It is a sad fact of life that often people do go through some sort of traumatic event. Sometimes these events can be difficult to deal with in the short term, and in a good number of cases, these traumatic events have long term ramifications that can eventually disable an individual with feelings of fear, anger, anxiety, resentment, and more.

psychotherapy for ptsd

It is important to state that not everyone who witnesses a traumatic event is prone to suffer PTSD. Yes, they might react negatively to the event at first, but it becomes PTSD if the traumatic event persists and affects them in the long term.

Treatment Options

There are several PTSD treatment options. Well, someone once told me that practitioners offering PTSD treatment range from professional medical doctors down to snake oil salesman... lol. Try as much as you can to avoid the latter though. In this article, I will be walking you through some successful treatment options.

When it comes to the treatment options of PTSD, in most cases there are combination treatments of therapy and drugs. Although there is a gradual shift to drug-free approaches for the treatment of PTSD, this is due to the fact that certain drugs used for this treatment have been known to have some serious side effects.

Nonetheless, advances made on most of these approaches have been nothing short of outstanding.

Indeed there are as many types of PTSD symptoms as there are treatments and not everyone with this disorder exhibits the same symptoms. Which means that there is no one cure that fixes everyone's condition, as the severity of the PTSD depends on the person and the type of episode he or she was in.

The idea is to get a treatment that'll help an individual regain a sense of control over his or her life. The primary treatment we'll be hinting on here is psychotherapy which in some cases can also include medication. It is ideal to note that combining these two treatments can remarkably help improve symptoms by:

  • Teaching the skills to help identify and address symptoms
  • Learning ways to cope if any symptoms should arise again
  • Helping its victim think better about themselves, others and the world
  • Treating other conditions that are sometimes associated with these traumatic experiences, such as anxiety, depression, or misuse of alcohol or drugs
therapist for trauma

Here are the Successful Psychotherapy Treatment Options

Both for the treatments of children and adults with PTSD, these types of psychotherapy have proven to be efficient and successful:

1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

This type of psychotherapy treatment helps an individual recognize his or her cognitive patterns (the way they think), when recognized they can then be altered using some strategies that'll change the behavioral responses of the individual and as such eliminate the anxiety reaction caused by PTSD.

In most cases of PTSD, cognitive therapy often is used along with medication or exposure therapy for a more effective outcome.

2. Systematic Desensitization

The goal of this treatment is for the patient to be able to confront the object of fear. It is a very gradual process cut across the element provoking anxiety in the patient and the anxiety response.

The approach starts with relaxation techniques, then onto identifying the anxiety provoking elements and maybe listing them out. Next is the desensitization process which involves actually confronting each of the items starting from the less threatening ones.

This type of treatment has been remarkably successful for treatments of social phobias, simple phobias, agoraphobia, and post-traumatic stress syndrome.

3. Exposure Therapy

This is a type of psychotherapy treatment that intentionally excites anxiety in an individual by exposing him or her to both situations and memories that they find frightening. Basically in order to enable them learn how to cope with the situation effectively. Here there's no form of relaxation neither is the process gradual.

counselor ptsd treatment

In this therapy, the patient will continue to experience the anxiety until what causes the stimulation finally loses it effect.

4. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is the combination of exposure therapy with a series of guided eye movements, this form of therapy helps an individual process traumatic memories and change how they react to them.

Other forms of psychotherapy:

  • Modeling Treatment: Best for treating phobias
  • Anxiety Management Therapy: Mostly used as an alternative to CBT in cases of generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Emotion-based Psychotherapy: Proven to be useful for generalized anxiety.

Please note that PTSD is sometimes chronic and reoccurrence could take place even after the individual might have had a successful short-term therapy.

You do not have to handle the burden of PTSD on your own, contact a therapist today.

Seek advice from your therapist if what you need is long-term or some kind of intensive therapy like in anxiety disorders. Sometimes medications may be recommended to facilitate the process, which is, of course, a great idea.

For more information, please visit our PTSD treatment page or call us at 919-647-4600

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