Coral Springs

 

1725 N. University Drive

Suite 350

Coral Springs, FL 33071

Telephone: (954) 227-2700

Fax: (954) 227-2704

Linda Berlin, Psy.D.

&

Psychological Associates

Boca Raton

 

7000 W. Palmetto Park Road

Suite 407

Boca Raton, FL 33433

Telephone: (561) 347-0997

Fax: (561) 347-0996

 

Prevalance of Post-traumatic stress disorder: 5.2 million adult Americans; 3.6% adults; and about 30% of war veterans.

Prevalance Rate: approx 1 in 52 or 1.91% or 5.2 million people in USA

Incidence (annual) of Post-traumatic stress disorder: 3.6% adults annually.

Incidence Rate: approx 1 in 27 or 3.60% or 9.8 million people in USA.

Incidence of Post-traumatic stress disorder: About 3.6 percent of U.S. adults ages 18 to 54 (5.2 million people) have PTSD during the course of a given year.

SOURCE: NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH (NIMH)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MANAGING MEMORIES:

Coping With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

By: Kim Elkin, LMHC

There are many challenges in working with patients who present with PTSD and/or have a history of sexual trauma.  The road to recovery from trauma can be a very long and difficult road to travel.   The aim  of psychotherapy with these patients often is inconsistent with the usual goal of counseling which often is to help the patient to “open up.”  In working with abuse survivors, it is imperative that we ensure that a client can turn traumatic memories off at will.  This is often a prerequisite to the beginning of any other trauma work.  A patient must feel in control to manage traumatic material before “opening up.”  

Many of these patients present with visual flashbacks, auditory flashbacks, olfactory flashbacks and/or body memories/sensations.  Educating the patient on how to “apply the brakes” or in essence halt and manage these symptoms is key to successful treatment and recovery.  It is vital to establish an environment of safety in order to prevent retraumatization.  In doing survivor work one must move cautiously and feel confident that the patient has learned to contain at will the flow of their trauma memories.  This allows the patient to develop the courage to face the difficult material of their past.  Once they feel assured that they can stop the flow of distress at any time, they can dare to go deeper.  Developing “trauma brakes” makes it possible for patients to have control over their traumatic memories, rather than feeling controlled by them.

Safety and containment are the primary goals here.  Helping the patient develop the tools needed to “apply the brakes” is the first step to true recovery.  A trauma survivor’s fundamental need is to feel safe from danger.  Applying the brakes in therapy helps to keep arousal low and makes the goal of achieving safety in therapy attainable.

 

Kim Elkin is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and has over 15 years experience treating post traumatic stress disorder. If you would like to learn more about Ms. Elkin click here or she can be reached at (954) 227-2700.

 

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