrusive/re-experiencing symptoms (e.g., unwanted memories, nightmares, flashbacks), avoidance (of thoughts and feelings about the trauma and/or related external reminders or triggers), negative cognitive and mood symptoms (e.g., persistent negative feelings, difficulty experiencing positive feelings, negative beliefs about yourself, others, or the world), and changes in arousal/reactivity (e.g., hypervigilance, exaggerated startle reactions, angry or irritable outburst, sleeping or concentration problems). Many of these symptoms can also be caused by other types of problems. Our therapist in Boulder, CO have advanced training and expertise that they can use to help figure out if these problems are likely related to trauma or something else.
How are Trauma & PTSD treated?
Effective psychotherapies for treating trauma and PTSD involve helping you process the experience by giving you tools to engage in techniques that involve some type of exposure therapy. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) are two of the most evidence-based and effective therapies available for PTSD. These techniques have been through extensive, rigorous studies to prove that they are effective for overcoming PTSD. CPT adapts the tools of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to address harmful beliefs about yourself, others, and the world that are keeping you stuck in your recovery from trauma. Prolonged exposure adapts exposure therapy to help you put you back in the driver seat when it comes to your trauma. PE can help you no longer need to hide from your trauma or let it control your life and relationships. Through this approach, cognitive behavioral therapy for PTSD helps you take back the power from your trauma. Our Boulder, CO therapists can collaborate with you to tailor a trauma treatment plan that works for you.