Screen_Shot_2024-05-02_at_11.jpegTrauma is more prevalent than commonly perceived, with approximately 70% of adults in the U.S. having encountered at least one traumatic event during their lifetime, equating to 223.4 million individuals. When individuals experience trauma, their ability to cope and function can be significantly diminished, leading to various mental health issues such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

As part of our commitment to mental health awareness and education during Mental Health Awareness Month, the Center for Trauma at the Cognitive Behavior Institute is dedicated to helping individuals recover and heal from trauma in a safe and supportive environment.

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Here are some key insights into understanding PTSD and how the Center for Trauma can aid in healing after trauma.

Understanding PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that's triggered by a terrifying event, either by experiencing it firsthand or witnessing it. People living with PTSD may find themselves overwhelmed by intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their traumatic experience(s) long after the event has occurred. This can manifest in a variety of trauma symptoms that interfere with daily life and well-being.

Causes of PTSD can include but are not limited to:

  • War and other forms of violence
  • Childhood abuse or neglect
  • Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • Car accidents
  • Natural disasters
  • Witnessing acts of violence
  • Deaths of loved ones
  • Medical interventions 
  • Neglect and abandonment

Common psychological symptoms of PTSD are categorized into four main groups:

  1. Intrusive Thoughts: Repeated, involuntary memories; distressing dreams; or flashbacks of the traumatic event, and these intrusions lead to intense psychological or physiological pain or discomfort. On some occasions, Flashbacks may be so vivid that individuals feel they are reliving the traumatic experience.
  2. Avoidance: Active avoidance of reminders of the traumatic event, which can include people, places, activities, objects, and situations that may trigger distressing memories.
  3. Alterations in Cognition and Mood: Inability to recall crucial details of the traumatic incident, accompanied by negative thoughts and emotions that fuel persistent and distorted beliefs about oneself or others, (e.g., 'I am bad,' 'No one can be trusted'), diminished interest in activities, and feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.
  4. Alterations in Arousal and Reactivity: Hypervigilance, exaggerated startle response, problems with concentration, and trouble sleeping are some of the ways these alterations can manifest themselves.

Understanding that PTSD is a complex and multifaceted disorder is crucial and the symptoms may manifest themselves very differently in different people. It's not about lacking the ability to 'get over' a traumatic event; rather, it's a condition that requires professional care and support to begin the healing journey and manage symptoms effectively. 

How the Center for Trauma Can Help

At the Center for Trauma, we understand how overwhelming and debilitating trauma can be. Our group of clinicians who are skilled in providing evidence-based treatments to help you recover and heal from any traumatic experiences. We offer a safe and supportive environment where you can process your emotions and develop effective coping strategies.

We can help you heal from trauma through various therapies, such as:

For Adults

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

At our Center, we provide Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) to help you challenge and change the unhelpful beliefs related to your trauma. Through CPT, we guide you over 12 or more sessions toward a new understanding of your traumatic event, significantly reducing its negative influence on your life today.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy for Trauma

Our approach to healing includes Prolonged Exposure Therapy, a method that teaches you to face trauma-related memories and feelings safely. This therapy, spread across approximately three months of weekly sessions, helps in reducing the power these memories have over your current life.

For Children & Adolescents

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT)

We offer this  evidence-based treatment for children and adolescents impacted by trauma. It is designed to address a wide range of emotional and behavioral difficulties associated with single or multiple traumatic events.

Our goal with TF-CBT is to support both the child and their caregivers, enhancing their ability to process trauma and foster healthier interactions.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

This unique, evidence-based treatment involves direct, coached sessions with the parent and child. Our therapists assist in strengthening the parent-child relationship through play, improving the emotional and behavioral dynamics within the family.

For All Ages

Family Therapy

Our family therapy sessions aim to understand and improve the dynamics within your family that have been affected by trauma. We focus on building stronger, more secure relationships and equipping you with the skills to manage future conflicts or crises more effectively. For more detailed guidance on family therapy, consider our  Center for Couples and Family (CCF).

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

This structured therapy that we offer helps reduce the vividness and emotional intensity of traumatic memories, as well as the unhelpful beliefs about themselves and the world around them that the individual struggles with. Unlike other treatments, EMDR does not require detailed recounting of the trauma, oftentimes making it a less distressing option for those we support in their recovery journeys.

Heal From PTSD With CBI in Pittsburgh

PTSD and other trauma and sressor related disorders can be a complex and overwhelming disorder, but with the right support and treatment, it is possible to heal and manage symptoms effectively.

At the CBI Center for Trauma in Pittsburgh, we are dedicated to providing evidence-based therapies and creating a safe and supportive space for healing after trauma. We believe that everyone deserves to live a fulfilling life free from the limitations of PTSD.

If you or someone you know is struggling with symptoms of PTSD, please reach out for help. You do not have to go through this alone. Contact us at (724) 609-5002 or visit our  website to learn more about our services.

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