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Trauma can be defined by the emotional response to a deeply distressing event or a series of enduring events. At Priory, we recognise that trauma is subjective; not everyone will react to the same event in the same way, and trauma affects people in different ways. As such, Priory’s comprehensive trauma programme not only treats individual issues arising as a result of trauma, but also helps a patient to address and process the original source of their own trauma.

What is trauma?

Trauma is a psychological reaction to an event and can have many different causes such as:

  • Abuse/violence (either a standalone event or recurring events)
  • Being involved in an accident (e.g. a car accident)
  • Being involved in catastrophic events (either natural events such as earthquakes or man-made events such as war/terrorism)
  • Physical injury (e.g. amputations, disability)
  • Terminal illness/bereavement

What are the signs and symptoms of trauma?

Some people experience the symptoms of trauma immediately after the traumatic event, whereas in others, symptoms can take weeks, months or even years to manifest. The most common term used to describe the long lasting effects of trauma is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can be defined as an enduring anxiety disorder, often characterised by ongoing symptoms such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Flashbacks/nightmares
  • Depression
  • Experiencing difficult emotions such as guilt, anger and anxiety
  • Addictive behaviours

Trauma treatment

The Priory trauma programme has been devised according to a well-established trauma treatment model which aims to stabilise an individual before addressing the original cause of the trauma. It also includes reintegrating the person back into their community, work and environment. The three core areas of the Priory trauma programme are as follows:

  1. Stabilisation: when a person is first referred to the Priory, the resulting symptoms of the trauma (e.g. depression, addictions) are explored and identified as an initial step, so that these can be treated appropriately. These ongoing issues may require their own treatment programmes in order to stabilise an individual, before the source of the trauma can be addressed.  
  2. Processing and mourning of trauma memory: this involves processing the memories of the trauma to achieve lessening of the emotional intensity associated with them. This is usually done using two evidence-based therapies; eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) and trauma-focused cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).
  3. Reconnecting with the world: this step aims to effectively reintegrate patients back into their community, work and other aspects of life.

The Priory trauma programme is widely regarded to be a highly effective technique in the treatment of trauma.

“The effects of trauma on a person can be devastating. The most effective way of treating trauma is by processing emotions in a professional, safe environment that the Priory trauma service provides.” – Dr Walid Abdul-Hamid, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director

Priory offers a Free Telephone Consultation as an initial step to discuss your concerns. For further information call today on: (+971) 4 245 3800 or submit a confidential enquiry form. We will provide you with details on all of our treatments and offer guidance on how to manage your concerns at a time that suits you.

A sense of wellbeing

“For us to function in our day to day lives; to have a sense of wellbeing; to maintain our relationships; to be able to work in our working environment, we need to be in good mental health”

Dr Saeed Islam, Priory's Middle East Medical Director