Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a traumatic, scary or dangerous event. PTSD can be caused by either witnessing or experiencing the trauma. Events that sometimes trigger PTSD include everything from sexual assault, war, and violence, to car accidents or other incidents that could cause loss of life. It is not at all uncommon for people who go through something traumatic to have temporary difficulty coping and acute symptoms, but with time, they usually get better. However, if the symptoms last longer than a month, get worse rather than better and affect your ability to function, you may be suffering from PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD may include severe anxiety, anger, nightmares, trouble sleeping, flashbacks to the event, frightening thoughts, avoidance of situations or places, feeling on edge and/or being easily startled. If you think you may be experiencing PTSD, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s specialists today to get help.

Meet the specialists

I have received extensive training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT).

— Dr. Jacqueline Guevara, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Arlington, VA

I assist with trauma related symptoms in order to get back to relieve any functional impairments

— Lizzette Vescera, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Long Beach, CA

Have you experienced a frightening event (recent or long ago) that left you feeling helpless, thoughts that you would die or be badly hurt? Are you now experiencing flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, nightmares and you've become a "different person?" Further evaluation and discussion is needed as you may have PTSD or another trauma disorder which requires professional help in order to recover. The symptoms just won't go away but you probably already know that. Learn to face the FEAR!

— John Edwards, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Oakland, CA

Trauma can be as seemingly minor as an unexpected event that violates our basic sense of who we are and where we belong in the world, or as dramatic as catastrophic events such as combat or mass tragedies. The "what" of the trauma is only a part of the story; increasingly we are beginning to understand how traumatic events affect the brain and leave us stuck in fight-or-flight overdrive. The good news is that, just as stroke victims can learn to use their limbs and regain capabilities, so can trauma survivors exceed their expectations as to what is possible in recovering and living life fully. I use a variety of techniques, include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, skills training, mindfulness, and existential therapy to help traumatized clients reach their goals.

— Katherine Chiba, Clinical Social Worker in Portland, OR

Do you feel stressed out or overwhelmed? Are you frequently anxious or depressed? Trauma and difficult experiences are often held in the body. I use Somatic Experiencing, a biological, body-based approach to help you release these imprints gently. Processing these experiences in a way your nervous system can digest increases your resilience, and creates a sense of joy, choice and freedom in your life.

— Claudia Hartke, Psychologist in Boulder, CO

The majority of my professional career has been working alongside survivors of trauma. What I see most often, is that people's traumatic experiences change the way they view themselves, others and the world. I am training in both EMDR and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). Although I treat many types of trauma, I specialize in treating sexual trauma, military related trauma and trauma experienced within the LGBTQ+ community.

— Mindy Shepherd, Associate Clinical Social Worker in Tempe, AZ

As a trauma therapist, I prioritize safety and respect for your boundaries. I want to hear anything you want to tell me, and if you aren't ready or able to share your story, we can still work on tools for soothing the nervous system, decreasing symptoms such as nightmares or flashbacks, and creating safe relationships in your current life.

— Allison Carter, Psychotherapist in South Pasadena, CA

I am a certified clinical trauma professional and am in the process of becoming EMDR trained.

— Julie Salitros, Counselor in Savannah, GA

I have been working with and studying PTSD since the first moment I spent in a war zone in 2001. First Kosovo, then Israel, Gaza and with the FDNY following the events of 9/11. During my training I learned from the top psychologists in the field - both at UMN and the VA. I've worked with refugee men, women and children, first responders of all types, and the "regular ol' people" (all of us!) who have experienced other significantly stressful life events. CPT, PE, A.R.T., mind-body approaches

— Margaret Gavian, Psychologist in Anywhere In, MN

I specialize in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is used to “desensitize and reprocess” memories that seem as if “frozen in time” as a result of trauma. Repeated studies show that with EMDR therapy, clients can experience a vast reduction in symptoms after just a few sessions. Just like how we naturally heal from physical wounds, with emotional wounds, we naturally tend towards healing. However, sometimes we get blocked in the healing; EMDR can help remove blocks

— Valerie Beltrán, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Lafayette, CA

I am a trauma informed therapist and am currently training to become EMDR certified. I have several years experience working with sexual abuse survivors and a deep understanding of the profound impact past abuse can have on every area of ones life. I am very familiar with dissociation, nervous system dysregulation, flash backs, flooding and feeling out-of-control. We will work slowly and compassionately toward stabilization first, and then processing when you are ready.

— Kim Tayler, Licensed Professional Counselor Intern in Austin, TX

It is not uncommon to have experienced trauma at some point in our lives. Trauma is an experience which is overwhelming, threatening, frightening or out of our control. Victims of trauma often feel shocked, angry, scared, guilty, guilty, ashamed, or vulnerable. I have been treating trauma for decades. In a large proportion of people the effects of trauma can last for much longer and become post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

— Dr. M. Chris Wolf, Clinical Psychologist in JACKSONVILLE, FL

Life hasn't been the same since it happened, and avoiding what happened isn't the answer. Getting appropriate, effective treatment after symptoms begin can begin the healing. Prolonged Exposure (PE), Cognitive Processing (CPT) for adults, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) for children and adolescents are strongly recommended, evidence-based therapies that can get you your life back.

— Misty Pilgrim, in ALBUQUERQUE, NM

If you find yourself living in a nearly constant state of distress, emotional upheaval, chaos, and pain, or dealing with ongoing difficult relationship issues there could be unresolved trauma. When seeing a trauma therapist, it is possible to work through traumatic material. By resolving traumatic memory, there is the possibility to create a new and different future where dreams of fulfillment and ease can come true. Together, we can heal past trauma in gentle, safe, and effective ways.

— Carlene Lehmann, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX

Live a life based on joy in the present not pain in the past. When we experience a trauma a part of us to gets stuck in that experience. In some ways we can feel like we never truly move on, That no one can understand what we have been threw, and that in future we want is hopelessly out of our grasp. With care and empathy we can work together to help you see this part of yourself clearly so you can learn how to stop letting the trauma control your life and start living for today.

— Dr. Shoshana Aal, Counselor in Denver, CO

Over the last 5 years I have worked with clients' on learning to overcome their traumatic symptoms; nightterrors, panic attacks, racing thoughts, processing trauma, et cetera so they can live a prosperious life.

— Nicole Browning, in Long Beach, WA

When we think about trauma, we often think of combat or sexual assault. However, trauma can be any incident or chronic experience that is overwhelming and leaves us feeling helpless or horrified. Trauma therapy can help heal painful childhood experiences, shift relationship patterns, and free us from toxic shame and limiting beliefs about ourselves. I utilize EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing), Lifespan Integration, and somatic (body-based) therapy in healing trauma.

— Shannon Budelman, Counselor in Seattle, WA

I treat both PTSD and Complex PTSD. C-PTSD is less known and not yet recognized by the DSM, but among trauma informed practitioners, it is generally accepted that there are differences between these and the way they affect our clients' lives and functioning. I have a number of tools for effectively working with trauma and am constantly working to increase my training in trauma-informed care from an Expressive Arts lens.

— Nathan Heydari, Counselor in Salem, OR

Some times it feels like our trauma is the defining factor in our lives. We almost become our trauma, and our lives certainly seems to revolve around it. We feel stuck in a loop that can't be broken. But it can! I guarantee, you don't have to live like this forever.

— John Kuykendall, Counselor in Kansas City, MO

PTSD is frequently thought of as a military combat disorder. However, trauma is very common in relationships with emotional, verbal, or physical abuse. I specialize in working with clients that experience PTSD ranging from childhood trauma all the way to abusive adult relationships. If this sounds like you, I have various tools and therapies that I will tailor to your specific needs. These may include EMDR, trauma-focused narrative therapy, art therapy, and sand tray therapy. The combination has helped many to get past the fears, become stable in the face of triggers, and live a more confident and fulfilling life. Let me know if I can help you next.

— Jaclin Belabri, Counselor in Vancouver, WA

We are now understanding that PTSD is a condition that impacts the emotions, body, mind, and spirit. Laura Giles approaches treatment of PTSD focusing on all four. She wants to provide release from what plagues you, not just address the symptoms. You never have to remember anything and we always only go as fast as you care to go.

— Laura Giles, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Henrico, VA

Being trained in EMDR, which is the gold standard in the treatment of PTSD, allows me to work effectively in treating the negative effects of trauma. The past doesn't need to control your present anymore. Allow your brain to heal and to more effectively process your pain so that you can move forward lighter.

— Elisabeth Pollack, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, CA

Often times, people who have experienced trauma don't present with concerns that exactly fit with PTSD. Especially for people who have experienced chronic and persistent trauma, coming to therapy often means addressing situational and/or life stressors first, before being able to look at some of the underlying experiences of trauma that have exacerbated those stressors. And, there are those instances where one or more very specific and identifiable traumatic events have resulted in PTSD. When people see me as a result of this type of trauma, we'll initially work at ensuring there is safety both inside and outside of the therapy space, while also developing specific skills and strategies to manage the specific impact of the trauma(s) experienced.

— Jeff Levy, Clinical Social Worker in Chicago, IL

8 years experience providing innovative PTSD treatments to 100s of trauma survivors at Harborview Center for Sexual Assault & Traumatic Stress. Trauma incidents include: childhood physical & sexual abuse, sexual assaults, physical assaults, domestic violence, car accidents, crime victimization, combat violence, witnessing violence, state-sponsored violence experienced as refugees, and repeated exposure to trauma as first responders. Please try trauma treatment which can be very effective!

— Mike Krepick, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Seattle, WA