Trauma Treatment Clinic Dubai and Abu Dhabi | Priory Group

What is trauma?

Trauma can be difficult to cope with and can wreak havoc in lots of different areas of your life. However, you don’t have to struggle with trauma or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); expert help is available and it’s possible for you to make a full and lasting recovery.

At Priory Wellbeing Centres in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, our highly qualified psychiatrists and psychologists recognise that not everyone will react to the same event in the same way, and trauma affects people differently. That’s why we’re committed to providing personalised outpatient treatment, helping you address your symptoms and the unique source of your trauma.

You don’t have to suffer in silence with trauma – we can help you get back on track.

Outpatient trauma treatment in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Our wellbeing centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi deliver comprehensive trauma treatment on a flexible outpatient basis. Our aim is to enable you to regain control of your life and achieve positive mental wellbeing.

Outpatient treatment for trauma ensures:

  • Flexible and convenient consulting hours, which fit in with your work and other commitments
  • Fast access to high quality therapy
  • Complete confidentiality and discretion
  • Treatment from skilled experts
  • Online therapy

At our Priory Wellbeing Centres in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, we can help you to learn effective strategies to cope with your trauma, and also help you resolve any underlying problems which could be making things worse for you.

Specialist trauma treatment in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Our psychiatrists and psychologists have lots of experience in treating trauma and can use bespoke treatment plans. At our Priory Wellbeing Centres in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, we use a well-established trauma treatment model. This aims to stabilise your emotions and symptoms before addressing the original source of your trauma. We will also teach you the skills you need to function effectively in your day-to-day life.

The three main areas of our specialist trauma programme are:

  1. Stabilisation: at the start of trauma treatment, our experts will address the symptoms of your trauma (such as depression, anxiety and panic attacks) as a first step. These issues may need their own treatment to make sure you’re stable. Only then can the source of your trauma be addressed.
  2. Processing traumatic memories: this involves processing the memories of the trauma in order to try and lessen the negative emotions you’re feeling. This is usually done using three evidence-based therapies: eye movement desensitisation and re-processing (EMDR), trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic psychotherapy.
  3. Reconnecting with the world: this step helps you to reconnect with your everyday life, work and relationships.

What is trauma?

Trauma can be defined as the intense emotions that we feel in response to an extremely distressing event or series of events. Traumatic events may include:

  • Being the victim of abuse, violence or neglect
  • Being involved in an accident (e.g. a car accident)
  • Being involved in catastrophic events (natural events such as earthquakes or man-made events such as war/terrorism)
  • Physical injury (e.g. amputations, disability)
  • Terminal illness
  • Bereavement

Ongoing psychological trauma can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is a serious anxiety disorder that comes with lots of different symptoms including flashbacks of the event, vivid nightmares and being easily startled.

What are the signs and symptoms of trauma?

Some people experience the symptoms of trauma straightaway after the traumatic event, but for others, symptoms can take weeks, months or even years to show. The long-lasting effects of trauma can lead to PTSD, which can be defined as a long-term anxiety disorder. The most common signs and symptoms of PTSD include:

Hyperarousal symptoms:

  • Hypervigilance (being on constant alert)
  • Hyperacusis (being unable to tolerate loud noises)
  • Being easily startled
  • Irritability and angry outbursts
  • Tearfulness
  • Sleep problems, including insomnia
  • Panic attacks

Re-experiencing symptoms:

  • Vivid nightmares and flashbacks of the traumatic event
  • Intense physical symptoms when you’re having a flashback e.g. increased heart rate, breathing difficulties, sweating
  • Experiencing distress when you’re reminded of the traumatic event

Avoidance symptoms:

  • Avoiding activities that could trigger memories of the traumatic event
  • Avoiding dealing with painful emotions such as grief
  • Poor concentration
  • Losing interest in hobbies or activities that you once enjoyed
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling emotionally ‘numb’

What are the long-term effects of trauma?

Without expert treatment, trauma and PTSD can lead to a range of long-term problems including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance abuse
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Relationship and work problems
  • Self-harm
  • Suicidal thoughts and impulses

Are some people more at risk of struggling with trauma after a distressing event?

Trauma affects people differently and an event that one person finds traumatic may not be traumatic for someone else. Similarly, for people who go through the same traumatic events, some may develop PTSD and others might not. Some of the factors which may explain this difference include:

Risk factors for trauma

Research shows that people may be more at risk of developing PTSD after a traumatic event if they:

  • Have experienced mental health problems in the past
  • Are currently struggling with a mental health problem
  • Have a lack of social support following the traumatic event

Exaggerated survival response

People who go through a traumatic event will develop natural stress reactions that help them to cope and protect the body from shock. However, research shows that people who go on to struggle with PTSD after the event, may have an exaggerated version of this survival response.

This may be what causes them to experience flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety as their body is going into overdrive trying to prepare them for any future trauma, and becomes ‘stuck’ in this highly anxious state.

High adrenaline levels

Studies also show that people with PTSD tend to have an unusually high level of the stress hormone, adrenaline, in their body. This is what causes you to feel highly anxious because it keeps your body in the ‘fight or flight’ mode. This means your body carries on producing adrenaline, even when there is no obvious danger.

Changes in the brain

Brain scans of people with PTSD show that the parts of your brain involved in emotional processing may be different than in people who don’t have PTSD. The hippocampus area of the brain (which stores memories and controls emotions) appears to be smaller in people who have PTSD. This might help to explain why people with PTSD experience anxiety and constantly relive the traumatic memory, because this isn’t being properly processed.

 “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.

Where to get help for trauma in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Priory have been treating trauma in the UAE since 2017, at our specialist clinic in Dubai, We have recently opened a second Wellbeing Centre in Abu Dhabi. We now offer support for trauma in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, at the following locations:

Trauma therapy in Dubai

Priory Wellbeing Centre Dubai
Dubai Healthcare City
Al Razi Building 64
Block F, Ground Floor
Out Metha Road
Dubai

Trauma treatment in Abu Dhabi

Priory Wellbeing Centre Abu Dhabi (opening soon)
King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street
Al Bateen
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, can be treated by the specialist psychiatrist, psychologist and therapists at the Priory Clinics.  Call today to start the conversation on how we can get you back on track.

For further information call today on: (+971) 4 245 3800 or submit an enquiry form in confidence. We will provide you with details on all our treatments and offer help on how to manage your mental health at a time that suits you.

Dr Walid Abdul-Hamid, Consultant Psychiatrist

This page was clinically reviewed by Dr Walid Abdul-Hamid (MBChB, MRCPsych, PhD, Consultant Psychiatrist DHCC) in March 2021, and is scheduled to be reviewed again in March 2023. Dr Walid Abdul-Hamid is a distinguished consultant psychiatrist with over 30 years of experience in the field of psychiatry and mental health. He became a consultant psychiatrist in 2000 and has been the president-elect of the British Arab Psychiatric Association (BAPA) since 2014. View Dr Walid's full profile here.