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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Therapy with experienced clinicians who are passionate about helping people recover

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder which can develop after someone has been involved in, or has witnessed, a terrifying event. It can also develop after someone has learned that a relative or close friend was exposed to the trauma. Symptoms include frequent nightmares, intrusive thoughts and images. The person experiences negative changes in how they think and feel about themselves. PTSD is characterised by avoidance. The world feels dangerous. The sufferer thinks that if they can avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma they might be able to get by. Unfortunately, suppression does not work, and is more likely to maintain PTSD.

The treatment for PTSD at Sage Psychologie is tailored to the individual, drawing upon evidence-based models of treatment such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and other approaches such as Psychodynamic Psychotherapy,  Mindfulness, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. We know that one type of treatment does not fit all, so being able to adapt the therapeutic approach can sometimes achieve better outcomes.

Contact Us Make a Referral

First Steps

Beginning the Process

Referrals are most often made by Case Managers who have identified a need for psychological intervention. A completed referral form or letter with details of the client, and the reason they are being referred will be required. Most often, we are asked to complete an initial assessment. This can be at our offices close to Chester, or at the client’s home. The clinical interview with the client usually takes around two hours. If they would like a family member or other person present to provide support, that will be happily accommodated. During the interview the client is asked to complete questionnaires, which allows us to record baseline scores against which we can measure progress. We will then write a comprehensive report about their circumstances and needs, with bespoke recommendations for treatment and integrated work with a multidisciplinary team.

Our Expertise

Dr Jo Neal

Before studying to become a Psychologist, Jo was employed for 27 years in youth and community work, the caring professions, and business… giving her experience of life in many everyday and working environments. And she came across people struggling with the scars of traumatic events. She has provided effective treatment for psychological trauma and PTSD over the last 16 years. She offers CBT, as recommended by NICE guidelines, but also has experience with the Human Givens rewind technique.
Dr Vanessa Huke

Vanessa completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2020, having obtained an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience in 2010, and a PhD in Psychology. She is registered with the HCPC. She has a special interest in the treatment of PTSD, and has trained in the highly supportive Acceptance and Commitment Therapy model for trauma.

What to Expect

The initial assessment with the client allows the therapist to develop an understanding of the impact of PTSD upon the client’s life, and upon the lives of those close to them. It is also an important time to ascertain whether a secure therapeutic rapport can be built, as, when treatment begins, it is essential that the client feels comfortable and safe as they process the distressing and painful memories of the trauma they experienced.

As treatment starts, the therapist will be guided by the model of therapy they feel is most appropriate, e.g. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT for Trauma), or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Each client is different, however, and research evidence shows that a particular method may work for one person, but not for another. Hence, it is helpful to be able to adapt therapy as needed.

In addition, psychoeducation and therapeutic support for the client’s family or significant others is often encouraged. This allows an exploration of the impact of the client’s traumatised response upon their relationships, and then looks at ways in which others can also change their responses and behaviours to allow everyone to move on with their lives in a more positive direction… heading towards increased confidence and recovery.


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