If someone you love has recently been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the most important step you can take is to offer your support. If they’re seeking professional PTSD counseling, they should surround themselves with people who are sensitive and understanding of this diagnosis. If you’re unsure how you can help, these essential tips will guide you in the right direction.
How Can I Support Someone With PTSD?
1. Be Patient
Your role should be to provide trust and dependability, so your spouse, family member, or friend knows they have someone in their corner. This is not always easy when your loved one is experiencing fear, anger, or self-deprecating behavior. It’s crucial to be patient during these times. If your loved one has outbursts, comfort them and let them know you’re available to help them.
2. Provide a Safe Place
PTSD takes an emotional and physical toll on your loved one's daily life. One of the best ways you can be there for them is by offering a place they can turn to for comfort and stability. You can help them build stable routines that minimize unexpected sights and sounds that might trigger a panic attack, flashbacks, or nightmares. If you live with the individual, create a space within your home that allows them to relax, such as dedicating a room just for them, installing benches in the backyard, or allowing them to practice a relaxation technique, such as yoga.
3. Encourage PTSD Counseling
Asking for help is important for someone struggling with PTSD. Not only do they need support from loved ones, but they also require psychological treatment and, sometimes, medication. If they’re resistant to the idea of PTSD counseling, talk to them about its benefits. Cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, helps individuals address what is causing symptoms and making sense of bad memories in order to develop a realistic perspective of what happened. The treatment also helps patients deal with underlying emotions of guilt or shame, and teaches coping skills for dealing with stress and anxiety.
If you or a loved one needs PTSD counseling, contact the professionals at White Spruce Counseling in Rochester, NY. For over 25 years, their experienced staff has provided mental health counseling, anger management, and drug and alcohol addiction. Call (585) 424-2436 to schedule an appointment and visit their website to learn more about their counseling specialties.