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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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In the decade following the Civil War, medical professionals found that their patients’ vital signs had changed after experiencing combat.  A patient’s pulse and blood pressure were different than before the war.  They coined this phenomenon “Soldier’s Heart.”  After WWI, a physiological (bodily) response was also recorded in veterans, giving rise to the term “shell shock.” 

In the years since, many names have been given to the mysterious affliction that we now call PTSD.  Fortunately, the field of psychology has greatly advanced during that time, and now offers better insight and more effective treatment options for those suffering from this disruption of both the heart and mind.

Today PTSD is recognized as a diagnosis based on either directly experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event.   Though the study of PTSD has historical roots in wartime events, the causes of PTSD can stem from any situation that poses a threat to a person’s well-being or life, such as:

        ·  Childhood neglect / abuse / sexual abuse

·  Violence / physical attack / sexual assault

·  Fire / natural disaster

·  Car accident / plane crash

·  Life threatening illness / injury

About 1/4 of the people exposed to these traumas will develop PTSD which will affect their jobs, relationships, physical health, mental health, and their ability to experience joy.

 

Course Overview

Understanding Symptoms

Learning the newest brain research in PTSD helps you to understand why the symptoms of PTSD become intense automatic responses.   In this course, you will discuss the 4 categories of symptoms, including:

· Intrusive memories (flashbacks, nightmares)

· Avoidance behaviors

· Negative changes in thinking and mood

· Changes in emotional reactions (arousal symptoms)

  

Treatment for PTSD

A review and demonstration of clinically proven treatments including cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, medication management, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) will help you understand the goals and principles of treatment.

 

Interventions with PTSD

Emotional flashbacks can happen quickly and be easily misinterpreted.  In this course you will practice effective techniques for addressing emotional flashbacks.  You will also discuss and practice alternative treatment approaches for PTSD, and how to incorporate them into your work setting or program.

 

This course will benefit:

· Anyone who works with people who have PTSD

· Anyone who loves someone who has PTSD

· Anyone who has PTSD



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