Can PTSD Group Therapy Help Me?
Updated May 23, 2019
Reviewer Lauren Guilbeault
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a very real issue which countless individuals struggle with. In virtually all cases, PTSD is brought about as a result of traumatic events, experiences or encounters. According to the American Psychiatric Association, nobody is exempt from experiencing PTSD if they are exposed to the events which can trigger it.
The symptoms and behaviors associated with (PTSD) are very distressing indeed. Nightmares, anger, sadness, depression and a lack of desire to be around other people are real side effects associated with PTSD. This issue also manifests in the form of avoiding people, places, or things which remind them of the upsetting event which transpired. Despite this avoidance, individuals who have PTSD may still have severe flashbacks which make them feel as though they are reliving the experience which traumatized them.
One who has PTSD should seek professional help, such as group therapy. Contrary to what some people believe, there is absolutely nothing wrong with professional therapy, and in the case of someone who is dealing with PTSD, it can be a life-saving thing. At the very least, PTSD group therapy can help suffering individuals regain control of their lives and rise above the traumatic event which happened to them.
The Benefits Of PTSD Group Therapy
It's easy to say that someone should attend PTSD group therapy. However, when someone knows how seeking professional help can be of assistance to them, they are much likelier to participate in the process if they are fully aware of the upsides and benefits.
Support From Others
Having support from other individuals who may be struggling with PTSD is one of the greatest upsides of PTSD group therapy. Estrangement and isolation are not healthy for people who do not have PTSD which makes them even more insidious for individuals who are struggling. Togetherness, community and having a strong support system is imperative for those who are working to overcome PTSD.
Countless studies have affirmed that having a support system helps anyone who is struggling. This is true regardless of whether or not an individual is dealing with PTSD. Forming healthy relationships and connections is always good and ensures that a struggling person does not feel alone and without anyone to turn to. Many individuals have tragically lost their lives as a result of their affliction with PTSD. If you are going through a rough time or battling this yourself, then support from others is one of many ways that PTSD group therapy can change your life.
Finding Your Voice
When someone has undergone a traumatic event which later generates PTSD, it can be difficult to discuss what happened. This may be hard for many people to understand, but just talking about certain trauma can bring back flashbacks, none of which are very pleasant. However, the right support system plus the guidance of the therapist heading the group has proven to be very helpful in terms of encouraging people to talk about the trauma in a manner which they are comfortable with.
Only by talking about something can you heal from it. Sometimes, this is easier said than done. Many individuals attempt to suppress trauma or other issues which they may be dealing with. For someone who is battling PTSD, this can be especially dangerous, because trauma left unaddressed will only fester and get worse and worse. It's important for you to find your voice and connect with others so that you may grow and rise above.
Believe it or not, listening is a major benefit of PTSD group therapy. This is an upside which is not as frequently addressed, but it certainly makes a difference. When someone first begins group therapy, they may not be ready to open up immediately, and that's OK. This is where having other members of the group is valuable and makes a difference.
Listening to other participants of the PTSD group therapy can have such an amazing impact. When you listen to others, you learn. This opens the door for learning about how others have managed to cope, which stressors to avoid and other positive factors. Listening in this form of group therapy can be a stepping stone to a participant speaking up and potentially helping, informing and uplifting others in the group.
Developing Social Skills
When participating in group therapy of any nature, there is an always degree of socialization which takes place. This is very healthy and beneficial for individuals who have recently undergone traumatic events or experiences. During the very beginning stages of the healing process, pulling away from others may occur. To a certain extent, this is normal and understandable. However, when taken to extremes or when it lasts for too long, it can be dangerous. Human beings were not meant to be alone and isolated from others.
Participation in PTSD group therapy allowed individuals who were previously traumatized to open up to others and come out of their shell. This may happen over weeks and months, but the combined benefits of working with a professional, having the support from other members of the group, finding your voice and listening to those who have had similar experiences make a significant difference over some time. One of the most important things to remember is that each person heals and rehabilitates in their own time, but the benefits of PTSD group therapy can truly help expedite this process.
Important Things To Remember
The benefits of PTSD group therapy are well-documented across the board. However, despite these upsides, there are still certain things to keep in mind, particularly if you are someone who may be dealing with PTSD.
Progress Takes Time
Despite the abundance of ways in which PTSD group therapy can help you, it's important to understand that it may take time for these benefits to manifest. In most cases, progress is the result of ongoing, habitual acts. If you don't see the benefits in the first few sessions, that's ok. The important thing to remember is that if you stick the course, keep attending sessions and participating in therapy to the best of your ability; you will eventually see the payoff.
You Are More Than What Happened To You
Even when you are participating in PTSD group therapy, knowing that you are more than what happened to you can be easy to lose sight of. PTSD is a very real issue and it can all-consuming for so many people. The symptoms are no joke, and this is why PTSD group therapy, support from others, and feeling as though you are part of something bigger than yourself makes such a huge difference.
You Will Bounce Back From This
When you're dealing with PTSD each day, it may feel as though there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but there is! As hard as it may be to imagine, if you keep working hard, keep pushing and keep fighting, you will make it through. You will rise above and overcome this. The key is to continue taking steps to heal, better yourself, and improve each day.
You will bounce back from this. The fact that you even thinking about taking PTSD group therapy is great. That is a sign that you feel motivated to get better and heal from what happened. The will to improve coupled with the proper actions will lead to bouncing back even if it takes some time. This does not mean that there will never be struggles, setbacks or hard times; however, you will be strong enough to weather the storm, power through these things and overcome.
Pursuing Other Types Of Therapy
The upsides of PTSD group therapy are there. However, group therapy is not your only option. If you would prefer to work one-on-one with a therapist, that's also an option. At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong approach. It's all about what you feel most comfortable with and what you think will be best for you. For some people, PTSD group therapy is most beneficial. Other individuals find that directly working with a therapist provides the help they need.
We live in a crazy and uncertain world. There are all kinds of things which can and do happen. While we are not fully in control of what happens, we can control how we act to it and what our choices are.
Whether you have PTSD or not, professional guidance and therapy will always be available to those who are willing to ask for it. If you are interested in sitting down with a therapist even just to have a conversation, then you will be thrilled with BetterHelp.
We proudly have an elite team of amazing therapists who would be thrilled to work with you regardless of who you are and what your story is. You can get started with BetterHelp at any time from anywhere simply by clicking here.