Whether you’ve experience with seeking therapy for your mental health, or beginning to research mental health services generally, it can be helpful to understand the many therapies available. Nowadays, online therapy is becoming more prominent, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) counselling online.

This accessibility of online therapy may make approaching mental health services a less daunting experience. We recommend BetterHelp.com platform to find the right therapist for you but many more other options are available online.

Looking for a specialist?
Get matched with a Trauma & PTSD therapist.

To support the work of the people working on TherapyHunter.com, we may receive compensation if you sign up for online counseling through the links provided.

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What are traumatic experiences?

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), trauma refers to an emotional response toward a distressing event such as rape, natural disasters, among others. Short-term responses such as shock are common after such events, and long-term responses include disturbing flashbacks. An individual can respond to trauma physically, including loss of libido and difficulty sleeping (Gillihan, 2016). Trauma affects people differently and PTSD therapy online can help offer constructive ways to improve recovery.

Additionally, traumatic experiences can be multiple and repetitive. Although some individuals develop PTSD as a result of trauma, others respond resiliently and do not develop the disorder (Rockville, 2014). Trauma severity differs among individuals; for some, it can be minimally disruptive, and for others totally destructive. It is worth understanding individual experiences as trauma can be complex, and these experiences can differ according to sociocultural factors (such as family situation), characteristics of the event, etc.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can develop as a result of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. In the US, PTSD affects around 3.5% of the adult population and one in 11 people are estimated to develop the disorder in their lifetime (American Psychiatric Association, n.d.). Individuals with PTSD often respond to past traumatic events intensely, with distressing thoughts and feelings years after the event occurred.

Further, receiving a diagnosis of PTSD requires a past traumatic experience. However, it is worth noting that this experience does not necessarily have to happen to the individuals themselves. You can develop PTSD from witnessing an experience that happened close to you, such as learning about the loss of a loved one, or from repetitive traumatic events, such working in an environment that deals with daily violent affairs.

PTSD approximately affects one in three people who’ve experienced a traumatic event; however, it is less clear why some individuals go on to develop the condition and others do not. For individuals who experience repetitive traumatic experiences, such as ongoing abuse and violence, may be diagnosed with complex PTSD. Complex PTSD differs from PTSD by repeated traumatic exposure (Leonard, 2018). Whether you have PTSD or complex PTSD should be evaluated with the aid of PTSD counselling online.

Looking for a specialist?
Get matched with a Trauma & PTSD therapist.

To support the work of the people working on TherapyHunter.com, we may receive compensation if you sign up for online counseling through the links provided.

Symptoms of PTSD

Onset of PTSD varies per individual, where some experience symptoms within a few months of a traumatic experience, and for others these symptoms can appear after a few years. Typically, these symptoms intrude your day-to-day functioning and ability to do routine tasks such as going to work. The course of PTSD also varies, where people may recover in a few months to a few years. Although less likely, some people develop chronic PTSD.

PTSD symptoms are divided into four categories. These include:

  1. Intrusion: Repetitive intrusive thoughts including nightmares and flashbacks.
  2. Avoidance: A committed effort to avoid thinking about the traumatic event, avoiding places, people, and things, that may trigger disturbing memories.
  3. Changes in cognition and mood: Difficulty remembering important features of the traumatic event, changes in mood including anger, fear, and guilt. Socially distancing from others and previously enjoyed activities.
  4. Reactive behaviour: Changes in behaviour including angry outbursts, difficulty concentrating and sleeping, among others.

Other diagnostic criteria to consider include the duration of exhibiting these symptoms and an observation of other related mental health conditions. The above portrays an oversimplification of PTSD symptoms, and diagnoses should be made by clinically trained mental health professionals when seeking PTSD therapy online.

online therapy ptsd

Treatment for PTSD

Treatment for PTSD includes psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. As multiple factors concern the development of PTSD, it may be difficult to find a licensed PTSD therapist ‘near me’. It is worth exploring your options and broadening available resources, including online platforms such as BetterHelp which provide PTSD online counselling by trained clinicians. Seeking therapy and treatment is important when exhibiting symptoms of PTSD to prevent further intrusiveness by the disorder.

Talk therapy for PTSD typically occurs over six to 12 weeks, however treatment varies per individual. For example, factors such as family and friend support can help improve recovery time. There is no one specific therapy to treat PTSD; rather, therapists may combine other schools of therapy to make for a more effective treatment strategy.

Therapy can be beneficial to treat PTSD in a number of ways, including psychoeducation (teaching individuals about the condition), skills to identify triggering symptoms, and tools to support managing symptoms. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy helpful to treat PTSD as it offers a variety of skills beneficial to individuals. Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is another effective form of therapy recognised to treat PTSD. These are a couple of treatment examples you will come across when searching for PTSD therapy online.

The right therapist for you

It can be difficult and overwhelming to take the first step and reach out to a therapist to discuss traumatic experiences. Explore PTSD treatment and therapy online and discuss your needs with a licensed PTSD therapist. Addressing your particular needs can help you recover through the guidance of a mental health professional, providing you the fundamental skills in improving your quality of life.

Looking for a specialist?
Get matched with a Trauma & PTSD therapist.

To support the work of the people working on TherapyHunter.com, we may receive compensation if you sign up for online counseling through the links provided.

Josiane Camilleri

Josiane Camilleri

Professor

Writer for Therapy Hunter as well as psychology
professor at Malta University.

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