Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The Peter Bowes Consultancy

For individuals, Employment Assistance Programme Providers, and organisations, I am experienced in re-processing (sometimes called ‘de-briefing’ after a traumatic event. Research shows that persons involved in traumatic and thus very stressful incidents, need some help within 72 hours to ensure that the persons or groups may be re-assured about what are normal responses and in order to minimise the later onset of post traumatic stress disorder.

What is trauma and PTSD?
The word trauma is used to refer to any unusual event which threatens them physically or psychologically and is experience as well beyond the ordinary stresses of everyday life. This is the term applied to events that can have long lasting and disabling effects on us.

It is now evident that persons exposed in the past to traumatic stress can find, as explained in the EMDR page, that painful thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, sounds and smells associated with the incident can become ‘stored’ in the wrong way giving rise to different experiences of what are known as ‘flashbacks’. Flashbacks may be also then painful thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, sounds and smells occurring many months and often years after the original event. Sadly, when children suffer such stress, this may also interfere with the development of the normal brain processes. Hence child abuse of any kind is a particularly heinous crime against the child.

There is now a well agreed set of symptoms that together provide a recognisable diagnosis of a post traumatic stress disorder which requires specialist treatment and for which medical drugs alone will be insufficient.

What treatments help?
After a shocking and stressful trauma then, it is strongly advised that a skilled helper takes you through the events, normalises your responses and develops with you strategies for coping over the four or five weeks after the event.

If others were involved with you then it can be very helpful for this re-processing to be done with the group together.

The advantage of having a professional counsellor for this purpose is that I can also assess whether or not past exposures to trauma may affect recovery. I can also assess whether other concerns in your life at the time of the counselling may inhibit your recovery. Post trauma counselling can then be offered to move as safely as you can through the next few weeks.

As stated on the EMDR page, the NICE treatments of choice for PTSD are cognitive behavioural therapy and EMDR. But these are by no means the only possibilities and for some people may not be what is required or even wise. Again, having an experienced counsellor who is able to make this assessment seems sensible.

Formally, I have been trained by two organisations to deal with PTSD and post incident re-processing or debriefing.
I am fully trained to use EMDR

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