Skip to main content


PTSD: Understanding Innovative Therapy Options

PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a term and condition many are familiar with, even if they do not suffer from the condition themselves or know someone personally who suffers from the condition. For those who have seen the effects of PTSD, they know how serious and debilitating the condition can really be. Some who develop this condition may lose their job, push away friends and family, lose the ability to care for themselves, fall into depression and other mental health concerns, etc. That’s why it is so important to spread awareness of the condition and promote any and all options to help treat this condition and promote recovery and healing.  

What is PTSD?  

PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is a psychological condition that can develop in individuals who experience or witness a traumatic event(s). In order to receive a diagnosis, a person must have symptoms that last for more than a month and the symptoms must cause significant problems in their functioning lives. In 2020, about 13 million people in the United States were diagnosed with PTSD. Statistically, women are twice as likely to have PTSD than men and we estimate that one in eleven people will receive this diagnosis in their lifetime. With such a significant portion of the population living with this condition, it is important to understand this condition and what options are out there to help heal and recover. 

What Causes PTSD?  

PTSD is a psychological condition that can develop after someone experiences a traumatic event or series of events. This condition is different for everyone, so the set circumstances in which someone develops this condition may vary between each person. Neurobiological factors, such as genetic predisposition, hormonal imbalances, and alterations in brain structure and function, can also play a role in the development of PTSD. 

What are the Symptoms of PTSD?  

Generally, there are four main types of symptoms for PTSD:  

  • Re-experiencing: Someone with PTSD may re-experience their trauma through recollection, flashbacks, and/or nightmares.  
  • Avoidance: Someone with PTSD may avoid anything that reminds them of their trauma and may become emotionally “numb”.  
  • Alternations in Cognition & Mood: Regular and repeated negative thoughts /perceptions about self, others, and/or the world. They may lose interest in things they used to enjoy or have persistent feelings of shame/guilt.   
  • Hyperarousal & Reactivity: This may include an increased feeling of irritability, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, being overly sensitive to threats, and being easily startled.  

In order to be diagnosed, a person must have at least one re-experiencing symptom, three avoidance symptoms, two negative alterations, and two hyperarousal symptoms for at least one month.  

The Oxford Center’s Approach to PTSD


With this purpose in mind, The Oxford Center is at the forefront of utilizing innovative therapeutic modalities, including neurofeedback, to treat PTSD. Neurofeedback is a non-invasive technique that aims to improve brain function by providing real-time feedback on brainwave activity. By monitoring brainwave patterns, individuals can learn to self-regulate their brain activity, leading to improved emotional and cognitive functioning. 

Neurofeedback has shown promising results in treating PTSD, with research indicating its effectiveness in reducing symptoms and improving overall well-being. Studies have demonstrated that neurofeedback can lead to decreased hyperarousal, increased emotional regulation, and enhanced cognitive flexibility in individuals with this condition. 

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a treatment method that involves breathing pure oxygen. While traditionally used for conditions such as decompression sickness and non-healing wounds, emerging research suggests that HBOT may also offer benefits for individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). By exposing individuals to increased levels of oxygen, HBOT aims to enhance oxygen delivery to tissues, promote healing, and reduce inflammation. Studies have indicated that HBOT can have positive effects on brain function, including neuroplasticity and neurogenesis. These neuroprotective and regenerative properties hold promise for individuals with PTSD, as they may help alleviate symptoms such as anxiety, depression, cognitive impairments, and sleep disturbances.  

TOC Talks Episode 14: “PTSD- Causes and Solutions”

In this Episode of TOC Talks, Andrew sits down with Elizabeth Terry, our Director of Medical Services, to discuss Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the causes and solutions, and what options are out there to help promote recovery! Listen in to find out how alternative treatments like Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Neurofeedback Therapy can help relieve PTSD symptoms! Don’t miss out on this interesting and informative episode!

Check It Out!

Want to listen to TOC Talks without the video? Subscribe to TOC Talks on your favorite Audio or Podcast platform! 

Check out our episode and don’t forget to subscribe to TOC Talks! We can be found on all your favorite Audio or Podcast platforms as well as video podcasts on our YouTube and Facebook pages! Find us at the links below!

Want to stay connected and up to date on what is happening at The Oxford Center? Make sure to follow our Social Media Pages! If you would like to find our TOC Talks Podcast page, click on the link below.  

TOC Talks |

TOC Talks – PTSD- Causes and Solutions: TOC Talks Ep. 14 |

Does ABA Therapy Cause PTSD in Individuals with Autism?

Some recent studies have shown that ABA therapy may have a link to PTSD in individuals with autism- but is this always accurate? How do you know what is best for your child? How can you find the best, safe, care for them? The Oxford Center can help answer some of your questions!

What is ABA Therapy?

ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis, which is a scientific approach to understanding and modifying behavior. It is often used in the treatment of autism and other developmental disorders. ABA can also help in educational settings to improve academic performance and social skills. ABA therapy typically involves breaking down complex behaviors into smaller, measurable components. It uses positive reinforcement techniques to teach new skills and improve existing ones. There is a wide range of ABA programs available throughout the country, with many programs operating slightly differently from one another.

Research Study Overview

In 2018, an independent researcher named Henny Kupferstein published a research study titled “Evidence of Increased PTSD Symptoms in Autistics Exposed to Applied Behavior Analysis”. This study sent an online questionnaire to 460 respondents to measure the connection of PTSD symptoms with adults and children exposed to applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy in early childhood intervention. According to this study, “Nearly half (46 percent) of the ABA-exposed respondents met the diagnostic threshold for PTSD, and extreme levels of severity were recorded in 47 percent of the affected subgroup” (Kupferstein 2018). The type of ABA therapy used in the study were programs that force eye contact, punish self-stimulating behaviors (stimming), and force participants to work at tables without alternative seating for hours. These programs use both reinforcement and punishment procedures as a way to modify behavior.

Limitations in the Study

This study includes an account of the limitations of the research. The study acknowledges a disproportionate amount of female versus male responders. Kupferstein also writes “These accompanied significant discrepancies in reporting bias between caregivers and ABA-exposed individuals, which highlight the need for the inclusion of the adult autistic voice in future intervention design” (2018).

This study fails to note the dependency on the type of ABA program being described. ABA programs that use punishment methods, force eye contact, provide no appropriate stimulation, etc. are bound to be unsuccessful and psychologically damaging for children with autism and other developmental disorders. The quality of care given to our children matters, always. This study fails to survey respondents who attended a high-quality ABA program that does NOT use punishment and other harmful methods. The research in this study is not accurate or complete for all ABA programs.

What The Oxford Center Offers

The Village of TOC offers the best location in the country for natural environment teaching in our ABA program.

Programs at The Oxford Center are different from the programs in the study. Our ABA program provides the highest-quality care and attention for your children. At The Oxford Center, our synergistic approach to autism is unlike any other ABA center. We provide center-based ABA services and other beneficial therapies like occupational therapyspeech therapyphysical therapy, art classes, music classes and more. We use natural environment teaching (NET) and offer the best facility in the country for NET. NET allows children to learn and grow in a real-life, simulated environment which is extremely important for a child with autism.

The Oxford Center offers The Village of TOC, the only facility of its kind in the US. This is the best location in the country for natural environment teaching. The Village features indoor sidewalks, streetlights, crosswalks, grass, park benches, and roads. Twelve fully functioning retail stores, including a dentist office, hair salon, coffee shop, grocery store, and more, surround our park setting. Our features at The Village of TOC allow individuals to learn in a safe and controlled natural environment. Our ABA program uses NET to teach real-life skills while in a simulated real-life environment. We reward with play to improve social skills all while working to ensure goals. In our park setting, children are able to ride bikes and scooters around the indoor roads to boost engagement.

The Oxford Center Difference

At The Oxford Center, we always put the needs of our children first. We promote skill acquisition with natural teaching techniques and incorporate physical activity and music to teach skills.  Our ABA program encourages attending skills only to the point that allows the child to function successfully across their environments. We promote pivotal response theory, which is a child-directed reinforcement procedure that uses individual interests to reinforce positive behavior. Our program does NOT use any type of punishment procedure… EVER. We seek to create a positive, engaging, and caring environment for our children, always.

Contact our team at The Oxford Center today to discuss the learning possibilities available through our ABA and NET programs. Call us at 248-486-3636 to schedule a no-fee discovery session.