Trauma, Abuse, and PTSD


Experiencing severe trauma or abuse can sometimes lead to mental health conditions such as adjustment disorders or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Psychotherapy can help alleviate symptoms stemming from trauma and abuse.

At A Purposeful Path, we strive to provide effective trauma treatment, where healing comes from establishing a safe space for our clients where they can relax their defenses, step forward to engage in therapy and walk the path of trauma resolution along with us.  Treatments include, but are not limited to: Eye Movement Desensitation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT).  

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Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event in which serious physical harm occurred or was threatened. PTSD is a lasting consequence of traumatic ordeals that cause intense fear, helplessness, or horror, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, an accident, war, or natural disaster. Families of victims can also develop PTSD, as can emergency personnel and rescue workers.

Most people who experience a traumatic event will have reactions that may include shock, anger, nervousness, fear, and even guilt. These reactions are common, and for most people, they go away over time. For a person with PTSD, however, these feelings continue and even increase, becoming so strong that they keep the person from living a normal life. People with PTSD have symptoms for longer than one month and cannot function as well as before the event occurred.

Adjustment disorder occurs when a person develops emotional or behavioral symptoms in response to a stressful event or situation. The stressors may include natural disasters, such as an earthquake or tornado; events or crises, such as a car accident or the diagnosis of a major illness; or interpersonal problems, such as a divorce, death of a loved one, loss of a job, or a problem with substance abuse. Adjustment disorder usually begins within three months of the event or situation and ends within six months after the event.

Psychological abuse, also referred to as emotional abuse, is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that may result in psychological trauma. Such abuse is often associated with situations of power imbalance, such as abusive relationships, bullying, and abuse in the workplace.

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior which involves the abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship such as marriage, cohabitation, dating or within the family. Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, battery), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation.

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If you or anyone in your family or a loved one has experienced any of these events and is having difficulty recovering, please contact us, we would be happy to talk with you.