PTSD Therapy Perth

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

If you have been exposed to trauma it is important to feel supported. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a mental health disorder that responds well to a number of therapies.
PTSD therapy perth
PTSD Therapy PerthClinical psychologists in West Perth, Como & Murdoch

PTSD psychologist Perth

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that sometimes develops after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. 

Triggers for PTSD could include:

  • being directly exposed to a traumatic event,
  • learning that a relative or friend was exposed to trauma,
  • or even indirect exposure to details of traumatic events (as may occur for people who work as first responders, medics etc.)

Traumatic events can take many forms. Some examples are car accidents, accidents with machinery, sexual or other violent assults, adbuse, militarty combat, and natual disaters. 

A person with PTSD experiences intrusive thoughts about the event in the form of unwanted upsetting memories, nightmares, or flashbacks. They may also notice feeling very upset or having a strong physical response in their body after they’re exposed to reminders of the trauma. The flashbacks can have the person feeling as though they are 'right back' at the trauma, re-experiencing it.

Understandably, this results in people seeking to avoid anything that might remind them of the trauma, whether these are external triggers (like places, people, events etc.), or internal triggers, like specific thoughts or feelings.

PTSD therapy Perth

PTSD Symptoms

People with PTSD will usually experience negative thoughts and feelings that either started or got worse after the trauma.

They might struggle to recall the specific details of what happened during the trauma, think about themselves or the world in a very negative way, or place a lot of blame on themselves or others for causing the trauma.

They might also experience a lot of strong negative emotions (such as anger, anxiety, or sadness) or find it difficult to experience any positive emotions (like happiness or excitement), find themselves less interested in activities they normally enjoy or notice they’re feeling isolated from those around them.

Finally, PTSD can cause a person to become more reactive after they’re exposed to the trauma. This can look like a person becoming more irritable or aggressive, engaging in risky or destructive behaviour, being hypervigilant for threats, startling easily, struggling to concentrate, or having difficulty sleeping.

Occasionally a person will have an experience after a trauma where they feel detached from or ‘outside’ themselves, or they may feel as though things around them are not real. These experiences we call Depersonalization and Derealization, and can occur in the context of PTSD.

PTSD treatment Perth

How is PTSD treated?

If you have been experiencing these kinds of symptoms for more than a month after exposure to trauma, it is important to get support. When you notice this is impacting how you’re feeling or what you’re able to do in your daily life, then it’s important to make an appointment with one of our clinical psychologists.

Please note that some people don’t start to experience symptoms of PTSD until several months after their exposure to the trauma, but this is still considered PTSD.

PTSD responds well to a number of interventions, including:

  • Trauma Focussed Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (TF-CBT),
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR),
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT),
  • and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Currently, there are some exciting treatment developments occurring in PTSD research, with additional therapy approaches such as schema therapy and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) showing evidence of effectiveness.

This research is important as it demonstrates that trauma may be healed using therapies that don’t rely on exposure-only techniques.

If you’d like further information, please also see the J&R blog posts regarding PTSD:

  • You Can Heal Trauma by Simon MacLachlan who has a keen interest in and experience working with PSTD, including complex PTSD.
  • EMDR – by Eleanor Jones

Contact our friendly staff today to book an appointment.

Contact J&R Clinical Psychologists

Fax08 6113 7430
Healthlink IDjrpsychs
West Perth practice

21 Ord Street,
West Perth WA 6005

Sleep Matters Subiaco
Como practice

400 Canning Hwy
Como 6152 WA
(enter off Greenock Ave)

Jeffrey & Ree psychologists in Como