A Quick Guide to PTSD Counseling in Chicago

Wednesday, 28 September 2022 11:06 Written by

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event or situation. Individuals can endure trauma from various circumstances—for example, you might develop PTSD after witnessing violence or being attacked. People who experience trauma often struggle with challenging symptoms like flashbacks and recurring nightmares. These individuals may also have trouble sleeping or concentrating. If you suffer from the effects of trauma, then it’s a good idea to seek out PTSD counseling in Chicago to address your symptoms.

The American Psychiatric Association defines PTSD as a mental health condition characterized by recurring memories of a traumatic event and emotional reactions associated with the memory. Common symptoms include anxiety, depression, dissociation, anger, guilt, numbness, and fear. To help you understand how counseling can assist you, we developed this helpful guide for you.

A Few Things to Know About PTSD Counseling in Chicago

PTSD counseling is a form of psychotherapy that helps people overcome the effects of trauma and develop coping skills. In many cases, psychotherapists specializing in PTSD will utilize cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

CBT can be used for any mental health condition, but it’s found to be most effective as a treatment of choice to treat anxiety disorders, the category of diagnoses that includes PTSD. In this kind of therapy, patients learn how to identify their thoughts and feelings about the trauma they experienced, and to then use these insights to change negative thinking patterns and behaviors. This process helps them cope better with stressful situations and to feel safer, and more confident in themselves.

The first step in treating PTSD is identifying what caused the traumatic experience. During a counseling session, your therapist will ask questions about your experiences and help you remember details about the trauma. From there, your therapist will synthesize all of their findings to determine what type of professional help will benefit you the most.

How Does PTSD Therapy Work?

PTSD therapy can be used in conjunction with other types of treatment, such as prescription medication and other forms of counseling, including groups. The goal of PTSD therapy is to help patients learn how to cope with and manage their symptoms so they are able to live with more stability and just feel normal.

While CBT is a common form of treatment for PTSD, there are many other effective therapies that can support your treatment. Here are a few options that are available today:

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy – This treatment strategy relies on bilateral stimulations (of either your eyes, or extremities) to renew mind-body connections and help patients work through distress caused by their PTSD at a deeper, neurological level.
  • Group Therapy – Individuals with PTSD can often find the support they need from support groups and counseling sessions with others, which could include members of their support network, such as friends and family. There are even group therapists that specialize exclusively in PTSD and trauma.
  • Traditional Talk Therapy – Oftentimes, the best way to treat trauma is to talk through your feelings and experiences.

PTSD counseling usually works best when it addresses all aspects of a patient’s life. Therapists will tailor treatment plans based on each individual’s unique circumstances and will determine the best path forward for the patient’s needs. Some people find it helpful to work with a counselor one-on-one while others prefer group sessions or benefit most from some combination.

Why come to Wellington Counseling Group?

When it comes to mental health issues, the incidence of trauma among the population of metro Chicago is rising every year. According to Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI), up to 25% of people in Chicago communities are struggling with symptoms of PTSD. With the 24-7 news cycle blasting at us and with the constant connections through our social media, the level of potential trigger exposures has increased dramatically as the years have gone by. Clearly there is a need for PTSD counseling in Chicago.

Traumatic experiences are unique to each person who survives them; therefore, it is essential to evaluate individuals with PTSD objectively so that we can determine what triggers traumatic memories. That's why, at Wellington Counseling Group, we create a unique and personalized strategy for every patient. This way we can treat everyone in the most effective ways possible.

At Wellington, we have multiple highly experienced psychotherapists on staff who specialize in a wide array of mental health conditions. From PTSD using EMDR therapy, from grief to expected and unexpected life transitions, depression, and more, we will pair you with a skilled counselor who specializes in your needs.

Ready to See What Wellington Counseling Group Can Do for You?

Schedule an appointment today and get started with PTSD counseling in Chicago.