Post-traumatic stress disorder

Some people who experience or witness a traumatic event go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

During a traumatic experience, a person might feel intense fear, helplessness, anxiety or horror. These are normal reactions but in people who develop PTSD, these feelings recur long after the original traumatic event has passed.

An experience that is traumatic for one person may be less traumatic for another. Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event develops PTSD; research suggests about 30% do. The condition can occur at any age. Some people are more likely to develop PTSD. For example, the condition is more common in women than in men.

Experiences that may lead to PTSD include: 

  • war
  • terrorism
  • natural disasters
  • abuse
  • complications of childbirth
  • serious road accidents
  • witnessing a death.

In some people PTSD develops immediately after the trauma, while in others the symptoms first appear several months, or even years, after the traumatic experience.

Common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder

People with PTSD typically experience:

  • recurring distressing memories
  • vivid flashbacks or images of the traumatic event
  • dreams and intrusive thoughts about the traumatic experience.
They may also describe:
  • avoiding anything that can trigger memories of the trauma
  • feeling emotionally numb
  • feeling detached from other people
  • difficulty expressing affection
  • pessimistic feelings about the future
  • problems sleeping 
  • poor focus on everyday tasks
  • feeling unsafe, even in places that felt safe before the traumatic event
  • increased general anxiety or hypervigilance
  • irritable or aggressive behaviour
  • problems trusting other people
  • depression.

Client Reviews

Treatment options for PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder can be effectively treated with talking therapy, sometimes accompanied by medication. It is important to work with a therapist experienced in trauma; many of our therapists have further training in this area. Some are also trained in EMDR (eye movement desensitisation reprocessing), a type of therapy that has been shown to be particularly effective in some cases of PTSD.

In trauma therapy, we are careful to go at your pace. Rushing the process can make things worse, so we never push you to talk about anything before you are ready. Discussions in therapy are confidential, between you and your therapist.

Although your memories of the traumatic event will never disappear completely, with therapy they become less persistent and troublesome. Difficult emotions and other symptoms you are experiencing will reduce, leaving you better able to lead your life as you want to.

We know it can be daunting to start therapy, but our warm and empathic counsellors will put you at ease. The initial consultation is an opportunity for you to find out more and decide if you want to continue with therapy. There’s no pressure. If the counsellor you meet for your initial consultation doesn’t feel like the right fit for you, they will be happy to refer you to a colleague. 

To take the next step towards overcoming your PTSD, contact us or book online.

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One Therapy London

Counselling, psychotherapy, couples counselling in London since 2006

Therapist Barbara Perini
Barbara Perini

Barbara is an accredited member of BACP, holding an MSc in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and adhering to the BACP ethical framework Her approach is open-ended, offering both short-term and long-term therapy Barbara has also trained in Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT), a short-term (16 sessions), semi-structured individual therapy developed for mood...

Oxford Circus

Yussef Ferguson

Yussef is a psychodynamic psychotherapist who offers both long and short term personal therapy to individuals He has experience of working with a diverse range of clients and can provide a warm, confidential space to explore and gain insight into any past or present personal difficulties and experiences Yussef works with issues such as anxiety, depression, loss,...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Mita Hiremath
Mita Hiremath

Mita has been involved in the field of counselling and psychotherapy for over 30 years and has a wealth of experience working in the voluntary sector, the NHS and private practice She is a qualified counsellor and psychotherapist Additionally, she holds an MSc in Psychotherapy and is a trained EMDR therapist She has also facilitated support groups in the voluntary...

Bloomsbury

Therapist Janis Dellner
Janis Dellner

Janis offers an empathic, non-judgmental and safe environment where her clients can explore the issues that are currently troubling them  Janis works collaboratively to explore and challenge thoughts, feelings and behaviours that are no longer serving her clients’ wellbeing, interests and relationships with themselves and others  She believes it is through the...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Silvi Naskinova
Silvi Naskinova

Silvi is a psychodynamic psychotherapist offering both long- and short-term therapy  She aims to provide a safe, supportive and non-judgmental space for her clients to explore whatever is on their minds Her work helps individuals understand how their experiences (both past and present) and any unconscious forces might be impacting their relationships and ways of coping...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Ben Marks
Ben Marks

Ben is an experienced psychotherapist who has helped many people through difficult times in their lives He works with clients with a wide range of personal issues around depression, anxiety, bereavement, trauma, abuse, loneliness, stresses within the workplace, low self esteem, relationship and sexual problems including performance anxiety, erectile dysfunction and...

Oxford Circus

Therapist Nicola Reeves
Nicola Reeves

Nicola is a psychodynamic psychotherapist and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) therapist Nicola believes in giving clients time and space to approach therapy in the way they need to approach it She finds this is the best way to develop a therapeutic relationship that allows feelings to be truly explored and evaluated As a psychodynamic...

Soho

Therapist Asma Gharbi
Asma Gharbi

Asma offers psychodynamic, humanistic and integrative therapies to individuals and couples She tailors her approach to meet the needs and preferences of her clients She offers short and long term therapy Asma provides a non-judgemental space for her clients, where they can feel safe to explore their feelings, make sense of their experiences and forge deep lasting...

Oxford Circus

Kensington

Therapist Shelly Klein
Shelley Klein

As a psychodynamic therapist Shelley brings a wealth of experience to her work and supports her patients to talk about those aspects of their lives they are finding painful, upsetting or difficult to deal with, in a confidential, non-judgmental and peaceful setting Shelley is particularly interested in working with those who are experiencing depression, bereavement, high...

Soho

Therapist Tom Deitch
Tom Deitch

Tom is a popular and approachable psychotherapist who has extensive experience working with people from a variety of social and cultural backgrounds He brings a wealth of life experience, training and understanding to his work, offering help with depression, trauma, anxiety, abuse, sexual problems, addiction, relationship difficulties and many of the other obstacles life...

Oxford Circus