The answer is "Maybe, Yes, and NO." If I had a nickel for every person that told me that counseling did not help to resolve their traumatic past and memories, I would be able to retire to the beach yesterday. I always ask the person why they decided to give me a try. The answer is almost universal, "You helped my brother, friend, cousin, neighbor, etc." It is not that I am any better than the other therapists around; it is because I do not believe that one size fits all.
Quite frankly, talking about a traumatic past sucks. It often times will retraumatize the person telling the story. What good does that do? Absolutely nothing. That it why I answered, "no" when addressing the title to this post. Most therapist think talk therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy(CBT) works for almost everything. This is what I call the one size fits all approach to therapy. As we have seen, this is not the approach to use.
The "maybe" answer comes from therapists who have experience with trauma, and have had some success treating it. This usually happens from therapists who are trained in different techniques besides CBT. They are what I call the eclectics. Generally, these therapists are fantastic in what they do. They assume their approaches can handle most anything. They use a wide net of counseling techniques to see what actually catches and works. Help normally comes with these therapists, but it may be slow because trauma is not their passion.
In our practice, we specialize in trauma. For myself, I live and breathe this type of work. I get the greatest joy in seeing someone smile for the first time in years. Little makes me happier than here someone who has a night's sleep free of nightmares. We use non-traditional techniques such as EMDR, hynpnosis, Visual Coding Displacement Therapy, and EFT to rapidly reduce symptoms. I have addressed these approaches in other posts. I know, it sounds like hocus pocus, but trust us, it works. Most of the therapists in our practice know how to use these techniques and you will be referred to a therapist that does. What we usually see is relief in one session, and full resolution in under five. Every situation is different, give us a call, and talk to us. We are not about wasting your time or money.
Chest hurts, heart starts racing, the sudden fear of imminent death, and the world around starts to close in. Sound familiar? Panic attacks are some of the scariest experiences a person can endure. Sometimes they only last for a few minutes, and others, last for hours. They seem to strike at any moment for whatever reason. They can debilitate a person to point of them never leaving their house, and when the thought of leaving happens, severe panic ensues.
Panic attacks leave the sufferer feeling absolutely helpless. Yet, I am here to declare that hope and healing is possible. With the right therapist, relief from panic attacks can come sooner than most people think. Below is a list of treatments that I have used with individuals to help rapidly resolve their panic.
1. Hypnosis - Clinical hypnosis works wonders for the rapid resolution of panic attacks. Contrary to urban myth, I can not make a person do anything without their consent. In other words, there is no barking like a dog or quacking like a duck. Anybody who wants to experience hypnosis will be able to be hypnotized. With hypnosis, the person enters a relaxed state where the subconscious mind becomes active. Once active, the mind is open to suggestions that allow the person to overcome the effects of panic attacks. What happens is that over time, the frequency and intensity is drastically reduced. For most scenarios, this is my go to method.
2. EMDR - This is a form of therapy that rapidly resolves traumatic experiences in patients. EMDR can be used to treat panic attacks as they are happening to help the brain become desensitized to the stressors that cause the sudden onset of attacks. For frequent panic attacks, this seems to work best.
3. Flooding - The concept of flooding is controversial. Many therapists like what it can do, but it taxes the emotional threshold of the patient. Flooding literally means what it says. The panic attack sufferer will place themselves in a situation that instantly causes an attack, and the more frequent a person is placed in that environment, the quicker the recovery. Imagine the brain is like a computer that is frozen. What flooding does is press the reset button, and fixes the error. I like the idea of flooding, but to convince the patient is another subject altogether.
4. Psychotropic Medications - I am not a big fan of psychiatric medications. I believe that they have their place in a person's treatment. Generally speaking, psychotropic medications work. They are, however, not permanent solution. The more permanent solution is actual therapy. Psychotropic medications in conjunction with therapy is also helpful.
Thoughts of rambling therapists.