At Chiron we use a specific Psycotherapy approach called “Traumatology”.
Traumatology is the assessment and treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and related comorbid symptoms that result from trauma, or traumatic experience. Chiron offers a comprehensive and evidence-based approach to the treatment of PTSD, following NICE guidelines, with a number of treatment processes that can be combined to suit individual needs.
A traumatic event or experience is an incident, or collection of incidents that causes physical, emotional, spiritual or psychological harm. We generally look at these as being one of two types, though it is possible to suffer from PTSD that is a product of both types. By defining which classification of PTSD you suffer from, a treatment plan (a Trauma Formulation Plan) can be tailor-made to reduce with the symptomology more precisely.
Type 1 PTSD can manifest as a result of a one-off traumatic incident, or a set of consecutive distinct traumatic experiences. The key factor is that the trauma itself – whether acute or chronic – is more easily attributed to specific events. Type 1 PTSD is a fear-based trauma.
Type 2 PTSD is also called complex trauma. This is often a result of long-term exposure to trauma-inducing events as a child, but can also happen in your adult life. People with Type 2 PTSD would often have been able to foresee their next traumatic experience, but be unable to escape it or even influence when it would happen. Dissociation would have been the only way of coping with the trauma, which would later lead to feelings of anger, shame, guilt, grief or disgust. Examples of complex trauma-inducing events can include childhood neglect or abuse, domestic abuse, sexual abuse and bullying.
PTSD is a mental health condition. It is a natural and understandable response that some people develop after experiencing, witnessing or otherwise being involved in an abnormal situation that had an overwhelming effect on them. Sufferers experience intrusive memories and feelings and will try to avoid situations that trigger them. They will have altered moods including anxiety and or depression. They will be particularly vigilant and aroused, with irrational reactions to internal or external changes.
PTSD can be caused by any traumatic event where the brain, mind or body is exposed to so much stress that it is unable to cope with or process the emotions of a situation.
There are major types of traumatic experience that most people will know about and potentially even associate with PTSD already. These are the most recognisable causes, though it is also possible to develop PTSD from other sources of trauma you might not consider.
The more recognisable sources of trauma include:
Other sources of trauma can include:
PTSD disturbs parts of the brain and their capacity to function normally and interconnect.
The amygdala, part of the alarm system, can enlarge, keeping the body hyper-vigilant. The hippocampus, that helps file memories, can shrink, reducing our ability to make sense of experiences, and distinguish what is real or not. The frontal lobes become less effective, reducing our ability to think clearly and communicate effectively with our speech.
Trauma-informed psychotherapy addresses this neurological disturbance, returning the nervous system to balance and better function.
If you have experienced an extremely stressful or disturbing event that’s left you feeling helpless and emotionally out of control, you may have been traumatised.
The good news is that PTSD sufferers can return to normal function. Many studies have shown that the effects and symptoms of PTSD can be reduced – and sometimes completely resolved – by a systematic, structured approach with a specifically trained therapist. With the right kind of trauma-informed psychotherapy you can overcome the intrusive memories, stop needing to avoid triggering situations, improve your moods, and become more relaxed and comfortable with yourself and your world. Chiron offers a range of therapy processes to help you return to your day-to-day pre-trauma life, information for which can be found on our page of available processes.
In the UK, traumatology-trained Psychotherapists can take you through a number of questionnaires and interviews to check if your symptoms match the diagnosis for PTSD, and if there are any other conditions that have developed as a consequence. As a certified Psychotherapist, Jackie is able to perform and quide you through the assessment process, which can also serve to inform a clinical diagnosis.
PTSD Symptoms may not emerge immediately after trauma. You may feel emotionally numb at first, then start to experience intrusive thoughts and feelings, often referred to as flashbacks. You may experience changes in how you react to things emotionally and physically, and find you avoid places, people and activities that remind you of the trauma.
You may feel on edge, anxious or depressed, and find difficulty in dealing with everyday life and relationships.
Many people find that these symptoms disappear quite quickly and not everybody that experiences trauma will develop PTSD.
If your symptoms last longer than a month, you may be diagnosed with PTSD. However, some people may not develop PTSD symptoms for many years.
If you have any questions or concerns, take a look at our bookings & sessions page, which details the options available to you.