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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD Treatment

We provide professional PTSD treatment and counselling services in Dublin and across Ireland in our nationwide network of clinics

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

As the name suggests, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – or PTSD – is a type of trauma occurring after, post, a stressful, traumatic event. Any individual who experiences a traumatic event can go on to develop PTSD, and may require PTSD treatment in order to work through the disorder. The defining characteristic of a traumatic event is its capacity to provoke fear or helplessness, typically, but not exclusively, in response to a life-threatening event. Examples of traumatic events can include assaults, road accidents, child or domestic abuse, war, or acts of terrorism.

Most people exposed to traumatic events experience some form of short-term distress. Anyone involved in such an event will naturally experience a set of reactions. These include feeling on edge, having trouble sleeping, feeling detached from the experience, or having upsetting memories of the event. These are normal reactions to what is an abnormal situation.  However, not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will go on to develop PTSD. Over time, for most people, these natural reactions will fade. If they linger, however, lasting more than a few months, they may be considered symptomatic. In this case, an individual could be diagnosed with PTSD, and could benefit from post traumatic stress disorder treatment.

What is the difference between trauma and PTSD?

In contrast to normal trauma experience and recovery, a person with PTSD does not appear to move on after the normal period of adjustment after the shock of the event. A person with PTSD remains in ‘psychological shock’, where the memory of the trauma and feelings become disconnected. Similar to Acute Stress Disorder, the person has experienced, witnessed, or been confronted with an event or events that involve actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of oneself or others. Typically, the individual’s response is marked by intense fear, helplessness or horror.

It’s estimated that up to 50% of people will experience a traumatic event at some point in their life. Of these only 20% will go on to develop post-traumatic-stress-disorder (or, put another way, up to 10% of the overall population will experience some form of PTSD in their lifetime).

Symptoms of PTSD usually develop within 3 months of the traumatic event, but can emerge later, sometimes decades later. To meet the criteria for PTSD, symptoms must last longer than one month, and must be severe enough to interfere with aspects of day-to-day life. People with PTSD can also often develop co-morbidities, such as depression, addiction, or some form of anxiety disorder.

PTSD Symptoms

PTSD symptoms fall into three main categories, which are listed below. The symptoms of PTSD and other trauma-related difficulties are explored further here.


Re-experiencing occurs when, if anything reminds the individual of the traumatic event, their symptoms are triggered. This could be thoughts and feelings, or words or objects, or any situation that reminds them of the event. Examples of re-experiencing are:

  • Recurring nightmares related to the event
  • Intrusive memories, thoughts, or images
  • Panic attacks: these occur when the individual experiences fear or apprehension. The individual might experience physical symptoms, such as sweating, palpitating, or shaking
  • Flashbacks: could include all of the above
  • Re-enactment: this occurs when a trauma survivor subconsciously or unintentionally finds themselves in situations in which the original trauma is likely to reoccur


There are two different categories of avoidance symptoms: internal and external. A trauma survivor wants to avoid anything that reminds them of the event, whether inside their own head, or outside in the world. Internal reminders could refer to memories or feelings about the trauma. External reminders could refer to people, places, objects, or situations that remind them of the original event. The individual avoids these reminders both consciously and unconsciously by:

  • Avoidance of places, people or things that are reminders of the trauma
  • Keeping themselves busy, for example, becoming a workaholic
  • Emotional numbness or feeling cut off from their feelings
  • Sometimes using drugs or alcohol to avoid memories or feelings
  • Being unable to recall details of the traumatic event

Emotional Dysregulation

Individuals who suffer from PTSD might become more aggressive, or more reckless or self-destructive, in other words, more impulsive. They also may develop what’s referred to as hypervigilance.  Always on the lookout for danger, they never let down their guard, super alert to any threat. The symptoms of emotional dysregulation include:

  • Feeling constantly tense or on edge
  • Having difficulty concentrating on simple, everyday tasks
  • Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
  • Feeling irritable or having aggressive outbursts
  • Self-destructive behaviour
  • Feeling as if nowhere is safe, losing trust in others
  • Having distorted feelings of blame and guilt regarding the event
  • Experiencing overwhelming negative emotions, such as fear, sadness, or shame
  • Losing interest in previous activities
  • Feeling jumpy and easily agitated

Our PTSD Treatment Services

As with most mental health difficulties, the best approach is to seek out help sooner rather than later. No matter how long you’ve been experiencing these symptoms of PTSD, it is never too late to start taking your life back from chronic trauma or PTSD. If any of the above sounds familiar, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to set up an appointment, or fill out the Request an Appointment form on this page.

Our clinic locations for PTSD treatment

We have a nationwide network of clinic locations in Dublin and across Ireland that are specialised in providing PTSD treatment and counselling services, including:

Our therapists who provide PTSD treatment

Our qualified clinicians have expertise in helping people manage the symptoms of, and moving on from, post-traumatic stress. Attending counselling for PTSD with us can help you to move on from the traumatic event with the ability to counteract any re-experiencing that may occur and will help restore your sense of control. With proper PTSD treatment, most cases can be managed effectively.

Our specialised PTSD therapists, who can provide both online and in-person counselling, include:

PTSD Treatment Approaches

Post traumatic stress disorder treatment, provided by our trauma-informed psychotherapists and psychologists, can relieve the symptoms of PTSD and help the individual deal with their trauma in a healthy way. There are various therapeutic treatments for post traumatic stress disorder, including, but not limited to:

  • Exposure Therapy

As the name suggests, therapists use exposure therapy to help sufferers of PTSD confront their traumatic memories, for example, through detailed written or verbal recounting of the traumatic experience. In some cases, this includes exposure to a trauma related situation that evokes fear; for example, walking in the area where the assault occurred.

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioural therapy for PTSD focuses on identifying and modifying misinterpretations that lead patients to see threats where there are none; for example, clients who believe assault is inevitable every time they leave home. CBT helps reorganise such disordered thinking. CBT focuses also on modifying the beliefs and interpretations that lead to negative emotions, such as guilt and shame

  • Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing – or EMDR – is a standardised, trauma-focused therapy used for PTSD treatment. EMDR involves using bilateral physical stimulation (eye movements, or taps), to stimulate the patient’s information processing. This helps to integrate the targeted event as an adaptive contextualised memory.

Find out about other trauma-related difficulties here.

Further reading on trauma and PTSD treatment:

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