Trauma-focused therapy is the umbrella term we use to describe a number of talking therapies that are evidenced to be effective in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and which are all recommended by NICE guidelines.
Some of these trauma-focused therapies include:
· Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (TF-CBT): predominantly used for single incident traumatic experiences in children and adults. For example, a physical assault or road traffic accident.
· Narrative Exposure Therapy: predominantly used for individuals who have been exposed to repeated, multiple and complex traumatic events such as war and torture. This therapy is commonly used with refugees, asylum seekers, child soldiers and veterans.
· Prolonged Exposure Therapy: commonly used to treat PTSD in adults with comorbid presentations such as substance misuse and borderline personality disorder.
· Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR): commonly used to treat PTSD to single and/or multiple traumatic experiences in adults and children, including childhood abuse.
In order to address the three core symptoms of PTSD which include re-experiencing symptoms, hyperarousal and avoidance, these therapies follow a protocol-based, 3-staged approach which entails:
1. Stabilisation: psychoeducation of PTSD and skills practise for managing dissociative symptoms (e.g. flashbacks and dissociation) and emotional arousal.
2. Trauma-Memory Processing: identifying, elaborating and processing single or multiple traumatic memories to address re-experiencing symptoms (i.e. flashbacks, intrusive memories, nightmares and dissociation).
3. Reclaiming Your Life: addressing trauma-related emotions, beliefs and behaviours in order to reduce distress and improve day-to-day functioning and quality of life.
At the Fitzrovia Psychology Clinic, we have a number of psychologists who are highly specialised in the treatment of PTSD. We will therefore be able to recommend the most appropriate trauma therapy for you based on the experiences that you have been through and your individual preferences. If you would like to know more about any of the trauma-focused therapies that we offer, please get in contact.