Are you Struggling with PTSD?

CBT is the treatment of choice for PTSD, and trauma-focused CBT is recommended by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) for the treatment of those with severe symptoms.  We have outstanding recovery rates in the treatment of PTSD 

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop following a stressful life event or catastrophic situation which has involved fear, helplessness or horror.  It is common to experience PTSD like symptoms if you’ve experienced or witnessed an event(s) that involved actual or threatened death, serious injury or a physical threat to yourself or others.  

People living with PTSD (and complex PTSD) often suffer for months or years before finding treatment. Other disorders may be associated with PTSD, including depression, drug or alcohol problems, social anxiety, panic and generalised anxiety symptoms.

When to seek treatment

You should consider treatment for your PTSD when:
You are frequently re-experiencing the event through nightmares or flashbacks
You avoid trigger situations and feel emotionally numb
You are hypervigilant or hypersensitive to specific situations
You feel depressed or anxious because of your experience
You are using drugs or alcohol to cope with your feelings
Very helpful, felt like I had somebody to rant to who was there to listen. It helped me weekly to get some stress off my shoulder, helped me to ease my thoughts.
Male, 41
Therapy has equipped me with the skills and tools to deal with my trauma. It helped me to accept the trauma and learn how to move on from it. They are tools I can use in all aspects of my life.
Female, 32
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What you need to know


As specialists in CBT, we are proud of our outstanding PTSD recovery rates and have put together a brief overview of some of the CBT tips we encourage our PTSD patients to channel on a daily basis.
Low mood and anxiety are two of the most common emotions associated with PTSD. One of the first steps CBT teaches you when dealing with PTSD is to keep track of those situations that make you feel anxious or negative thinking patterns. Once these thought processes have been identified the next step is to learn to recognise what makes your feelings get worse. By learning how to really pay attention to yourself and your emotions, you will eventually detect a pattern of certain situations or memories that contribute to your unhelpful thinking patterns.
In trauma focussed therapy, a trigger can be described as a stimulus such as a sound, smell or visual that evokes negative feelings and acts as a reminder of past trauma. If you have PTSD, these triggers can be experienced as a reliving experience, just like the original traumatising experience. CBT teaches you to identify these triggers and helps the brain to process the traumatic event into a past memory, instead of continually reliving the trauma in the present.
People living with PTSD often experience cognitive distortions, which typically causes individuals to develop unpleasant, extreme and exaggerated thinking patterns that are not consistent with what is happening now in the present. These cognitive distortions can have a negative influence on our mood and go on to influence unhelpful behaviours. CBT helps people with PTSD investigate the connections between our thoughts and what we do, awareness of certain situations, when these negative thought processes develop, can help us to find alternative and helpful ways of coping.
Once you’re able to identify your specific unhelpful thinking styles, CBT will then teach you how to put these thoughts and beliefs to the test. Ask yourself questions such as “Are my thoughts based on my present reality?”, “Do I have any evidence to support these thoughts?” “Based on my recent experiences, how will I end up coping with this?”. Questions like these will help you put things into perspective and form more realistic thinking patterns, based on the here and now.
PTSD generally evokes anxious feelings within the sufferer. We tend to feel anxious when there is a perceived threat, and with PTSD it can often be difficult to differentiate between past, current and false threats. CBT will help you to effectively evaluate situations in a balanced way, and identify when you are experiencing an actual risk or if your thought process is unhelpful or unrealistic.
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