Are you experiencing recurrent, unwanted and distressing memories of a traumatic event? Do you re-experience these memories with flashbacks or nightmares that are so realistic that you actually feel as if you are reliving your trauma? Do you distract yourself from these memories by avoiding anything or anyone that reminds you of the trauma?
Are you finding you can’t do what you used to be able to do because you are constantly on guard, finding that you cannot relax and are on alert all the time? Do you friends, partners and family notice your irritation and jumpiness, and you wonder if you are that way because you are having sleep difficulties?
When one has PTSD, the symptoms above are common. Other symptoms of PTSD include depression, anxiety, phobias, substance and alcohol misuse, as well as physical symptoms such as sweating, headaches, dizziness, shaking, chest pain and stomach upset.
Online therapy can be extremely effective in helping people suffering from the symptoms of PTSD. Depending on what type of event happened to you, there are various effective techniques which can dramatically improve how one feels and functions during the day. Online therapy for PTSD helps to build on one’s natural resilience and recover one’s sense of safety and relaxation.
As a therapist for PTSD, I help clients to examine the role of their traumatic experience in the context of their life, to make meaning of the experience, to learn skills to manage symptoms and to develop alternative ways of coping, and to rebuild the ability to trust within a relationship in order to view the world as an increasingly tolerable place to live.
Let’s face it: normal life is hard—regardless of traumatic events that may happen to us—so there is nothing wrong in seeking help.
Many people suffering from trauma and PTSD have no idea where to turn to find help. “Do I see a psychiatrist? A therapist? An analyst?” For PTSD, psychotherapy is a preferred route: a psychiatrist, a medical doctor, will want to give you drugs (which can be effective but only in managing symptoms) and a psychoanalyst will be more interested in a long analysis of your childhood (and not necessarily the traumatic events that may not have happened since then).
It is common for people to feel lost when finding the right therapist though, especially online were the choices are overwhelming. You want to make sure you find someone you can trust, but not sure where to start. A good first step is to make sure the therapist is licensed to practice therapy and holds a professional, university degree in counselling.
Dealing with PTSD, many people worry that their friends and family will find out about it (and the details of the traumatic events) because you are going to therapy. As everything you talk about to me is held in confidence (except if you are a danger to yourself or other people, or by law I am required to disclose it), its very unlikely they’ll know about what you discuss with me unless you choose to tell them. Others worry that their family doctor will be told that they are in therapy and this fact will go on their medical record. This is simply not true: unless you tell your doctor yourself or give me permission to contact them, your doctor will not know that you are in therapy.
A lot of people avoid coming to therapy because they fear that if they open up, they will be judged or made to feel worse than they already felt in the first place. This is understandable. However, if you do decide to come in, you don’t need to spill your guts in the first session. In fact, it may be wise to take your time.
Let the relationship with me develop and then, when you are ready, you can share what is really bothering you. This is perfectly normal. Go at a pace that feels comfortable to you and tell me as much or as little as you want to in our initial sessions.
For some clients, the prospect of coming to see a therapist is just way too scary and they feel a lot of anxiety when they come in for the first time. This is very common. So, try to accept your anxiety and fear rather than fight it or make it go away. It is important to note, that part of my role as a therapist is to make you feel welcome, and as comfortable, as possible.
This is true for some issues; however, therapy for PTSD is time-limited. I suggest at the onset of treatment, a number of weeks that we should follow to ensure the best outcome. After that, we can discuss if you’d like to continue or end your sessions. From my work with PTSD, most clients prefer to end their sessions, stating that they feel they have resolved their issue and are ready to take on the world again.
How long counselling lasts really depends on your issues. Some clients come in for PTSD and then realize that there are other issues that they’d like to discuss as well. If your problems are more current and have not been affecting you for a while, then you probably don’t need to go for a lot of sessions. Please remember: you have the right to terminate counselling whenever you want to; although, discussing your decision to stop, with your therapist, is a good idea.
For one obvious thing, I work online. This is important to many clients with PTSD and traumas because they worry that people will find out that they are seeing a therapist and would prefer not to even be seen at my office. Second, many traumatized clients worry about even going outside, so typical visits to a therapist are out of the question.
The second thing is that I work with PTSD in a very tight fashion. I follow a set of procedures and techniques to ensure the best outcome for my clients. Many therapists are not versed in these procedures and will simply just talk with clients without any clear direction. This is not as helpful as a more directive therapy can be.
Get in touch. Click on the buttons below and schedule your first appointment. I welcome new clients and look forward to meeting and helping you.