We offer PTSD therapy online. Read this article to learn about this approach and why it works.
Almost everyone will go through negative experiences during their lifetime. These experiences can affect our emotions, impact our physical well-being, and negatively affect our personal life.
While many people fully recover from a distressing experience, others do not. Some may replay the event in their head. Others may have frightening flashbacks that cause unpleasant emotions.
When your response to a traumatic event lingers and interferes with different aspects of your life, online therapy can help you feel better and regain control of your life.
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health condition that can occur after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Examples of distressing events that can lead to PTSD include warfare, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, motor vehicle accidents, and assaults such as rape or domestic violence.
Individuals who have suffered a trauma may experience flashbacks, nightmares, aversion to situations that trigger memories of the trauma, hypersensitivity, anxiety, or depression. These symptoms can persist for days or even years after the traumatic incident, but usually lessen over time. With PTSD, the symptoms persist and get become more debilitating
PTSD can affect all genders, races, and ages. The National Center for PTSD reports that around 5 out of 10 women and 6 out of 10 men experience a trauma at least once in their lifetime. Approximately 20 percent of these people will develop a post-traumatic stress response.
Symptoms of PTSD can vary for each person. In some cases, symptoms may not appear for months or even years after the traumatic event. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, it may be beneficial to speak to a mental health professional.
- Flashbacks and nightmares
- Feelings of guilt and shame
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
- Constant anxiety
- Loss of interest in things once enjoyed
- Memory and concentration issues
- Mood swings and irritability
- Avoiding things that trigger a trauma response
- Chronic fatigue or pain
- Easily startled
There is no identified reason some people develop PTSD while others do not. An individual's genetics, brain chemistry, predisposing factors, and personality may affect whether they develop PTSD.
Factors that may increase your risk for PTSD include:
- Your gender; PTSD is more likely to occur in women
- Childhood trauma
- Lack of social support after a traumatic event
- Experiencing additional stress following trauma, such as the death of a loved one, an injury, or financial hardship
- Having a history of mental illness
- Substance abuse
How Does Online Therapy for PTSD Work?
If your trauma response persists and affects your ability to lead an everyday life, it may be time to seek professional help. PTSD does not go away on its own and can affect your emotional, physical, and social well-being if left untreated.
Therapy can be highly effective in helping individuals who have suffered trauma. Not only can therapy help relieve your symptoms, but it can help you develop valuable coping skills and restore your self-esteem.
PTSD therapy can take place in person or online. While both settings can provide effective treatment for trauma-related symptoms, online therapy may have additional benefits.
After a trauma, people can experience severe anxiety and stress, which can sometimes make it difficult to leave your house. You may feel too tired to get out of bed. You may also fear encountering a situation that triggers a trauma response. However, with online therapy, you can meet with a mental health provider from the comfort of your home.
Online PTSD therapy can take place via video chat, email, or phone. With a reliable internet connection, you can speak to your therapist using a phone, computer, or tablet. During PTSD therapy sessions, your mental health provider will guide you through different therapy techniques.
The goal of PTSD therapy is to help you reduce your symptoms from trauma, identify trauma triggers, and learn strategies to overcome them. If your treatment plan requires medication to manage your symptoms, you will work with a mental health provider who can prescribe and manage your PTSD medications, such as a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner. .
Is Online PTSD Therapy Effective?
Online therapy has been proven to be highly effective in treating PTSD and other mental health conditions. Some studies even suggest that online therapy could be more beneficial in treating people with PTSD.
Working through a traumatic event can be difficult and bring up a variety of emotions. In addition, leaving the house and traveling can increase anxiety and stress levels.
This can be counterproductive when trying to work on emotions associated with PTSD. With home-based therapy, however, patients can talk to their therapist in a more comfortable environment.
This added comfort can help patients feel more relaxed and willing to discuss their feelings and thoughts with their mental health provider.
As with in-person therapy, online PTSD treatment is conducted by a licensed mental health professional with exceptional experience treating trauma and PTSD.
Depending on your specific needs, you may work with a psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed therapist, or other mental health provider. Online therapists can guide you through many of the same treatments you would receive during in-person therapy.
Another benefit of online therapy is greater consistency. A key component of effective PTSD treatment is attending regular therapy sessions. With online PTSD treatment, patients have more flexible scheduling options and can attend therapy from any location.
This can help people stick to their care plan and reduce the number of missed appointments. Attending all of your scheduled therapy appointments can help you progress more quickly in your treatment program.
What are the Benefits of Online PTSD Therapy?
Untreated trauma can negatively impact every aspect of your life. You may lose your ability to function normally, and minor, unexpected occurrences can trigger your symptoms. However, online PTSD therapy can provide life-changing benefits to restore your sense of well-being.
Online PTSD therapy can help you:
- Reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression
- Understand traumatic events
- Rebuild your sense of self
- Develop coping skills for negative emotions and thoughts
- Improve skills needed for daily living
- Strengthen relationships with loved ones
What to Expect from Online PTSD Therapy
Mental health professionals have the ability to listen well and provide valuable support to people dealing with PTSD. Using various treatment methods, a trauma therapist will help you better understand your trauma, change your perception of it, and teach you essential skills for moving forward in life.
Sometimes it can be painful and upsetting to talk about a traumatic experience. A trained mental health professional will go slow and be careful not to retraumatize you. When patients progress through their treatment program, they often report fewer feelings of anxiety and stress. Things that used to trigger an emotional response are not as frightening anymore, and they regain the ability to function throughout the day.
Different Online PTSD Therapy Techniques
There are a variety of methods for treating PTSD and trauma. Your mental health provider will work with you to determine which techniques best suit your needs. One or more treatments can be used together. The following methods are commonly used to treat PTSD.
Cognitive Processing Therapy
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a type of psychotherapy that consists of 12 weekly sessions that typically last 60 to 90 minutes. During CPT sessions, you will learn how to examine your feelings and thoughts associated with a traumatic event.
Your therapist will then work with you to change your perception and feelings about the traumatic event so you can move forward.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy
Prolonged exposure therapy works well for individuals who avoid objects, activities, or environments that remind them of a traumatic event or cause fear.
During this technique, a therapist will gradually expose the patient to the unpleasant stimuli in a safe environment. Over time, the emotional and physiological responses to the stimuli are lessened.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or EMDR therapy, helps individuals change their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors associated with a distressing memory. During this treatment, individuals activate painful memories while their therapist incorporates bilateral stimulation.
This stimulation creates a soothing effect in the brain and helps the memory become less upsetting. The therapist will then work to replace the negative thoughts and emotions with positive ones. EMDR does not erase memories; it changes how people respond to them.
Stress Inoculation Training
Stress inoculation training is a form of psychotherapy that helps people prepare for stressful events. The process involves three phases that teach you how to cope with and manage distress caused by specific triggers.
Your therapist will help you understand your capabilities and available resources, enabling you to utilize them more effectively. Additionally, you will practice new skills that will allow you to respond to stress in a more positive manner.
PTSD Treatment with CHE
A person with PTSD might feel as if their life will never be the same again. However, PTSD can successfully be treated. At CHE, we offer specialized and effective treatment for PTSD and other trauma-related conditions.
Our online therapy programs help you address the physical and psychological symptoms associated with PTSD while providing the resources to help improve your quality of life. You deserve to heal and get back to living. Our team is here to assist when you are ready.
To learn more about PTSD and the treatments options available at CHE Behavioral Health Services, please call 888-515-3834. We are ready to talk, and ready to listen.