Mindfulness Psychotherapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder



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Mindfulness Psychotherapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Welcome! My name is Peter Strong. I am a professional psychotherapist specializing in Mindfulness Therapy, which I offer online via Skype, for the treatment of anxiety, for help with depression and also for helping in the process of recovery from PTSD and processing traumatic memories whether they are due to that traumatic events like an accident, a car accident, or of course, the traumatic events that may occur during war, or other violent assault, or even the traumatic events simply of witnessing a traumatic a violent assault. Many police officers and first responders struggle with processing traumatic memories that they encounter in their line of work.

So there are many different approaches of course to working with PTSD, but I find the mindfulness approach to be particularly effective. And the reason is because it focuses on the exact mechanism that is going on in your mind that creates that emotional trauma.

And there are two basic processes that we work on here. The first is learning how to change our relationship to how traumatic memories so that we do not become consumed by emotional or cognitive reactivity. We have to learn to witness those traumatic memories without becoming overwhelmed. So that’s a very important part of Mindfulness Therapy, learning how to do that. And I will teach you how to do that in our online therapy sessions together.

Another very important part of processing traumatic memories is to change the imagery of the memory, how you see that memory in the mind is what actually re-traumatizes you. That imagery, the structure of the imagery, is what encodes the emotional pain. So during Mindfulness Therapy we explore the imagery of the emotion and we explore changing that imagery. When you change the imagery of an emotion you change the emotion.

A simple example of that is how large the image is that you see when you recall the traumatic event and how close that image is in your mind’s eye. Typically intense traumatic images are very large and very close. So that feature of the imagery, being very large and that quality of being very close, is what actually creates the emotional trauma.

Now normally for most people we are constantly processing our memory images and changing that imagery quite naturally and unconsciously. Typically images start off large and close and vivid and over time they become small and distant and faded. That’s a natural process that the mind uses to digest experiences, especially emotionally charged experiences.

However when the emotional charge is too high as in the case of a traumatic memory, then that normal processing doesn’t happen and the imagery becomes stuck, frozen in time. And this is what lies behind flashbacks and intrusive memories that keep coming back and re-traumatizing us. It’s simply that the imagery has not changed, it becomes stuck.

So during Mindfulness Therapy we work a great deal on exploring that imagery and then changing it to help it resolve and heal. It is really quite an effective method. It’s something I call mindfulness-based image reprocessing and it can produce quite dramatic changes in a very short time. Once you see the imagery and start exploring how to change that imagery to allow that memory to try to digest, essentially, so that it no longer causes emotional pain.

So those are two of the aspects of Mindfulness Therapy that we explore. The first is learning how to witness the memory without reacting and without feeding that emotional pain through reactivity, and the second part is reprocessing the memory imagery itself. When you combine both of these approaches you can produce remarkably consistent changes and promote recovery in a relatively short time, within a few weeks.

So if you would like to learn more about mindfulness-based psychotherapy for recovery from PTSD or for working with the associated emotions around PTSD that often form as reactive emotions to that initial trauma; emotions like guilt shame, anger, and so on. These can all be worked on very effectively using the well-tested methods of Mindfulness Therapy that I use and have developed and refined over the last ten years.

Mindfulness Psychotherapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Also see: Who does a person go to for help with PTSD?

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