Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a term used to describe a cluster of symptoms that people experience when they have been exposed to a traumatic event, or an accumulation of traumas. The symptoms, to list a few are; disturbed sleep patterns, decreased motivation, focus and concentration, impaired memory, flashbacks to traumatic episodes, nightmares, irritability, mood changes, hyper-vigilance, disinterest in normal activities.
The role of the therapist in PTSD and trauma is often to assist the person in recognizing and acknowledging that what they are experiencing is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. This can take time. It is then important for the therapist to help the person process the feelings they have about the event, about what they “should” have felt and reconcile that with what they actually felt. Distorted perceptions, unrealistic expectations, and disconnection from feelings need to be addressed.
The goal of therapy is to re-integrate the person so that they re-claim their thought , feelings, and actions. The goal is that they normalize their responses and practice self care techniques.