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Counselling for PTSD - what can I expect?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by Torey, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Counselling usually makes you feel worse before you get better. The best treatment for PTSD is EMDR, so ask if they are trained for it.
  2. Thank you both. Interesting that it makes things worse before things get better, I did wonder if that'd be the case because of having to dredge things up from months ago and going head-to-head with them.
    Torey, I'll ask them if they're trained in that. I only got my diagnosis last week so the NHS is moving very quickly and seem to be very good at their job so far (fingers crossed).
    Completely daunted by the whole thing this evening and will be glad when my first session is over and done with.
  3. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Just remember that it will get better. Ask them for tips on how to cope with the feelings you get after sessions.
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Good luck, poeme, Let yourself get things off your chest and the weight won't be so heavy for you to bear on your own. Take care. You are strong and you will get to feel better.
  5. Initially I found it very hard, my sessions were at 10.00 in the morning and I knew I would have to write off the rest of the day because I would be physically as well as mentally exhausted so be prepared for that. I have found it hugely beneficial (it saved my life). My depression and anxiety have improved from severe to moderate although I still have severe functional impairment on the work and social adjustment scale. Largely due to the fact that my situation remains unresolved.

    I've just finished my 1:1 counselling and will be moving on to some group therapy shortly. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know my teaching career is over but I'm looking on it as a new beginning rather than an ending and I'm feeling very positive about it. I'm also now well enough to take the next steps in fighting for justice.

    I consider that I have been very fortunate in the care I have received from the medical profession and cannot fault it.

    Good luck, please feel free to PM me if you think I could help in any way.
  6. Just to add my therapy was CBT based not EMDR. This is being followed by an intensive 8 week course in Mindfulness Techniques.
  7. Yirg, your situation sounds VERY like mine. I may well PM you later but I'll get my session out of the way first and see what state I'm in. Like you, my depression and anxiety has improved from severe to moderately severe and although it's only a few points on the scales I do feel a bit better.
    I'll probably report back later [​IMG].
    Thanks for all of your good wishes - it's good to have moral support.
  8. It does sound like we've had similar experiences. The road is a bit bumpy but I'm with you every step of the way.

    Good luck this morning, you'll probably need some reflection time afterwards, I often needed a nap. I find being outdoors just looking at the trees etc very calming - blimey that makes me sound like a complete nutcase. I'm finding mindfulness very helpful, I'll put the title of a book I've found helpful up later. It might be another thing that might help you get through this but be guided by your therapist.

    Take care.
  9. It was a difficult session. I hadn't realised that I was still as upset as I am and was in floods of tears for quite a lot of the session. The counsellor quickly identified what the issues are and we'll work out a plan next week.
    I've got lovely homework to do, just keeping a diary of what I do. That'll make for the dullest read ever!
    Anyway, it wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be and I am intact. She said that the first thing we've got to do is get my mood up because I'm still severely depressed and severely anxious despite loads of pills etc.
    Once again, thanks for all of your help and support.
  10. Glad you are in tact. Good job they are used to tears I spent almost every session in floods the entire time. Funny how it catches you sometimes, I had nightmares again last night, hadn't had one for weeks so I was a bit shaken.
  11. casper

    casper New commenter

    HI, had severe PTSD in 2005. I had CBT, which as really good, emotionally draining going to sessions. I was also given some really good advice by an Occupational Health DR to do some exercise as well. I took up yoga, and body balance, which I found really helped. Please PM me if you would like to. Having some work issues and I am realising that some of my symptoms are PTSD. I cried through many sessions, it got worse before it got better, but was worth it in the end.

    Take care..
  12. Thank you Casper. I think my counsellor was hinting about exercise (!) and I might have said that I would have a go at the Wii Fit I've got. I haven't even thought about it since so have an epic fail on that front.
    Part of my problem is that my depression is still stuck at the severe level and therefore motivation is pretty low. I've had to keep a diary of my activities this week so it'll be interesting to see what she says about it.
    I have been totally shattered since my session last week although I've had a good day today and been very busy so perhaps that's a good sign.
    The counsellors and doctors have all said that because nothing's been done to change the situation that's caused me to be ill the only thing they can do is work on getting my mood up and to try and get me to think about it differently. I am actually completely justified in feeling some of the things I feel (apparently) which doesn't help.
    Anyway, I'm rambling a bit now! Thanks for the offer of PMing you - I will almost certainly do that. Take care too.
  13. Glad you had a good day today, I could have written your post myself. Exercise certainly helps but the motivation is the hardest part. Two years ago I was running regularly 25 to 30 miles a week. Then depression hit, and I couldn't drag myself outside it was just another thing I had to do. I restarted pilates about 6 mths ago. To begin with I had to force myself to go and couldn't talk to anybody there. Now I've found it to be a way of achieving some peace from the turmoil in my head for an hour (you really have to concentrate). I've just rejoined the gym but I'm not putting pressure on myself to go I just grab the opportunity when I feel the urge.

    Take care.
  14. casper

    casper New commenter

    Yeah, Motivation. I could not even get out of bed. So one day when it was satill winter but sunny, I made myself go to the llocal small town. I went for a walk, which took me past Gym club. I went in and had a chat with them. That was in 2006. I ma still a member. Seriously it really helped me . I know how you are feeling and it is so very hard. it will improve.
    Take care
  15. I too had CBT for PTSD a couple of years ago and it really helped. At first, I was sceptical and disliked the thought of opening up to a 'stranger' but in reality I found it surprisingly easy (though the sessions were still emotional and very draining). At first, I couldn't leave the house and the smallest task seemed insurmountable, so I was told to aim to achieve one thing and to take each day as it comes. For example, "Today, I will hoover this rug.", "Today I will go for a drive." etc. I built this up slowly until I could sit in a cafe. If I started to panic outside, I was told to focus on just one thing - a flower or a can of beans, anything - and concentrate on by breathing. This was something I found enormously helpful. After six months of counselling and medication, I began to regain my sense of self and could function normally, though I still retain hypervigilance. I did have a relapse about a year ago but am doing ok now. It is so very hard but you WILL get there. Best wishes.

  16. Hi
    I had various talking therapies and EMDR for PTSD last year and neither worked particularly well.
    However, hypnotherapy did work for me and the jumpiness and severe flashbacks disappeared.
    Good luck with it xx
  17. ((((((((to everyone on this thread))))))))))
    I have been through something similar. I'm not always sure it helps to talk ? Just forget and bury. I am much better but can slip back very easily and can see the signs coming. Walking is the best therapy for me.
  18. Thank you for (((()))))
    I think it depends who you are talking to. If you have found the right councillor/s with the right specialism then however painful at the time it helps in the long run. As with regards to "forget and bury" personally I think that is storing up problems to bite you later on. My injury is so severe that I cannot forget and bury but through the expertise of my medical team I can learn to cope with it.
  19. Ditto. Had another session today and the counsellor has said that I really must deal with the 'thing' that has put me where I am but not yet because I'm not strong enough. She said that if I didn't learn to deal with it, through the counselling/CBT, then it'd only come back and bite me on the b*m later.
    Anyway, I'm finding the counselling a positive experience so far. I've got some targets to meet before my next session and I've been royally ticked off for not eating properly (oops). Got to keep an eating diary this week and aim to put on a 1lb; I'm quite underweight apparently.
    Onwards and upwards [​IMG]. Thanks for all of the lovely, encouraging, messages.
  20. Well done, sounds like you are doing well. It can be hard work. Don't be surprised if there are ups and downs some weeks will be easier than others. I had a total crash this week which lasted several days, took me a bit by surprise but my head seems to be sorting itself out again now. Just looking forward to starting my mindfulness course in couple of weeks now.

    Sending you positive thoughts through the ether.

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