PTSD Treatment Clinic Dubai and Abu Dhabi | Aspris Healthcare UAE

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 Aspris Wellbeing Centres in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, our highly qualified psychiatrists and trauma 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.

Specialist trauma treatment in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Our Wellbeing Centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi deliver comprehensive PTSD treatment on a flexible outpatient basis. We aim 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 Aspris 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 Aspris 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 signs 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 PTSD symptoms 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 traumatic stress as a 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 Aspris trauma service provides.” – Dr Walid Abdul-Hamid, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director.

Where to get help for trauma in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Aspris have been treating trauma in the UAE since 2017. We offer support for trauma in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, at the following locations:

Trauma therapy in Dubai

Aspris Wellbeing Centre Dubai
Dubai City Walk, Al Nuzha Street
Building 19

Trauma treatment in Abu Dhabi

Aspris Wellbeing Centre Abu Dhabi
King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street
Al Bateen

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

For further information call today on: (+971) 4 385 4493 (Dubai) / (+971) 2 651 8111 (Abu Dhabi) 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 Rasha Bassim, Specialist Psychiatrist

This page was clinically reviewed by Dr Rasha Bassim (MBBch, MSc, MD Psychiatry, Specialist Psychiatrist) in March 2023, and is scheduled to be reviewed again in March 2024. Dr Bassim has more than 18 years’ psychiatric experience. Her extensive career started in Egypt, where she worked for 10 years, followed by four years in Kuwait; she has been practising in the UAE since 2013. As of 2014, Dr Bassim is also a qualified transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapist. View Dr Bassim's full profile here.