I recently received some feedback on training materials I put together, about how PTSD develops after a combat trauma. I had mentioned that classical conditioning explains how stimuli that occur in close proximity can become associated, resulting in conditioned responses. Of course, I mentioned Pavlov, because, dogs! Right? I might also have mentioned that our family dog salivates and does a little happy dance right on cue every morning when I grind the coffee, just before I walk over and scoop her food into the dish.
Blog posts with the tag "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder"
I like to be helpful. It’s one of the reasons I became a psychologist. You could say it’s my mission. Sometimes I get a phone call or an email from a distant relation, a friend, an acquaintance, or even a resourceful stranger who found my name on a website or blog. These people often have questions about psychotherapy.
Depledge & Bird (2009) described the “blue gym” as an approach to promote well-being through being active in water environments such as surfing, kayaking, swimming, or walking along the beach. Being active can be stimulated by being near natural water. Stronger communities, stress reduction, and increased physical activity are three benefits from regular contact with natural environments. The blue gym helps us to connect to each other and the value of nature and our aquatic environments. There are some recent reports looking at the positive impact of surfing on PTSD symptoms for Veterans.
If a client proclaimed during a session that drugs with abuse potential are beneficial in managing PTSD symptoms, most therapists would identify this as cause for concern. When drugs with abuse potential are used in response to PTSD symptoms, they generally maintain or exacerbate the condition. For example, the classic client with alcohol use disorder and PTSD drinks to avoid trauma-related thoughts and reduce heightened arousal symptoms (e.g., hypervigilance).
There is a growing body of evidence that examines and attempts to address the challenges of working with a group of individuals presenting with a combination of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Suicidal/Non-Suicidal Self-directed Injury (NSSDI), and PTSD. These symptoms combine to create a cycle that is difficult to break. At a fundamental level, the individual struggles to manage their emotions effectively and can often be impulsive. Impulsive behavior is a reaction to overwhelming emotional experiences and the overwhelming emotion often elicits suicidal/NSSDI behaviors.