Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder resulting from a highly stressful and frightening event. Approximately 1 in 3 people who suffer a traumatic event go on to experience PTSD. An individual suffering from PTSD will relive the traumatic event in the form of flashbacks and/or nightmares and may suffer from low mood, irritability and anxiety. During a traumatic event, interruptions can occur in the processing of the experience leading to memory lapses and incomplete processing. This is a very natural coping response and in itself is not indicative of the onset of PTSD. Over time the processing of the event can naturally occur without the need for therapy. For some people, however, this processing does not occur and they are left with intrusive and upsetting flashbacks and nightmares.

To understand PTSD, it is sometimes helpful to consider the metaphor of an overly packed cupboard which has been stuffed full of your belongings. At times the cupboard door is pushed open and items fall out, requiring you to jam them back in and force the door closed again. What is really required is for you to unpack the cupboard and reorganise the items, packing them neatly back so that the door can be closed and remain closed. In the same way, treatment of PTSD will involve using specific techniques to assist the processing of the material associated with the traumatic event, reorganising the memories, and where necessary helping to make sense of these, enabling the individual to move on without the continual intrusion of these thoughts and memories. The door can then be closed and opened only when the individual chooses to do so.

If you think that you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, it is advisable to see your GP as soon as possible. The Psychology Clinic will work with your GP or the referring Psychiatrist to ensure the treatment you receive is tailored and appropriate to your needs.

If you would like to arrange an appointment you can call the clinic on 01252 734 670 between 9.00am and 5.30pm Monday to Saturday. Alternatively, if you would like to speak to someone prior to booking an appointment, please call Irenie Phillips, Practice Secretary, on 07561 371 053 or e-mail Irenie on

After two sessions of EMDR therapy with Dr Collins I addressed a 43 year old trauma which I had not been able to manage before. I am now able to cope with the memory of the trauma and my feelings now feel balanced and very manageable.
Client suffering from depression resulting from a childhood trauma.