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    Albert H. Smith, PH.D., CEAP

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Dr. Smith is very experienced with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has performed hundreds of evaluations with Veteran’s Evaluation Services, a company that works to help the VA identify soldiers who experienced PTSD as a result of military deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Vietnam, Korea and even Europe during World War II.

He worked with the Knoxville, Tennessee Police Department for 14 years helping officers who were involved in critical incidents, use of fatal force, shootings of police officers and other forms of police stress. He wrote and taught a Stress Management program for Knoxville Police Department under a grant from the U. S. Department of Justice.

Similarly he worked with the Knoxville, Tennessee Fire Department helping firefighters deal with the stress of firefighting and first-responder duties.

There is more to PTSD than most people realize:

  • The terror of being robbed, held at gun point, mugged, assaulted, involved in a car accident, shot at, burglary, being involved in a riot . . . the list goes on
  • The horror of seeing someone else killed or injured
  • The feeling of fear, guilt or mistrust following a workplace accident or death.
  • The trauma of being mistreated or abused
  • The guilt, trauma and embarrassment of being sexually assaulted
  • Survivor’s guilt: That terrible feeling when we survive a trauma but someone else does not
  • The “If only I hadn’t . . .” and the “If only I had’s . . .” that lead to self-blame and guilt
  • Symptoms of PTSD include irritability, anger, social withdrawal, anxiety, sleep problems, distressing dreams, being easily startled and more
  • The symptoms often don’t show up for months
  • Often family members know something is wrong before the trauma survivor even realizes it

Counseling with an experienced therapist helps. A survivor of trauma must work to change the mental image of a tragic event into a story that has an ending. The horrible image of a trauma haunts us and seems to remain with us. Our brains must be helped to transform that image into a story that is now in our past . . . it has to become something we remember but that no longer haunts and terrorizes us.

Trauma debriefing soon after an accident or traumatic event helps. Dr. Smith has been called in to debrief after bank robberies, accidental deaths in the workplace, company layoffs and other group traumas.

Trauma is becoming better understood. Research is just now beginning to learn that our brains actually behave differently after a trauma. There are ways to reset our thinking so that the fear, anger, irritability, social withdrawal and suspiciousness goes away. PTSD doesn’t mean you are “crazy” or somehow changed for life. If you want to get better, you can.

If you, your work group, your family or anyone else you care about needs help with trauma please call! (409) 729-0400

Dr. Smith is available for individual counseling, workplace trauma debriefing and public presentations.