Sometimes after traumatic crashes individuals develop physical and cognitive symptoms of anxiety that make returning to pre-crash levels of comfort in or near a vehicle very difficult. Here are some examples of the kinds of changes you may have noticed:
Elevated heart rate, increased muscle tension, increased alertness, sweating, irregular breathing (held breath or rapid breathing), startling, dizziness, nausea, trembling, racing thoughts, dry mouth, "butterflies" in stomach, post-event fatigue.
Fearful predictions, assumptions, and interpretations that are excessive or unreasonable with relation to generally objectively safe situations or events. For example, you may have formerly driven or passengered without anxiety where now you either endure drives or rides with dread, or avoid them whenever you can.
These symptoms can occur immediately after a crash but go away naturally. Other times they persist and require some form of treatment to resolve. Therapist-guided exposure therapy has been the gold-standard for treatment of specific phobias and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder for decades. In basic terms it is a gradual re-introduction to driving, passengering, or pedestrianing that is predictable, controllable, and safe, expressly unlike just "getting back on the horse." And as crashes usually affect families as a whole, other family members may have opportunities to attend treatment sessions so that they may better understand the condition and provide help where needed.
Therapists at Appian Way are also expertly trained drivers and professional trainers, having a level of expertise as such trusted by police agencies, emergency services, and government agencies throughout North America. Vehicles used for treatment are unmarked and are equipped with safety features like dual-brakes and eye-mirrors to help and protect clients during treatment.
Funding for treatment is usually provided for by Auto Accident Benefits or WSIB, but can also be funded privately.
Therapy is completed at YOUR PACE, from YOUR HOME, and in OUR VEHICLES, unless otherwise noted.