Many families will be impacted by deployments of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, when service members come home many will need help for PTSD as well as their families. Family members can have an impact on the service member 's recovery and treatment (Hall, 2008). Similarly. living with a service member with PTSD does not directly cause PTSD, but can cause similar symptoms and “various secondary dramatization” (Hall,2008, p. 226). Because of the effect family can have on one another it is important to address both family and service member in treating PTSD.
Addressing PTSD in Family Therapy
PTSD and the Family
It is very common for people who suffer from PTSD to have problems within their personal relationships (Hall, 2008). PTSD does not just effect the spousal relationship, but can include all family and friends (Hall, 2008). The reason for the problems with relationships with others are caused from the feelings of mistrust, the inability to be emotionally close, communication, effective problem solving skills, and responsible assertiveness that are related to PTSD (Hall, 2008). Also, people who experience PTSD often lose interest in social and sexual activities along with emotional numbness leaving friends, family, and spouses feeling alienated, hurt and frustrated (Hall, 2008). Feeling hurt and alienated can be common for spouses and can cause them to eventually feel angry and distant (Hall, 2008). The individual who suffers from PTSD can feel on guard, unable to relax, easily startled, and anxious which also makes it hard to socialize and have a good time (Hall, 2008).
Someone who lives with someone with PTSD may feel pressure to not bring up anything that may tri...
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...and exposure to images like the event that will allow them to re-experience the event in a controlled environment (Hall, 2008).
In conclusion when counseling a survivor who has PTSD it is typically helpful to include their partner or family. There has been research done that shows the positive outcomes for relationships when both members of a couple receive couples therapy. When relationships are good with a partner, family, and friends this helps the survivor to overcome depression, to not become isolated, and to have better mental health overall. There are many treatments that can help someone who suffers from PTSD such as Cognitive-behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, group therapy, and medications. The most common theme seems to be though, that positive relationships can help a survivor overcome PTSD symptoms and have better overall mental health.
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