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POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 109 POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD): ALL AGES Group therapy helps you build relationships with others who understand what you've been through. You learn to deal with emotions such as shame, guilt, anger, rage, and fear. Sharing with the group also can help you build self-confidence and trust. You'll learn to focus on your present life, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the past. Brief psychodynamic psychotherapy In this type of therapy, you learn ways of dealing with emotional conflicts caused by your trauma. This therapy helps you understand how your past affects the way you feel now. Your therapist can help you: • Identify what triggers your stressful memories and other symptoms. • Find ways to cope with intense feelings about the past. • Become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, so you can change your reactions to them. • Raise your self-esteem. Family therapy PTSD can impact your whole family. Your kids or your partner may not understand why you get angry sometimes, or why you're under so much stress. They may feel scared, guilty, or even angry about your condition. Family therapy is a type of counseling that involves your whole family. A therapist helps you and your family communicate, maintain good relationships, and cope with tough emotions. Your family can learn more about PTSD and how it is treated. In family therapy, each person can express his or her fears and concerns. It's important to be honest about your feelings and to listen to others. You can talk about your PTSD symptoms and what triggers them. You also can discuss the important parts of your treatment and recovery. By doing this, your family will be better prepared to help you. You may consider having individual therapy for your PTSD symptoms and family therapy to help you with your relationships. How long does treatment last? For some people, treatment for PTSD can last 3 to 6 months. If you have other mental health problems as well as PTSD, treatment for PTSD may last for 1 to 2 years or longer. What will we work on in therapy? When you begin therapy, you and your therapist should decide together what goals you hope to reach in therapy. Not every person with PTSD will have the same treatment goals. For instance, not all people with PTSD are focused on reducing their symptoms. Some people want to learn the best way to live with their symptoms and how to cope with other problems associated with PTSD. Perhaps you want to feel less guilt and sadness? Perhaps you would like to work on improving your relationships at work, or communication issues with your friends and family. Your therapist should help you decide which of these goals seems most important to you, and he or she should discuss with you which goals might take a long time to achieve. What can I expect from my therapist? Your therapist should give you a good explanation for the therapy. You should understand why your therapist is choosing a specific treatment for you, how long they expect the therapy to last, and how they see if it is working. ►

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