Trauma & PTSD Treatment Arlington & Tyson's Corner

Trauma & PTSD

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine, and shadows will fall behind you.”
― Walt Whitman

What is trauma?

Trauma is defined as an emotional response to a terrifying event like an accident, assault, or natural disaster.

Symptoms of trauma:

Immediately after the event shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include:

  • Unpredictable emotions
  • Flashbacks
  • Strained relationships
  • Physical symptoms, including headaches, nausea or digestive issues

While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives and a trauma or stress-related disorder can develop and psychotherapy may be beneficial. Psychotherapy can help individuals who have experienced trauma find constructive ways to manage their emotions.

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — by either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Many people who experience traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a period of time, but they do not have PTSD. With time and proper self-care, symptoms recede, and individuals return to normal functioning. The diagnosis of PTSD is given when symptoms get worse (when they last for months or even years) and interfere with one’s ability to function daily. Getting effective treatment after PTSD symptoms develop is imperative to reduce symptoms and restore optimal functioning.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, or changes in emotional reactions.

  • Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
  • Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
  • Upsetting dreams about the traumatic event
  • Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the event
  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
  • Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event
  • Negative feelings about yourself or other people
  • Inability to experience positive emotions
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Hopelessness about the future
  • Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships
  • Irritability, angry outbursts, or aggressive behavior
  • Always being on guard for danger
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Being easily startled or frightened

Treatment for trauma and PTSD

MPS PLLC clinicians specialize in the psychotherapy treatment of PTSD.

Ready to treat your trauma?

Beginning treatment for trauma and PTSD requires strength and courage. Therapy is a journey that can help you achieve a more fulfilling and meaningful life. We are here to guide you along the way. To learn more, contact us today.