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Get Expert Help For Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

How do treat trauma and PTSD at Anapsys?

Dr. Sylvia Buet, Psychologist specialised in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

More than 20 years Treating PTSD Successfully

I am Dr. Sylvia Buet, and for the past 20 years, I've specialised in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Almost 50% of people in the general population experience a traumatic event in the course of their lives. Some show no pathological reaction, some display acute and transient symptoms, but only a small proportion develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The general prevalence is 8% (NAT'L Comorbidity Survey USA). Of that group, women are more likely than men to suffer from PTSD 5% men vs. 10% women (Davidson et al., 1991; Kessler et al., 1994, 1995).

I am specialised in treating post-traumatic stress disorder in all its forms and levels of severity. I work with victims of sexual and physical abuse, veterans, and those who have suffered other types of trauma. I was the co-founder of the International Trauma Institute in 2006 and have trained mental health professionals in trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder all over the world and at international conferences. I am up to date with the most effective treatments for PTSD and have extensive experience in dealing with complex cases.

What is Stress Post-Traumatic Disorder (PTSD)?

What is Stress Post-Traumatic Disorder (PTSD)?

Post-traumatic stress is an anxiety disorder that occurs as a result of either being involved in or being witness to a major traumatic event. It is a common but often misunderstood condition.

The essential element of PTSD is that a person either experienced or observed an event, which involved actual or threatened death or serious injury to self or someone else. Any number of traumatic events can cause PTSD, including serious accidents, childhood sexual abuse, natural disasters, violent attacks (e.g., mugging, rape, physical abuse, terrorist attacks, or being held captive). Post-traumatic stress disorder can also arise if you witness any of these events or learn about someone you care for experiencing them.

PTSD co-exists typically with other disorders such as depression, panic disorder, social anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (e.g., checking for safety, excessive washing resulting from mental pollution after sexual abuse, etc.), generalised anxiety disorder, and personality disorders (e.g., borderline, paranoid). It is important to choose a qualified and experienced CBT therapist, specialised in PTSD in order to maximise the rate of success.

Diagnosis and Treatment of PTSD

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

In order to be diagnosed with PTSD, you need to present a number of symptoms in three domains:


The traumatic event is PERSISTENTLY re-experienced in ONE (or more) of the following ways:

- Frequently having upsetting thoughts, images or memories about a traumatic event

- Having recurrent distressing nightmares

- Acting or feeling as though the traumatic event were happening again (e.g., flashbacks). Sometimes these are about future events that never happened (e.g., baby after abortion). Flashbacks appear out of the failure to contextualise emotional memories temporally, affectively, and somatically.

- Intense psychological and emotional reactions to internal or external cues of the traumatic event

- Physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues of the traumatic event (e.g., panic attacks, sweating, hot flushes).

It is possible to have strong feelings of distress and be physiologically responsive without recollection (e.g., people with PTSD amnesia).


Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness as indicated by at least THREE (or more) of the following:

1 - Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or/and conversations associated with the trauma

2 – Efforts to avoid activities, places, or/and people that arouse recollections of the trauma

3 - Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma (e.g., How perpetrator ended up in her house)

4- Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities

5 – Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others

6 – Restricted range of affect (e.g., Numbing)

7 – Sense of a foreshortened future


Persistent symptoms of increased arousal as indicated by at least TWO of the following:

1 - Difficulty falling or staying asleep

2 – Irritability or outbursts of anger

3 – Difficulty concentrating

4 - Hyper-vigilance

5 – Exaggerated startle response

PTSD is present when these symptoms last more than one month and are combined with a loss of function in areas such as job or social relationships (APA 1994).

If you are experiencing a combination of the above-mentioned symptoms, you may be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

If you have experienced symptoms for some time now, it is advisable to seek CBT therapy as soon as possible as the course of PTSD tends to become chronic in 40% to 60% of all cases if the symptoms persist for more than 6 months.

Adapted from: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR, 2000)

How can PTSD be treated?

How can PTSD be treated?

Cognitive behavioural therapy online or face-to-face is one of the most effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder. However, there is not just one type of CBT intervention available for PTSD. Some of the trauma-based CBT treatments that I use in my practice are as follows (read more about these treatments for PTSD by following the links):

- Prolonged Exposure

- Cognitive Therapy for PTSD (Ehlers and Clark's model)

- Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

- Imagery Rescripting and Reprocessing Therapy (IRRT)

I am an experienced CBT psychotherapist, and I've developed advanced therapeutic skills in each of these methods to treat PTSD. I use each one depending on the trauma characteristics and needs of the person. Only after a thorough assessment, treatment options are explored.


Treatment for PTSD typically begins with a detailed evaluation and development of a treatment plan that meets the unique needs of the person. Generally, PTSD-specific-treatment starts only when the individual currently exposed to trauma (such as by ongoing domestic or community violence, abuse or homelessness), severely depressed or suicidal, experiencing extreme panic or disorganised thinking, or in need of drug or alcohol detoxification, is stabilised enough. Addressing these crisis problems becomes part of the first treatment phase.

Prolonged exposure (PE) therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder is a cognitive behavioural treatment program for adult men and women (ages 18-65+) who have experienced single or multiple/continuous traumas and have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The program consists of a course of individual therapy designed to help clients process traumatic events and reduce their PTSD symptoms as well as depression, anger, and general anxiety. PE has three components: (1) psychoeducation about common reactions to trauma and the cause of chronic post-trauma difficulties, (2) imaginal exposure (also called revisiting the trauma memory in imagination), repeated recounting of the traumatic memory, and (3) in vivo exposure, gradually approaching trauma reminders (e.g., situations, objects) that are feared and avoided despite being safe.

The objective of this therapeutic method is to allow the person suffering from PTSD to re-experience the event in a safe, controlled environment, while also carefully examining their reactions and beliefs in relation to that event. It is also part of the treatment to learn to cope with post-traumatic memories or flashbacks, reminders, managing anger, guilt, disgust, and shame feelings without becoming overwhelmed or emotionally numb as well as addressing urges to use alcohol or drugs when they occur and communicating effectively with people (socials skills and assertiveness training).

2 - EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy)

EMDR is a relatively new treatment of traumatic memories that involves elements of exposure therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy combined with techniques (eye movements, hand taps, sounds), which create an alteration of attention back and forth across the person's midline. This technique is very effective, and results can be obtained in a short period of time without the need for homework. It can, however, be uncomfortable at times.

We, myself and John, are both Level II qualified EMDR practitioners, although I treat more complex cases.