Healing for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Alexandria, VA (Franconia)—Therapists and Counselors

Healing for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Alexandria, VA (Franconia)—Therapists and Counselors

Sebastian was home from his military tour, and he was safe. He was riding the subway home from a friend’s house, and he loved being back in New York City. As the subway car filled up, Sebastian’s heart rate instinctively quickened. He began to sweat, and when his back was pushed up against a wall, he panicked. At the next stop, Sebastian ran out of the subway car and the rest of the way home. Over the next few months, Sebastian would panic whenever he was in crowded spaces. Even though he was home, the combat he saw overseas lingered in his mind and body. Sebastian Junger told his story to Vanity Fair because he wanted other people to recognize the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and find treatment—just like he did. PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder that can affect people who have lived through any kind of traumatic experience. Often, when people who have PTSD get the treatment they need, they are often able to heal and manage their symptoms.

“Trauma is hell on earth. Trauma resolved is a gift from the gods.”
― Peter A. Levine

PTSD can develop immediately after a trauma, or it can take months or years to show itself. Whenever those symptoms occur, it is important to seek help because help is available. There are a number of effective treatments for PTSD, and often, experienced mental health professionals can help people find the treatment that meets their needs.

The therapists and psychologists at Thriveworks Alexandria, VA (Franconia) have helped many people who are battling PTSD. They have survived a traumatic event. They want to move on with their lives, and our therapists have helped them do just that.

How PTSD Can Develop

Not everyone who lives through a trauma will experience PTSD. Some people experience the illness while others will not. Several factors increase the risk of PTSD developing, including…

  • Living through an on-going or acute trauma.
  • An individual’s brain—how it regulates and releases stress hormones that allow them to react to danger.
  • Family history: mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, genetics, et cetera.
  • The trauma itself: its kind and intensity and duration.
  • Other traumas experienced—particularly child abuse.
  • Working a job that increases the chances that an individual will be exposed to trauma: first responders, ER doctors, military personnel, et cetera.
  • Substance abuse or addiction.
  • An anemic social-emotional support system—especially a lack of family or friends.

Many people associate PTSD with military veterans, but any kind of traumatic event can trigger PTSD. There is no limit to the types of events that can be traumatic, but a few include physical assault, being bullied, child abuse (emotional, physical, or sexual), living through an accident (fire, car wreck, and more), combat exposure, receiving a threat, sexual violence, being diagnosed with a terminal illness.

What Is PTSD? Its Signs and Symptoms

“Very minor threats can be experienced, by what the signals in your body tell you, as, ‘You’re in acute danger’”
—Sandra Bloom, former president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

PTSD has four types of symptoms:

Re-living the Trauma
PTSD can cause people to re-experience the event. At any moment, during any occasion, feelings can arise, images can flood, and adrenaline can pump. For example, PTSD often causes people to…

  1. Have nightmares and terrors that make them feel as if they are in the event.
  2. Experience intrusive memories and flashbacks during the day that feel real.
  3. Be triggered by certain sounds, sights, and/or smells that are associated with the traumatic event.

Situational Avoidance
When people have PTSD, they may organize their lives so that anything and everything remotely associated with the trauma is avoided. When people do so, they often miss out on safe, beneficial events in life as well. For example, PTSD may lead people to…

  1. Stay away from any kind of a crowd.
  2. Never ride in a car or other kind of vehicle (particularly if the trauma involved that form of transportation).
  3. Keep away from the news, TV shows, movies, and more.
  4. Avoid any situation where they might feel trapped.

Detrimental Impact to Beliefs and Feelings
A traumatic event can change people’s feelings and beliefs—how they view the event, the world, and themselves. It is not unusual for PTSD to lead people to believe that…

  1. Everybody is untrustworthy, and no relationships are healthy.
  2. The event should not be spoken about or remembered.
  3. The world is never safe but always a harmful place.

Hyperarousal
One traumatic event can engage an individual’s self-defense system so that they are always alert. They may notice every possible harm that may or may not lurk behind every corner. Often, hyperarousal comes across as being nervous, angry, or irritable after the trauma. For example, people with PTSD may…

  1. Have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  2. Be unable to concentrate.
  3. Startle or scare easily at surprises or loud noises.
  4. Frequently feel confined or trapped—always looking for an escape route.

Appointments with PTSD Psychologists at Thriveworks Alexandria, VA (Franconia)

If you recognized any of the symptoms of PTSD, it may be time to seek help. Thriveworks Alexandria can offer you that help—we have providers who specialize in treating PTSD, and are certified in cognitive processing therapy (CPT) for PTSD as well as prolonged exposure therapy (PE) for PTSD. And they’re eager to offer you their assistance.

When you contact our office, your first appointment may be within 24 hours. We also accept many different forms of insurance. Let’s work together for healing and safety. Call us today at (703) 828-9054 to schedule a session.

Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

People Love Our Providers!

Overall Rating: 5★★★★★ based on 17 5 1 17 reviews. See all reviews
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Great Experience

★★★★★
My daughter's dad and I had a few sessions with Dee Jacobi-Edwards and she was great. She was very neutral and honest with both of us when it came to our disagreements and downfalls. She was also extremely patient with us throughout our sessions. I would absolutely recommend Dee.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

A truly dedicated professional

★★★★★
I have been battling anxiety and depression for years, and Mary Alice Fields has helped me finally find some relief. She is dedicated to helping her clients live their best possible life, and she has helped me gain some peace in my life. I know she has help countless others, and I would highly recommend her to anyone who suffers from depression or anxiety issues.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Excellent Experience

★★★★★
Mary Alice was excellent to work with. I highly recommend!
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Mary Alice Fields

★★★★★
Excellent and convenient help when you need it.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Great place

★★★★★
Not only does Mary Alice perform her duties in an exemplary manner following all protocols, she does so with empathy and caring.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

MaryAlice Fields

★★★★★
MaryAlice is a talented counselor who helped me tremendously.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

patient parent

★★★★★
Lolita is a very thoughtful therapist. She also has a good understanding of children as she worked with my son at the ages of 15 & 16. She was an advocate for him, and she was eager to work with him in goal-setting, which my husband and I appreciate very much. We may continue to seek our her assistance in the future should our needs change. Thank you for all of your help.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Can’t thank you enough

★★★★★
I was skeptical at first to open up to a complete stranger and express my problems and thoughts but Gelila made me feel completely comfortable within the first couple of sessions. She is very kind, a good listener, and extremely helpful. I have been talking to her for a couple of months and I feel instantly relieved of stress after our sessions. I can’t thank her enough for helping me out through tough times.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Rebecca Fry is amazing

★★★★★
Rebecca has been my therapist for almost a decade and I can not recommend her enough. She is thoughtful and caring, while also great at challenging and giving direct recommendations on how to deal with issues. She even stayed with me after I moved out of the area and worked to figure out a remote option. She has worked with me through many issues and remained a valuable resource I can rely on.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Rebecca is incredible!

★★★★★
I can't speak highly enough of Rebecca Fry - she is compassionate, patient, attentive, and encouraging. She is celebratory of growth and honest in her feedback without ever being critical or judgmental. For someone who was fearful of entering therapy, she embraced me with warmth and understanding. She has helped me tremendously by equipping me with practical coping mechanisms that are manageable and realistic but challenge unhealthy habits when necessary. On top of her professionalism - Rebecca is so easy to relate to and never makes me feel like I have anything to be ashamed of. She cares deeply for her patients and wants to help them lead healthier lives. She is an absolute treasure and I can't recommend her highly enough!!
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Highly Recommend Kayla Barnoski

★★★★★
I would highly recommend Kayla Barnoski as a therapist. She is caring and knowledgeable. She listens and works with you to find a solution that works for your individual situation. She has experience with many age groups and is a hard worker. You will not be disappointed.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Only one session so far, but it’s going well.

★★★★★
Only one session so far, but it’s going well.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

I love Lisa Cornelius!

★★★★★
I love my sessions with Lisa Cornelius! She helps me to work through issues and is just a fantastic listener!
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Lisa is great!

★★★★★
Lisa is great! Easy to relate to and very helpful. I appreciate her flexibility as well.
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Loving my therapist!

★★★★★
Loving my therapist!
Thriveworks Counseling Alexandria

Great Counselor – Lisa Cornelius

★★★★★
I'm so glad I found Lisa. She's an awesome therapist, and I really enjoy my visits with her!
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So far so good!!!!

★★★★★
So far so good!!!!
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Thriveworks Counseling

Schedule your first appointment with a Thriveworks Counselor or Life Coach!

  • 6076 Franconia Rd Suite D,
    Alexandria, VA 22310

  • Mon-Fri:7AM-12AM
    Saturday:7AM-6PM
    Sunday:8AM-5PM

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