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Yes, You Can Recover from PTSD

In my previous post, I discussed the importance of respectful, non-judgemental trauma support.

This is not just because trauma affects different people in different ways, but because its effects can be long-lasting and life-changing.   A traumatised nervous system can take weeks to return to ‘normal’, so employers should be wary of encouraging their employees back to work immediately following a traumatic event.

Yet with the right support, we all have the potential to heal from the most intense trauma, even coming back stronger and more resilient than we were before.


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health issue that can develop following a traumatic event.  

First recognised in war veterans, PTSD was once known as ‘shell shock’, but these days it isn’t just soldiers who are known to suffer.  Around 20-25% of people who have experienced trauma will later develop PTSD, and its cause can stem from a wide range of traumatic events.

While this seems bleak, my years of experience as an employee trauma therapist means I have seen many people recover from PTSD.  So many, in fact, that I’d like to propose renaming PTSD to PTSI – or Post Traumatic Stress Injury.

None of this is to say that recovery is easy, however.  

Physical vs. mental vs. emotional recovery

Sadly, I am never surprised to hear about an employee being diagnosed with a serious illness in the years that follow a traumatic event.  Not only have I directly experienced this myself, but there are several examples of it happening to people in and out of the public eye.  

For me, the saddest and most notable example is the ex-Beatle George Harrison, whose home was broken into in 1999 by a man wielding a knife.  The man attacked Harrison and his wife Olivia, who both genuinely thought they were going to die.

At the time, the doctor reported that “the physical recovery should take about two to three weeks (although) it may be a bit longer to be mentally fully fit”.  But Harrison died of lung cancer less than two years later.

Although Harrison had been diagnosed with the cancer before the break-in occurred, he had recovered and was doing well.  As a trauma therapist, I believe that the mental, emotional, and physical trauma he suffered would have exacerbated its effects, particularly since the level of support available at that time would have been limited.

Wellness is an ongoing state of action

Recovery from trauma and PTSD will not happen overnight, and it will not happen by magic.

As an employee, you need to be ready to work on your healing and recovery.  As an employer, you need to accept that the process will take time.

Our approach to trauma therapy

At Beyond EAP, our approach is unique to each employee.  This download gives an idea of some of the techniques we may use to gain an understanding of the whole person, so we can help them on the road to recovery.

Some of these involve the application of exposure and/or EMDR therapy if relevant, along with helping the employee to relinquish responsibility for the trauma and apportion blame where appropriate.

Often, the core reason for trauma is shame, so we will also look at how this can be mis-directed, with a view towards extracting meaning and purpose from their trauma.

Our ultimate goal is to guide employees towards strategies for mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual resilience, so that they will emerge feeling confident and able to deal with life’s many future challenges.

To find out more about the bespoke trauma support we offer, please get in touch.


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