Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment
Treatment for PTSD
To assess whether you are suffering from PTSD, you may be required to undergo structured interviews and psychological assessments. The symptoms of PTSD must also last for at least a month before treatment options are considered.
COVID-19: Customer Update
To protect both patients and staff, we are not currently offering face-to-face therapy on an outpatient or day care basis at our Hospitals or Wellbeing Centres. Assessments and therapy can still be accessed remotely via our Priory Connect video service and through Skype.
Inpatient services are still available across our network of private healthcare hospitals, with flexible options for pre-admission assessments being offered.
Dr Radu Iosub, Consultant Psychiatrist at Priory Hospital Bristol, explains the links between symptoms of grief and of PTSD during the COVID-19 outbreak, and talks about the different help and support available for those who may have suffered loss during this very difficult time.
Therapy and medication treatment for PTSD
Immediately after a traumatic event, you may experience some of the symptoms found in PTSD which are perfectly normal reactions to shock. This may include feeling ‘numb’ or that you are detached from the reality of what has occurred, while you may also find it difficult to find a consistent pattern of sleep.
This is otherwise known as an acute stress reaction, and shouldn’t last for more than a few weeks. If you find that you are experiencing PTSD symptoms for over a month, then an formal diagnosis may occur, at which point you may require professional medical help and support in order to appropriately address how you are feeling.
If you have been diagnosed with PTSD, there are a range of treatments available. Priory specialists will talk you through the options available and recommend the most suitable treatment based on your personal circumstances.
PTSD treatment options typically include:
Trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
CBT helps you to understand your thought processes and how to change your feelings and reactions to your symptoms. One form of CBT is known as exposure therapy, which is unique to treating trauma seen in conditions such as PTSD.
This involves you imagining the trauma within a safe, controlled environment to help you to face up to your fears. This enables our specialists to examine your reactions to the event and help you to overcome your anger, shame or guilt. This will enable you to deal with traumatic memories and feelings without becoming overwhelmed or emotionally numb.
Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR combines elements of exposure therapy and CBT with eye-movement techniques. While concentrating on your traumatic experience, special rapid eye movements will help you through the healing process and improve your confidence by activating specific areas of the brain which releases any emotional experiences which have affected the nervous system. This form of therapy is particularly effective if you have PTSD, any many scientific research studies have demonstrated its effectiveness.
Group therapy for PTSD
By discussing your emotions and trauma with a group of other PTSD sufferers, you will achieve greater understanding of your condition and emotions. Group PTSD treatment will help you to become more confident and trusting, and enable you to focus on the present rather than the past.
Brief psychodynamic psychotherapy
This focuses on the emotional conflicts caused by the traumatic event, particularly experiences dating back to when you were young. By working with a calm and unbiased therapist, you will achieve a greater sense of self-esteem and develop effective methods of thinking and coping with intense emotions.
Priory also provides a tailored one-to-one outpatient therapy package for PTSD. Our packages offer certainty of price for a set amount of one-to-one therapy sessions, including discounted rates. The amount of sessions that we recommend within each package is based on national guidelines.
If your symptoms of PTSD are diagnosed as mild during your initial assessment, or your symptoms of the disorder have lasted only a short amount of time, then it may be recommend that you embark on a period known as ‘watching waiting’.
This is an approach which requires increased focus on whether your symptoms are getting better or worse, with a follow-up appointment allowing assessment of whether treatment to relieve your symptoms is required.
For more information about the mental health services that Priory offer, download our brochure.Get our brochure