Trauma and Recovery

December 5th, 2020

Trauma is common. About 75% of North Americans have experienced a traumatic event in their lifetime (e.g., Ameringen and colleagues, 2008).

Traumatic events can overwhelm our ability to cope. Some common difficulties after a trauma are feelings of sadness and agitation, as well as thoughts of helplessness and powerlessness. The good news is that more often than not, these upsetting thoughts and feelings lessen after a month or two. In fact, only a small percentage of people who experience a trauma go on to develop PTSD, or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (e.g., Canadian Mental Health Association, 2013).

Effective psychological treatments for PTSD include Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Prolonged Exposure (PE), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). These therapies differ in some ways (this website is a great resource for understanding treatment options). A key component to trauma recovery is overcoming avoidance. Overcoming avoidance can involve confronting memories, facing feelings of fear, or challenging/changing unhelpful thoughts.

While people differ in how they respond to trauma, remember that trauma is common. If you are struggling after trauma, you do not have to deal with it alone. The sooner you get support, the better.

Guest Blogger, Brittny Hurst

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Did you know…

One in five Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.

 

A psychologist can help.

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