01-10-2016 12:22 PM - edited 01-10-2016 12:26 PM
Hi Bridget, I am really sorry to hear of your trauma, and I thank you for taking the time to respond to my post.
In answer to your question:
Exposure therapy is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy technique that is often used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Usually it is used in conjunction with other CBT therapy.
It is a safe and proven technique when used by an experienced, licensed therapist who specializes in these kinds of conditions and treatments.
It has been shown to help a person overcome the anxiety and fear associated with PTSD and the associated traumatic memories.
Exposure therapy is intended to help the patient face and gain control of the fear and distress that was overwhelming during the actual trauma. But it must be done very carefully so as not to re-traumatize the patient.
There are several ways it can be approached, but usually the therapist works gradually up to the most severe trauma by using relaxation techniques and starting with less upsetting life stressors or by taking the trauma one piece at a time.
This is called desensitizing, which is the basis of what Exposure Therapy is all about.
You need to work closely with your therapist and are not forced to engage in treatment you feel uncertain about, or are too afraid of. You need to work up to the hardest bits. And it can take a lot of time and patience by both the patient and the therapist.
Exposing someone to their fears or prior traumas without the client first learning the accompanying coping techniques — such as relaxation, mindfulness, or imagery exercises — can result in a person simply being re-traumatized by the event or fear.
Therefore exposure therapy is typically conducted within a psychotherapeutic relationship with a therapist trained and experienced with the technique and the related coping exercises.
When looking to engage in exposure therapy look for a psychotherapist with experience or a specialty in this kind of psychotherapy.
Because of the potential for harm with this therapy it is not recommended to use an inexperienced therapist.
But when used properly and professionally, exposure therapy is a safe and effective psychotherapeutic technique.
I hope this explains the procedure to you Bridget. Are you considering seeking this type of therapy yourself? Has it been recommended to you?
Also I am really sorry to hear that you are not feeling well right now. I sincerely hope you are feeling better soon. I look forward to hearing from you again.
01-10-2016 12:30 PM - edited 01-10-2016 12:31 PM
Hey @Sherry, welcome to the forum. I see @Zahlia tagged me here as I too live with complex Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome due to sexual abuse and adult rape.
I am so glad you can now write about it - the silencing of ourselves (and the silencing by others who reject our lived experience or blame us for being the ones who speak of it) is something I lived with for a very long time.
Flashbacks, nightmares, triggering, feeling contantly anxious and unsafe take their toll on us. I too live with a chrnic pain syndrome - following a back injury. I sometimes think my crumbling spine is a life metaphor.
I hope you continue to wade through the river and find reeds to clutch to if the torrent becomes too much.
<3 I am in a very struggley place a the moment so will leave it at that.
ALL strength courage to you, to all of us as we live the best we can.
01-10-2016 01:31 PM
01-10-2016 01:36 PM
01-10-2016 04:44 PM
Just wanted to pop in and say hi.
I'm not really in the place to talk about it much at the moment, but I relate to some of what you have been through. I've never been formally diagnosed with PTSD, but I've done EMDR and some other therapy which helped a lot.
Lovely to meet you and I hope things go better for you soon, and I'll pop back and chat more when I'm up to it in the future. :-)
01-10-2016 06:00 PM
01-10-2016 06:02 PM
01-10-2016 06:05 PM
01-10-2016 06:20 PM
01-10-2016 06:21 PM
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