Effective treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Freedom from trauma symptoms
You wake up, sweating, from a nightmare and anxiously pace the house for a couple of hours until the feelings recede and you can get back to sleep.
You’re driving down the road and suddenly you’re flooded with awful memories, flashbacks, anxiety and guilt, which you try your hardest to push away. In the supermarket, a sound or a smell triggers a panic attack and you run out of the store without your shopping.
You find you are drinking too much to try to drown out the memories. You’re arguing with your partner, your family, your boss. You feel like you are going crazy and you know you cannot go on like this.
If any of this sounds familiar, we can help you.
Call us now on to find out how to get permanent relief from PTSD symptoms
We know it can be daunting to approach a therapist and ask for help. We won’t judge you and there is no need to be embarrassed. We will help you to feel safe again.
At Stepping Stones, we provide a specialist therapy for PTSD, called Rewind Therapy. Because it works quickly and effectively to reprocess traumatic memories, you will be in control of them, and they will no longer be in control of you.
The Rewind technique has been specially developed to treat PTSD effectively and quickly, by stopping the involuntary recall of traumatic memories. Using Rewind, we can reprocess these memories, putting an end to flashbacks, intrusive thoughts and nightmares. Imagine the freedom of filing those traumatic memories away where they will no longer trouble you, but can be accessed voluntarily if you want to think about them! Together, we will lift the guilt and anxiety. Things which used to trigger panic attacks, you will now be able to do with ease, and you will be able to get on with the life you want.
This therapy has been rigorously tested by Cardiff University and found to have a similar effect to existing trauma-focused psychotherapies (CBT and EMDR), but be more time- and cost-efficient. You can read the research paper here.
How does Rewind therapy work?
The process typically takes 1-2 sessions, during which we use relaxation and guided imagery to reduce or even completely remove trauma symptoms. As well as being significantly quicker, the Rewind is different to other therapies because you do not have to talk about the details of the traumatic incident to your therapist. Dr David Muss, who developed the technique, therefore calls it “closure without disclosure”.
This non-disclosure element of the therapy has many advantages. It minimises the chances of you being re-traumatised while having the therapy; and there is no need to reveal the details of distressing or painful events to a stranger. There is no fear of disclosing sensitive or confidential information, which may be an issue for someone in the military or police for example.
When you undergo Rewind therapy, our specially trained therapist will help you to relax, and encourage you to think of a time when you feel safe and happy. You will then be guided through a visualization of being in a private cinema where you watch a ‘film’ of your traumatic event. Because you are watching remotely and seeing the events on a screen, you are protected from the emotions of it. You do not need to describe any of the events to your therapist. The therapist may then ask you to ‘step into’ your film, or to press the rewind button and reverse it very quickly.
This process helps you to disconnect the memories from the fight-or-flight reactions; instead, you are reprogramming your brain to associate them with feelings of safety and relaxation. The Rewind effectively transfers these memories from short- to long-term. Because you control the narrative during your session, and run the events from start to finish, your brain is able to make sense of what happened and put it into context. As a result, you will no longer experience involuntary recall, or have unwanted memories triggered by cues in your environment.
The Rewind can work equally well to treat one-off traumatic experiences such as a car crash, or more complex multiple traumas. People who have been treated with the Rewind have reported very positive outcomes after only one or two sessions. Clients tell us they have been amazed by the results. They no longer suffer with intrusive thoughts, panic attacks, flashbacks or nightmares. They are able to talk comfortably about their trauma, and they can function normally again, living their lives free of fear.
Call now for your free 15 minute phone consultation to find out how we can give you your life back.
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects about 15 million adults during a given year. You can develop PTSD after experiencing a frightening or life-threatening event or series of events. This could include a road accident, violent personal assault, serious health problems, or childbirth experiences. PTSD is frequently experienced by people who have served in the armed forces or emergency services. Some people develop PTSD immediately after experiencing a disturbing event, but for others it occurs weeks, months or even years later.
How does PTSD develop?
In normal circumstances, information about an event is transferred from our short- to long-term memory, through a part of the brain called the hippocampus. However, during a traumatic experience, a different part of the brain, the amygdala activates the survival mechanism (fight, flight or freeze response). The presence of stress hormones within our body inhibits the hippocampus from processing the information in the usual way. The memory of the traumatic event becomes trapped in short-term memory, and we can feel like we are involuntarily re-living the traumatic event in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, repetitive and distressing images, or physical sensations. There may also be physical sensations, such as pain, sweating, feeling sick or trembling.
This is why people who suffer with PTSD frequently experience a range of distressing symptoms. And because the amygdala is primed to warn us of danger, it will be triggered by any environmental cue that is similar to the initial traumatic event. This is why PTSD can be triggered by smells, sights or sounds, even when we have not consciously registered them. This means it is also common for people with PTSD to have panic attacks, be very anxious or find it difficult to relax. They may be constantly alert to threats or be easily startled; or feel continually ‘on edge’, irritable, or prone to angry outbursts.
Another common symptom of PTSD is dissociation, a feeling of being cut off from reality. You may feel disconnected from your thoughts, feelings, memories, or surroundings. It can affect your sense of identity and your perception of time; you may forget things or have gaps in your memory.
Often, PTSD sufferers have sleeping problems, find it hard to concentrate or have physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, chest pains and stomach aches. PTSD can affect work and personal relationships; and can sometimes be a contributing factor in drug and alcohol use, self-harm or depression.
Some people cope by avoiding reminders of the traumatic event, staying away from certain people or places that remind them of the trauma, or avoid talking about their experience. Others attempt to manage their emotions by trying not to feel anything at all, which can lead to them becoming isolated and withdrawn. You might have given up pursuing activities you used to enjoy, which can contribute to depression.
Some sufferers have constant negative thoughts about their experiences. Maybe you wonder why the event happened to you, or ask yourself why you didn’t see it coming, or do more to stop it happening. These sorts of thought can prevent you from coming to terms with what happened, and can result in feelings of guilt or shame.
These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on a person's day-to-day life.
People who repeatedly experience traumatic situations, such as severe neglect, abuse or violence, may be diagnosed with complex PTSD. Complex PTSD can cause similar symptoms to PTSD and may not develop until years after the event. It's often more severe if the trauma was experienced early in life, as this can affect a child's development.
If you are suffering from symptoms of PTSD, call our therapist now to find out how Rewind Therapy can help you.