When it comes to trauma therapy, the duration of treatment can vary from one individual to another. Generally, conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) take 15 to 20 sessions for 50% of patients to feel an improvement. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been found to be effective after 10 to 20 sessions. The type and duration of treatment must be adapted to the nature and severity of the difficulties faced by the person.
Acute difficulties usually require fewer sessions than chronic conditions. In addition, the duration of treatment also depends on the type of therapy administered; cognitive-behavioral treatments, which focus on a specific problem, are usually shorter than psychotherapies with a broader focus. I am a trained counselor and psychotherapist with 7 years of experience at the Psychotherapeutic Counseling and Education Centre in Paddington, London. I specialize in the treatment of PTSD, trauma, trauma-associated tinnitus, and associated conditions of anxiety, depression and addiction.
If the person affected by the trauma quickly feels overwhelmed and emotionally flooded when talking about their traumatic memories, they must regain safety and stability before continuing with the story. This phase involves exploring and mourning the losses associated with trauma and providing a space to mourn and express emotions. The successful resolution of the effects of trauma is a powerful testimony to the resilience of the human spirit. In some cases, people who have experienced trauma find a mission through which they can continue to heal and grow, such as talking to young people or mentoring peers.
There is intense debate in the field of traumatic stress about whether traumatic memories need to be reviewed for healing or if, in fact, it can even be harmful. Taking care of safety allows the person affected by trauma to go through this phase in a way that integrates the history of the trauma instead of reacting to it in a fight, flight or freeze response. In this third stage of recovery, the person affected by trauma recognizes the impact of victimization, but is now ready to take concrete steps toward empowerment and a self-determined life. This means that we use more than one approach to help someone who has experienced traumatic difficulties or symptoms of PTSD.
Some people start to experience the benefits of trauma therapy after a couple of sessions, while others take longer. Recovery is not defined by the total absence of thoughts or feelings about the traumatic experience, but rather by being able to live with it in a way that you are not in control of your life.