PTSD and Relationships
When you experience a trauma, you may develop symptoms of PTSD. Several of these symptoms can cause significant distress in a relationship. Regardless of the type of trauma, it is natural for this event to impact your relationship with others. There are several ways in which experiencing a trauma may impact your relationships. When you experience a trauma, you may feel hypervigilant. This means you may have a heightened sense of awareness around you to scan for a “threat”. However, often there is not a real threat, but due to the desire to stay safe and prevent future traumatic events, your brain may now perceive non-threatening situations as threatening. This may show up in a relationship as assuming your partner is angry about something based on their facial expressions or not wanting to go to a crowded place for fear of danger. This leads to arguments with your partner or disruptions to every day life. Anger is a common symptom of PTSD. Often, this anger gets directed at people you love and care about, resulting in conflict with your partner and in other relationships. Following a trauma, people often have difficulties feeling safe, making it difficult to confide in your partner. This can lead to you feeling alone and disconnected and leaves your partner feeling as though you don’t care about them or don’t want to talk to them. If you experienced a trauma, it is also common to feel shame, guilt, and worthlessness or feel like you are unlovable or “bad” in some way. This is painful. Connection within our relationships are healing. Through trauma therapy, either individually or as a couple, you can find healing from the trauma and reconnect with others.
Common focuses of trauma therapy for relationships
Trauma therapy for couples focuses on building safety so you can talk about your trauma to your partner(s) in a safe, loving environment. This promotes connection and healing.
Educating about Symptoms
You will be educated on symptoms of PTSD and how these symptoms impact your relationships. Your partner(s) will also learn how to identify symptoms of PTSD which can build more compassion for each other within the relationship.
Learning how to open up to your partner(s) can help you get to know each other better and reconnect. Connection is why we are here.
One goal of therapy for PTSD and relationships is to cultivate appreciation. This builds positivity and love within the relationship.
Therapy for PTSD and relationships can help you heal. The combination of trauma therapy and relationship counseling can be more helpful than trauma therapy alone, by adding a key ingredient of connection and support from your loved one(s).