Stress Management Consulting Program Blog on Cognitive Restructuring and the 13 Distortions with PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome or PTSD is the inability of the human mind to process traumatic memory.  It remains fragmented and left to haunt the person through various triggers and arousals that return to the person to the original trauma.  Emotions remain raw and the individual is trapped in the past and it repeats itself.

The first step to recovery is to confront the trauma and begin the long and sometimes painful process of properly storing the memory and integrating it, good and bad, into one’s life narrative.  The process to dismiss the past, face it and integrate it can be difficult.  The trauma is very difficult to face but for those who take the initial steps to confront and learn new coping methods to deal with PTSD can reap the rewards of a return to one’s very own existence and life.  Many are unable to reach this due to PTSD.

Trying to recover from PTSD can be delayed over distortions about the event. Licensed counselors through Cognitive Restructuring can help individuals find the truth to move forward. Please also review AIHCP’s Crisis Intervention Program


Treatment is key.  Professional counselors can help individuals through a series of treatments.  One type of treatment is Cognitive Restructuring.  Cognitive Restructuring helps the individual integrate dissociated memories with associated ones in the long term memory.  Part of the process is to remove unproductive ideas and ideals that limit the mind to restructure and keep arousal high.   Functional thoughts can help remove higher arousal, while dysfunctional thoughts prevent the individual from healthy integration.  It is not the activation to think about the trauma that causes the consequence of arousal but more the dysfunctional thinking that causes more arousal.

Automatic thoughts that enter into oneself about the event can be good or distorted.  There are 13 types of distortions to thought that can make overcoming PTSD very difficult.  These distortions need corrected so that the brain can properly integrate the traumatic event.  This blog will review the 13 types of distortions.

  1. Flaw Fixation.  This distortion forces the individual to only focus on the bad.  It is a camera lens that only sees one aspect of the full event.  It is a narrowing of all the facts of the story.  The individual only recalls the failures of the particular day, or only in the present sees bad in everything.
  2. Dismissing the Positive.  Very similar to the Flaw Fixation but this does not focus on flaws of the individual but any positivity in life itself.  Only negative is viewed in day to day life and if the event was during a particular period of time, all the other good things of that time period are dismissed based on the one bad event.
  3. Assuming.  Individuals assume certain things about an event.  In Mind Reading, they assume others think negative about them and how the individual acted or what the individual experienced.  Also within arousal, Jumping to Conclusions is common.  The individual assumes any trigger is an actual threat.  Finally, Fortune Telling, predicts negative outcomes only with any future events.  Everything is predicted in a negative light in lieu of the past traumatic event.
  4. Catastrophizing.  Individuals make any events based off the past trauma to be worst than they what they truly are.
  5. All or None.  In this, the individual rates himself only as good or bad.  Furthermore, other people are seen only as good or bad.  There is no gradation or grey area in this type of reframing
  6. Shoulds.  In this, the individual relives what he or she should have done or did not do.  This does not take into account the objective reality of what occurred and places everything on the individual.
  7. Making Feelings a Fact.  Feelings are important to listen to but sometimes they can distort and make things appear different than reality.
  8. Over Generalization.  Individuals assume everything is bad or “ALL” people are out to get them.  It comes from a lack of security but closes individuals to healing.
  9. Abusive Labeling.  The individual sees oneself as damaged.  The person does not differentiate the evil and bad between the action committed and oneself.
  10. Personalizing.  The individual asserts to much blame for the traumatic event that the person is guilty of or not guilty at all
  11. Blaming.  The individual blames the event for destroying one’s life more than the event did.  It is the opposite extreme of personalizing.
  12. Unfavorable Comparisons.  When one compares to how others would react instead of oneself.   This can lead to anxiety and regret.  Instead of focusing on the event and how one dealt with it.
  13. Regrets.  This is similar to “shoulds”.  Instead one looks at all the circumstances and holds one guilty to the event instead of healing from it


These type of distortions can create a mixture of emotional reactions that prevent the person from seeing the trauma correctly.  One either sees the event incorrectly, others, or oneself.  This does not allow one properly process it with the truth of the matter and hence integrate it into one’s life.  It is important to understand an event and process it.    Distortions prevent this hence in counseling and reframing of the event, it is important to discuss these issues and identify a patient who may possess a distortion.  Of course the only way to know if a distortion exists is for the individual to open up about the event and confront it.

Confronting and properly processing trauma is critical with PTSD. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program


If you would like to learn more about AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program or AIHCP’s Crisis Intervention Program, then please review the programs and see if they meet your academic and professional goals.  The programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in these two disciplines.  After completing the courses, one can then apply for a four year certification in Stress Management or Crisis Intervention.


Source: The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to Healing, Recovery and Growth by Glenn R. Schiraldi, PhD

Stress Management Consulting Certification Blog on PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is a severe reaction to a stressor so intense that it imprints upon the mind and brain its terrifying nature.  The long lasting effects can result in intense anxiety as well as for some dissociation disorder.  The effects can last months after or continue to haunt the person throughout life.   In previous eras, it was referred to as Shell Shock as experienced by WWI soldiers but while many soldiers experience PTSD, it can happen to any group of person.

Traumas can be related to war but also to any type of traumatic event than can happen in civilian life as well.  Among the type of traumas imposed upon the person include intentional traumas caused by other humans which are the hardest to overcome, as well as human caused accidents and acts of nature, which are usually easier to recover.  It is more difficult to overcome intentional acts of humans because these acts of trauma are most associated with evil itself.   War, abuse, rape, incest, torture, criminal assault, hostage, bombings, terrorism, suicide, kidnapping, riots, participating in violence, and death threats are a few examples of these severe types of trauma.

Human caused traumas not associated with evil intent still can cause trauma but they are not as mentally crushing to the individual.  These types of traumas include industrial accidents, fires, explosions, motor vehicle or plane crashes, nuclear disasters or collapses of buildings.   Less traumatic but still impactful or acts of nature, which include any type of storm or geological event, or sudden deaths not associated with evil intent.

Trauma so severe can cause anxiety and dissociation. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Program


Many individuals suffer greatly in this world and the above stressors and trauma inducing events are well above one’s average bad day but are life altering events in many cases.  This can cause severe trauma and not allow the mind to properly process the event.  The exposure to this stressor leads to an intense fear or horror to the event itself.   In assessing PTSD, the events must be re-experienced via intrusive recollections, dreams, and hallucinations that can be activated due to similar cues.   The individual in turn will attempt to avoid numerous things to escape these intrusive reminders.   The individual will try to block thoughts, feelings, places,  and activities to avoid it.  They will disassociate in events and people and try to detach themselves.

In essence, the PTSD interrupts life in all aspects.  Individuals will have trouble sleeping, become irritable easily, not be able to concentrate, become hypervigilant, and have exaggerated responses to some stimuli.  This type of behavior can last acutely for one month, chronically for six months or more and can even be delayed, well after the event and re-emerge months later.

Those who suffer from PTSD face two major symptoms, high levels of anxiety and dissociation.

Severe anxiety leaves the person in constant distress even if the stressor is no longer present.  It can manifest physically upon the person through fatigue, tension, nausea, digestive track inflammation, hyperventilation, suffocating feelings, and a wide array of panic attacks.  Emotionally it can cause irritation, fear, exaggeration of emotions and loss of confidence.  Mentally, anxiety can cause confusion, lack of concentration, poor memory and inability to make decisions.  Spiritually, one may encounter hopelessness and despair.  Many look to avoid stressors that naturally cause these feelings and the person will become more reclusive.

In regards to dissociation, most healthy individuals possess an associated consciousness that engages in life, but when a trauma so terrible occurs, the mind does not process the terrible event in long term memory and it is trapped in short term memory.  Without proper processing, the trauma continues to haunt the person.  It is hence natural, during a horrible event to dissociate from it.  When something is so horrible to comprehend, the body for its own protection will tune out.  Unfortunately, the unprocessed and walled off trauma is highly unstable and very accessible.  It is also very emotional and non verbal and hence impressionable via our senses.  The trauma is very fragmented and associated with multiple triggers due to this.  The senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, pressure and pain can all awaken these fragmented traumas and cause recollections.  The trauma can also be re-awakened by significant dates or seasons or events, as well as tied to strong emotions, thoughts and behaviors.   Sometimes the arousal is due to a combination of senses.

Dissociation looks to defend the individual from the horrific nature of the event itself.  During a horrible event, the person may depersonalize from the event itself, as if separating from oneself and watching.  Another form of this is derealization where the person real believe the event was not real but a dream.  Some individuals actually lose parts of the memory itself.  Amnesia and forgetting the event looks to help the person forget the horrific nature of it all together, while some may enter into a fugue where an individual has no memory whatsoever of how one got from one place to another during the episode.

The worst type of trauma is the type caused intentionally by other people. Please also review AIHCP’s Stress Management Consulting Program


The most severe form of dissociation is Dissociative Identity Disorder when a person actually creates multiple identities to deal with the trauma itself.  Also known as Multiple Personality Disorder, one creates other personalities with stronger characteristics to protect the host from the trauma itself.

Associated with dissociation and anxiety are a variety of associated features that can become attached to PTSD.  Many individuals who suffer from PTSD also exhibit a variety of these features in their behavior.

When severe trauma occurs, many have a death imprint that forever changes their outlook on life.   This leads to repeating within the mind how they wish they behaved or acted.  In this, they may feel extreme shame or guilt, or survivor guilt.  Others will develop a severe anxiety with any topic of death itself.   With severe trauma, others may also experience shattered world views.  One may doubt his or her faith or question how one exists.  Such an existential crisis is very common.

There are also a variety of mood disturbances that one may encounter fights with depression and also addiction. Impulsive behaviors can also occur  where individuals try to make sudden changes to escape the pain as well as over compensations in other roads of life.   Some will also try to relive their trauma and re-enact them in contrast to others The mind also can negatively affect the body and there are a multitude of physical ailments that occur from chronic pains to fatigue and exhaustion.

To escape the mental pain, many will turn to other forms of pleasure.  In addition to addiction, some become overtly sexual to find value, while others may turn to self mutilation.   These cries for help are attempts to express pain that cannot be visualized or seen.   In other cases, this type of behavior looks to cover mental pain with physical pain.

Ironically, it can paradoxically relieve pain and help individuals become addicted to self harm.  Others remark it helps them feel alive or makes them feel empowered and in control.  Others reiterate it can be used to make themselves less attractive to prevent further abuse or imitate what was seen or experienced.

Unfortunately, without guidance and help, these symptoms and unhealthy coping mechanisms will continue with individuals with PTSD unless helped.  They need to face the trauma and understand it.  Guidance is required to help process the horrible memory to the long term processing centers of the brain.

If you would like to learn more about AIHCP’s Stress Management Certification, then please review and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Stress Management.  AIHCP also offers programs in Crisis Intervention as well.  Remember, that even if certified, one still need to be a licensed professional in the mental health fields to work with individuals suffering from PTSD.

Related Text

The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Sourcebook: A Guide to Healing, Recovery and Growth by Glenn R Schiraldi, Ph.D



Crisis Intervention Counseling AIHCP Video

Helping individuals in extreme numbing trauma and restoring them to a pre crisis state of mind is important.  Individuals who suffer catastrophic loss can find themselves in a dark chaos.  In other areas, those who are in suicidal ideation may need crisis intervention to help them find hope.  Crisis Intervention is key in helping individuals overcome extreme despair.  Crisis Intervention Counselors work as licensed counselors or also in crisis centers, or even as first responders.

Please review AIHCP’s video on Crisis Intervention Counseling

Crisis Intervention Specialist Program Article on Mindfulness-Based Crisis Intervention

Mindfulness interventions for patients who deal with mental issues or trauma can help individuals and their overall outcome and mental healing.  Mindfulness Crisis Intervention help individuals find healing but also reduce the risks and costs associated with re admissions for healthcare facilities.  It is important to continue to improve on mental health for everyone.  Mindfulness, meditation and various professional interventions can help mental crisis.

The article, “Mindfulness Interventions May Improve Psychosis Outcomes” by Jessica Janze looks closer at how interventions can help individuals overcome mental crisis and reduce  re admissions.  She states,

“A new study, published in BMC Psychiatry, examines the feasibility and acceptability of a Mindfulness-Based Crisis Intervention (MBCI) for patients experiencing psychosis in the inpatient setting. Results of the parallel-group, randomized control trial (RCT), led by Pamela Jacobson from King’s College London, suggest that mindfulness-based interventions delivered during inpatient hospitalizations may reduce short-term readmissions, a key indicator of quality in mental health care.”

These studies show the usefulness of Mindful-Based Crisis Intervention.  To read the entire article, please click here

Mindfulness Crisis Intervention can help individuals overcome mental crisis. Please also review our Crisis Intervention Specialist Program


Please also review our Crisis Intervention Specialist Certification Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.


Crisis Intervention Program Article on Keeping Children out of Fostercare

Crisis in families is a major issue in America.  Whether through abuse or drugs, averting crisis levels that require counseling and guidance is the most ideal.  How to identify pre crisis situations for children is the key.

Better social venues to deal with abuse and addiction can prevent crisis in families. Please also review our Crisis Intervention Program

The article, “What If We Could Reach Families Before the Crisis? There Would Be Fewer Kids in Foster Care” by Kris Faasse states,

“Many families don’t have extended families, friends or church communities to turn to when there is a crisis. When a crisis hits families without community support systems, their children are at a heightened risk of not getting the care they need and even potentially being removed from their homes.”

Please click here to review the entire article

Please also review our Crisis Intervention Program and see how it matches your academic goals.

Crisis Intervention Specialist Program Article on Police and Trauma

Good article on trauma and how it effects police officers.  Police officers are sometimes thought of as robots in how they perform their duties but the reality is they are persons with feelings and emotions.  If something traumatic occurs, they can be as easily affected as anyone else and will need counseling.

Police face many traumatic situations. Please also review our Crisis Intervention Specialist Program
Police face many traumatic situations. Please also review our Crisis Intervention Specialist Program

The article, “How does trauma affect police officers?” by Sahalie Donaldson states,

“Post traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses, typically sparked by traumatic events and the accumulation of stress day after day, are not an anomaly in law enforcement. Police officers face a much higher rate of suicidal ideation than the general public. According to a research study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, one in four police officers think about dying by suicide at some point in their life.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review our Crisis Intervention Specialist Program and see if it meets your academic and professional needs.


Sheriff adds crisis intervention to deputies.

crisis intervention
crisis intervention

The article, “Greene Co., Mo. sheriff adds crisis intervention to deputies job description” by Jonah Kaplan states

“Authorities in Springfield, Missouri say mental illnesses play a major role in crimes today. That’s why they’re joining forces with psychologists for a crisis intervention training program.”

American Institute Health Care Professionals’ insight:
Local sheriff to add crisis intervention to his deputies job descriptions.   How do you feel about this?  Do you think it is a waste of tax payers’ money or a needed skill for law enforcement officers?
If you answered yes to the last two questions then you might want to rethink your stance or at least hear another side of the story.   Police officers are usually the first on the scene of a crime or a crime in progress.   Quick action is usually needed to stop something from escalating into a serious situation.   Crisis intervention trained officers is a great way to prepare officers to respond to a number of special situations.   Would you want a shoot first and ask questions later approach or would you prefer a logical, well trained approach?
For more on crisis intervention training course you should give our site a quick peek.

See on

Crisis Intervention and Teen Suicide

Crisis Intervention Can Prevent Future Suicides

The importance of acute and immediate counseling on traumatic scenes of grief are essential in preventing further damage.  Crisis intervention hopes to lower the immediate trauma and to start the process of mourning in a healthy and safe fashion.  Crisis Intervention is also needed for teens who have contemplated suicide. writes in “CDC: Teen Suicide Attempts on the Rise” about the alarming increase of teen suicide attempts.  This only reiterates the importance of good crisis counseling.
Scary statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  released Thursday revealed that the number of attempted suicides among teenagers  had increased from 6.3 percent in 2009 to 7.8 percent in 2011.
The information comes from the CDC’s 2011 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey  (YRBS), a report designed to find health-risk behaviors among youth and young  adults related to injury and violence, sexual behaviors, alcohol, and drugs.   Along with the increase in attempted suicides, the survey also showed an  increase in teens texting behind the wheel along with an increase in marijuana  use.
Read more: Click here

Crisis Intervention Counseling can help prevent future suicides.   If you know anyone who has suicidal thoughts please get them help!   Crisis intervention is needed.   You might just be saving a life.   Please review our program and click here


Educational Professionals and Crisis Intervention

crisis intervention
A crisis situation can put your world in a real bind. Use crisis intervention to solve it.

Professional educators and teachers alike can play an important role in their students’ lives. Sometimes they can become a confidant or serve as a role model to the child. Many professional educators are learning skills and techniques in  Crisis Intervention to better serve their students and prevent anything from happening to them. Educators and administrators should select a crisis intervention training program that fits their school and demographic needs. Smaller schools may require specialized training in different aspects of crisis’ and vice versa for larger schools as their problems may vary based on locations and lifestyles. This is why choosing the right program will assist educators in providing the best services. In the end, child safety and prevention is paramount to any crisis intervention training program and should be the key factors when deciding on what program to choose because the children’s safety should always be a teacher’s number one concern.

If you are ready to get started with your educational goals then you might want to look at our crisis training program.

Various Types and Styles of Crisis Intervention

Crisis Intervention comes in several forms depending on your individual or company needs. These needs will dictate the type of training and certification that each company will require. Having certified instructor in crisis intervention allows a company to have certified trainers on site to train and instruct new employees or to act as consultants when a question of crisis intervention might need some expert advice. Online training allows staff to review courses and lessons at their own pace. This also allows the staff to take tests and exams online to gain certification. Crisis intervention training is offered a variety of ways to allow for certification and ease in keeping up with new trends by retaking courses after a set period of years for re-certification. Please check with your human resources department or a creditable crisis intervention training institute if you are interested in learning more about crisis intervention training certification.

crisis intervention
Do you have any questions about crisis intervention?

What style of crisis counseling do you feel would best suit you?   It is a matter of personal preference.    You need to see which style fits you the best.    Just remember your education can you save lives.   So make the most of it and get the best education possible.