PTSD: Treatment–Part Three

In my last post, I discussed the potential effectiveness of the beta-blocker medication Propranolol. However, not all approaches to PTSD are medication-based.

One such approach is called Cognitive Processing Therapy, or CPT for short.

The following is a quote taken from the book Treatment of Complex Trauma by Christine A. Courtois and Julian D. Ford:

CPT…involves the client recalling and describing one or more specific trauma memories in writing…The client writes a narrative of traumatic events in as much detail as possible. The narrative becomes owned by the client as her or his ‘real life story,’ no longer an incident too terrifying to recall but a terrible or tragic story that is ‘in black and white’ and can be read about and narrated. It can then be closed like a chapter in a book that has been read and published.

This is only one facet of CPT, but a very powerful one. The act of writing contains immense healing potential when done diligently.

It must be approached gently and delicately, with reminders to self that healing is a gradual, step-by-step process.

Dr. Frank Lawlis, in The PTSD Breakthrough, writes:

Adjusting your mind to tragic circumstances is hard, and it takes time for things to get sorted out. To rush it is to create dangerous shortcuts. It is always better to allow for the healing process to occur naturally. For that reason, journaling can be very helpful.

Write as much, or as little, as you are comfortable with. But write something. Anything. Every day.

Slowly, bit by bit, open yourself to the act of healing expression. Let the words flow. If they are words of anger, rage, despair, sadness, or anything else, no matter–write them down anyway.

Initially, this may happen a lot, as your wounds surface and you grapple with them all over again.

Over time, however, you’ll find your words softening, becoming more gentle. The pain will subside. A slow unfolding of deep, meaningful inner peace will take place.

Words truly are that powerful.


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