Counseling 101: Natural Therapies For Individuals Affected By Calamities 

Natural disasters bring emotional damage to millions of people every year. Earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, fires, tornadoes, and floods are only some of the calamities that destroy our homes and lives. Even though we can prepare for natural disasters, there is nothing we can do to stop the destruction it can bring completely.  




Statistics say that these calamities lead to millions of lives lost and economic devastation. However, what is not accounted for is the psychological effect of these calamities to the people who have experienced them. Some people who are left in the turmoil of these events have lost their homes, families, friends, and even their entire way of life.  


These natural disasters often impact an individual’s mental health. One of the most common psychological effects brought about by calamities is post-traumatic stress disorder.  


What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? 

Anyone who has been exposed to a terrifying or life-threatening event, such as natural disasters, can develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD can manifest immediately once the event has happened but in some cases, it can develop much later. For months or even years, individuals with PTSD will still be haunted by these traumatic events, to the point that their daily routines become significantly impeded. “People with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended,” explains Ranna Parekh, M.D., M.P.H. “They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares; they may feel sadness, fear or anger; and they may feel detached or estranged from other people.”




According to the Anxiety and Depressions Association of America, listed below are some of the common symptoms of PTSD: 


  • Physical symptoms of anxiety such as the inability to think clearly, sweating, and a racing heartbeat 
  • Experiencing flashbacks regarding the traumatic memories 
  • Making changes in an individual’s routine to avoid encountering triggers 
  • Avoiding people interaction (avoiding sharing their thoughts and feelings) 
  • Insomnia or difficulty to get enough rest due to strange dreams or constant nightmares 
  • Having angry outbursts on a regular basis 
  • Being aggressive or violent to anyone 
  • Lack of concentration which leads to the difficulty of completing tasks 
  • Inability to retain or remember information 

Every person experiences different symptoms. The recovery phase for PTSD usually lasts for six months, but others face this disorder for years.  


Natural Therapies For PTSD 

Most treatments for PTSD have a conventional approach. These treatments include the use of prescription medications and drugs, which are believed to help PTSD patients deal with their extreme emotions and feelings such as social isolation, sadness, anger, anxiety, and lack of motivation. However, some people do not like this kind of approach. They opt to engage with natural treatments since they do not want to experience side effects from using medications. 

 Listed below are some of the natural therapies for individuals with PTSD: 


  • Guided Imagery  

This strategy helps PTSD patients to focus on mental images to bring out the feeling of relaxation. This practice is based on the concept of the mind-body connection that improves both physical and emotional health. Ilene A. Serlin Ph.D. wrote, “Trauma is the “speechless terror” characterized, by frozen affect, memory and speech. Methods that re-awaken numb bodies in a compassionate environment are nonverbal and symbolic and include meditation, imagery, an, music and movement therapies, EMDR, psychodrama and existential therapy.”




  • Yoga And Meditation  

These exercises have been proven to “change the brain” by increasing the happy neurotransmitters. This chemical helps improve the coping mechanisms for negative emotions, reduces the impacts of stress, and more. Some of the techniques on which patients can directly tap into the relaxation response of their body include: chanting mantras with a group, engaging with different styles of meditation, controlled breathing, and stretching. “It’s believed that yoga combats psychological distress by bringing a person’s flight-or-flight response back into balance,” says Bret A. Moore Psy.D., ABPP. “That response is the delicate system in the body that prepares you to either fight or run when faced with a threat, which can become disrupted in those with PTSD.”


  • Cognitive Restructuring 

This approach encourages patients to understand their traumas better by discussing them. Cognitive restructuring helps them make sense of these negative happenings and lets them deal with the shame, guilt, and regret that are usually felt after the traumatic event. 


  • Acupuncture 

Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles on an individual’s skin to balance their energy. This practice helps boost a person’s well-being and cure some conditions.  




Many people prefer these natural therapies as compared to the intake of medications and drugs to help them recover from PTSD. However, it is better if each finds the perfect recovery approach since trauma affects everyone differently. Always remember that mental health is an essential and vital part of a person’s overall health. Hence, if you are having a hard time, do not hesitate to ask for help.  


Published by

Marie Miguel

Professional Experience Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade; covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to target subjects related to anxiety and depression specifically. As an editor, contributor, and writer for over 100 online publications Marie has covered topics related to depression, anxiety, stress, grief, various phobias, and difficult family circumstances. With regular content published on mental health authorities like TheMighty, Yahoo, GoodMenProject, ADAA, CCPA-ACCP, Silverts, AMHCA, etc... Marie has shown both her passion and dedication to discussing & educating topics related to mental health and wellness. With an understanding that there is never too much information and helpful research about mental health in all of its forms, she continues to look for new and creative ways to both start discussions & engage with others about these important topics. Before becoming an online researcher and writer, she worked as an Administrative Executive with different industries namely telecom, security workforce providers, trading companies, exclusive hotel and concierge services. After ten years of working in different industries, she decided to enter the world of freelancing in able to give more time to her precious daughter. Given this opportunity, it helped her discover and realize that she is both capable and passionate about expressing her opinions in creative and influential ways via writing. Education Marie Miguel is a loyalty awardee of St. Paul College where she spent her primary and secondary education. She holds a degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Computer Applications from De La Salle University - College of St. Benilde where she was also on the Dean's List for consecutive semesters during her college years. "My Philosophy on Mental Health & Wellness" It takes passion for being an expert researcher and writer of mental health related topics. Having lived through traumatic experiences in the past, it has become easier to express my opinions and findings I've discovered while researching a variety of situations and subjects. I aim to inspire every person that reads mental health & wellness related articles to provide hope in every struggle; just as my experiences have taught me. Additionally, I strive to contribute to the continual progression of mental health awareness by providing helpful information and significant resources to understand further the importance of keeping a healthy mind and well-being.

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