Reconsolidation therapy is an effective treatment that has shown promise in helping people living with mental health disorders. Although some mental health professionals shy away from reconsolidation therapy as a treatment option, it has been particularly helpful in treating patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. Let’s discuss the treatment and how it can benefit patients living with PTSD.
What You Need to Know About Reconsolidation Therapy Before Seeking Treatment
Before starting any therapy, educating yourself well enough to know the basic facts is always a good idea. As a leader in reconsolidation therapy for PTSD patients, we’re here to provide important information about the therapy and how it is used to treat symptoms effectively. Let’s cover some common questions patients have before starting reconsolidation therapy.
What is Reconsolidation Therapy for PTSD?
Reconsolidation therapy is a form of psychotherapy used to treat people with PTSD and other mental health disorders caused by traumatic events. It does not involve prescription drugs or other medication. Instead, it uses cognitive behavioral techniques to help individuals cope with their symptoms.
This type of treatment aims to reduce feelings of fear and anxiety related to specific traumatic experiences. Alleviating these symptoms helps patients live a more fulfilling life and heal from past traumas that leave them with recurring symptoms.
How Does the Therapy Work?
Patients undergo cognitive behavioral therapy to reevaluate their traumas and disrupt or change harmful thought patterns. Reconsolidation therapy uses a specific type of memory reconsolidation to help the patient’s brain effectively process the trigger that causes PTSD symptoms. The goal is to reduce the intensity of these triggers using exposure therapy to help relieve painful flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts.
During reconsolidation therapy treatment, mental health professionals expose the patient’s mind to stimuli associated with their traumatic events. This exposure is done through visual imagery, sounds, smells, tastes, and touch sensations. For example, if feeling cold water on your skin triggers memories of rough weather conditions during military service, you will be repeatedly exposed to the sensation.
Exposure is done through several sessions, gradually increasing intensity until the sensations become unbearable enough that you feel uncomfortable. While this may sound tortuous, you’ll eventually become used to these triggers again. Thanks to neuroplasticity, you won’t react negatively when encountering triggers later down the road. Reconsolidation therapy removes negative associations attached to these physical sensations, changing your attitude and reactions.
What Does My Therapist Do During Reconsolidation Therapy?
Reconsolidation therapy helps individuals with PTSD remember traumatic events without being overwhelmed by negative emotions. The process’s goal is to change how you feel about the memory. During your treatment, your therapist will guide you through a trauma memory in a safe environment. Eventually, your therapist will help you become so comfortable with your triggers that they no longer bring symptoms or flashbacks.
Is This Type of Treatment Dangerous?
Reconsolidation therapy is safe and effective. Since it works by helping you re-establish a healthy emotional response to memories of a past traumatic event, the treatment is an excellent way to help patients heal from trauma. Treatment is performed in a safe environment with the help of a trained professional. It can effectively and safely be used as an alternative to medication or EMDR.
What Patients Benefit from Reconsolidation Therapy?
As with many different types of treatment, reconsolidation therapy is not for everyone. Those who benefit the most are individuals with severe PTSD symptoms and those who haven’t responded well to other therapies. If you have milder symptoms and haven’t tried different types of treatment, it’s best to try other options first.
Create Healthier Responses to Triggers with Our Professional Help
If you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD, we’re here to help. Contact our Vancouver mental health experts to discuss whether reconsolidation therapy is right for you.