I work with the national PTSD charity PTSD Resolution (http://www.ptsdresolution.org/). I have worked with many ex-servicemen and women and have achieved a high level of success in dealing with PTSD. If you are ex services and suffering from PTSD please contact PTSD Resolution and you can obtain 6 free sessions with me.
Traumatic memories do not fade as do other sorts of bad memories and as time goes by they may become worse. These memories are usually connected with a life-threatening or other serious event and are more deeply embedded in the brain as a ‘survival template’. If they are not treated they may continue to fire off strong emotional reactions at inappropriate moments and thereby cause trouble for the rest of the sufferer’s life.
About 25% of people exposed to a life-threatening traumatic event go on to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), showing symptoms of marked excessive, persistent and unreasonable levels of fear triggered by particular objects or situations. This percentage rises if life-threatening incidents are almost constantly repeated, as in front line fighting during sustained battles in war. Persons with PTSD often feel chronically, emotionally numb.
PTSD can often result in acute anxiety and panic attacks and avoidance mechanisms that isolate sufferers, compounding psychological distress
Are you suffering from PTSD?
Traumatic memories may cause any or all of the following problems: panic attacks, intrusive memories, nightmares, sudden irrational anger outbursts, depression and other unpleasant emotional states, even intense flashbacks where you actually hallucinate going through the terrible event again as if it were in the present.
What is the human givens approach to treating trauma ?
In people suffering PTSD symptoms, the pattern of the memory is stored in a part of the brain called the Amygdala, which is responsible for ensuring our survival by triggering the ‘fight or flight’ response when something dangerous occurs.
When something in the environment or in the sufferer’s thinking matches the memory in the Amygdala, it sets off the alarm bells just as if the original incident were happening again. At the same time, other memories may be recalled powerfully, bringing back the sights, smells, sounds and emotions from the original incident. The Amygdala has no sense of time, and does not know that the incident is in the past.
The Amygdala has to learn that it is possible to visualise the incident without panicking, and the most reliable and least invasive way to do this is through the psychological method known as the ‘rewind’ technique. This technique is a refinement of one taught on Neuro Linguistic Programming courses for many years. This is a guided imagery technique, which allows the brain to revisit the traumatic events in a dissociated way while being physically extremely calm, so that the Amygdala can reinterpret the memory patterns as non-threatening.
The Human Givens version of the technique reliably relieves the nightmares, panic attacks, flashbacks and intrusive memories. Extensive clinical experience shows it to be a more cost effective and successful treatment than the treatments recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) guidelines, namely EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitising Reprocessing )and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) that take many sessions and are often only partially successful. Treatment is safe (unlike critical incident debriefing for example, which research shows may increase rates of PTSD). Treatment is non-voyeuristic (it is suitable for victims of sexual assault, beating or any kind of humiliation, as the victim does not have to tell the therapist details of what happened).
How long does it take?
In our experience of thousands of cases, people with a single-incident trauma are almost invariably detraumatised in one session, with one follow-up to check that all is well. Where the case is more complex the trauma is still normally resolved in one session, but there is often more work to do to help the patient catch up with things that they missed out on while in the traumatised state; build confidence or rise out of a depression or anger disorder created by the suffering. Even so, the aim is to keep the therapy as brief as possible to give volition back to the patient as soon as possible.