Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a condition of psychological shock caused by a traumatic and intense event. Luckily neuro-linguistic programming or NLP is effective at helping those who have PTSD find the relief they desperately desire.
What is PTSD?
As above, PTSD is a state of psychological shock. PTSD occurs from either an intensely traumatic one-time event such as a car accident, rape, violent crime, etc., or prolonged exposure to an uncontrollable situation such as war, ongoing sexual or physical abuse, severe neglect, living in severe poverty, etc. In these situations, typically perceived as uncontrollable, a person’s mind emotionally cannot handle the stress. The reaction of the brain to protect the person from going insane is to shut down.
When this happens, the person who is experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder doesn’t “feel” normal. He or she will typically have a difficult time relating to other people; he or she may feel angry, depressed, and isolated. Frequently, the person who has PTSD will have flashbacks and nightmares about the event. These flashbacks, obsessive thoughts, and dreams are the subconscious minds way of trying to bring the adverse event to your attention so it can be processed.
The human mind is hard-wired to learn from experiences, both positive and negative. When confronted with a situation that seems uncontrollable, the natural reaction is extreme fear. After the event, the mind still must learn something from the situation so it can “filed” correctly. When confronted with the emotion of extreme fear, the last thing you can do is objectively look at the event and decide what to learn from it.
NLP or neuro-linguistic programming gives a person the tools to separate the emotions and the event. By separating the feelings and the event, the person can view the event and accept it for what it was—an uncontrollable event that hopefully will never happen again.
A simple NLP technique to use for the relief of PTSD is the following: (We’ll take the example of a car accident, and this same technique can be applied to any traumatic event)
- Imagine what the car accident must have looked like from across the street. Just let the whole scenario run through your mind as if you were an outside observer.
- Imagine what the accident would have looked like and sounded like from a block away. Just imagine viewing the entire accident from a block away.
- Finally, visualize the accident as if you were watching from a helicopter, many thousands of feet above the accident. At this point, if you feel any residual fear and emotions, just take the helicopter higher up until the feelings disappear.
This short NLP technique helps the mind process a traumatic event more effectively by examining more data. By distancing yourself from the event, this NLP technique helps your mind distance itself from the emotions making it much easier to process.