Top Effective PTSD Treatment. PTSD Treatments and Options. Facts About The Treatment for PTSD. How To Find PTSD Treatment Near Me.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic, often debilitating mental health disorder that may develop after a traumatic life event. Fortunately, effective psychological treatment options for PTSD exist. The goals of PTSD treatment include modifying negative judgements, correcting the autobiographical memory, and removing the problematic behavioral and cognitive practices. Continue to read more about PTSD treatment options and programs.

By We Level Up | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: July 14, 2023

PTSD Treatments Overview

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating psychiatric condition that can develop in individuals exposed to traumatic events. A range of distressing symptoms, such as intrusive memories, hyperarousal, avoidance behaviors, and negative mood disturbances, characterizes it.

The good news is that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is manageable with appropriate treatment and support. Many individuals with PTSD experience significant improvement in their symptoms and overall well-being through evidence-based therapies, medication, and a comprehensive approach to care. With the right interventions, coping mechanisms, and a supportive network, individuals with PTSD can regain control over their lives and find a path toward recovery and resilience.

This article provides a comprehensive review of evidence-based approaches to treating PTSD, highlighting the effectiveness of various therapeutic modalities and their implications for clinical practice.

How is PTSD Diagnosed?

PTSD is diagnosed through a comprehensive assessment by a qualified mental health professional, typically a psychiatrist or psychologist. The diagnostic process involves gathering information about the individual’s symptoms, history of trauma exposure, and their impact on daily functioning.

To meet the criteria for a PTSD diagnosis, an individual must experience specific symptoms, such as intrusive memories, avoidance behaviors, negative mood changes, and hyperarousal, for a particular duration of time, as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

The clinician may also consider the individual’s subjective distress and impairment in social, occupational, or other crucial areas of functioning when making the diagnosis.

Here is a list of common PTSD symptoms:

  • Intrusive thoughts or memories related to the traumatic event(s).
  • Nightmares or flashbacks of the traumatic event(s).
  • Avoidance of reminders or triggers associated with the trauma.
  • Unfavorable changes in thoughts or mood, such as persistent negative beliefs, self-blame, guilt, or a sense of detachment.
  • Hyperarousal or increased vigilance, including exaggerated startle response, difficulty sleeping, irritability, or difficulty concentrating.
  • Avoiding activities, places, or people that remind one of the trauma.
  • Emotional numbness or a reduced ability to experience positive emotions.
  • Changes in behavior patterns, such as engaging in reckless or self-destructive behavior.
  • Hypervigilance or constant scanning of the environment for potential threats.
  • Physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches, or muscle tension without a medical cause.

These PTSD symptoms can vary in intensity and duration from person to person. A professional evaluation is necessary to determine an accurate diagnosis of PTSD.

Treatment Options for PTSD

PTSD treatment plans should be tailored to each individual’s specific needs, and a comprehensive approach may involve a combination of these treatment options. It is essential to consult with a mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.

Psychotherapy for PTSD

The choice of psychotherapy approach may depend on individual preferences, therapist expertise, and the specific needs and circumstances of the person with PTSD.

Psychotherapy provides a safe and supportive environment for individuals to process and make sense of their traumatic experiences. Through various therapeutic techniques, such as exposure or eye movement therapy for PTSD, psychotherapy helps individuals confront and gradually work through the distressing memories, reducing their intensity and emotional impact over time.

Many individuals with PTSD experience distorted and negative thinking patterns related to the trauma, such as self-blame or a persistent sense of danger. Psychotherapy, particularly cognitive-behavioral approaches like CBT, helps individuals identify and challenge these distorted thoughts, replacing them with more accurate and adaptive beliefs, which can reduce PTSD symptoms.

Veterans and elderlies with PTSD often have access to specialized PTSD treatment options tailored to their unique needs and experiences.
Veterans and elderlies with PTSD often have access to specialized PTSD treatment options tailored to their unique needs and experiences.
PTSD treatment helps people overcome their mental health challenges and build essential coping skills to return to living their best lives in recovery. Connect with the team at We Level Up to get help.
PTSD treatment helps people overcome their mental health challenges and build essential coping skills to return to living their best lives in recovery. Connect with the team at We Level Up to get help.

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Top Effective Psychotherapies for PTSD

PTSD therapies are effective due to their targeted and comprehensive approach to addressing the disorder’s specific symptoms and underlying mechanisms. This treatment of PTSD provides a structured framework for individuals to process traumatic memories, challenge distorted thinking patterns, and develop effective coping strategies.

By providing a safe and supportive environment, psychotherapies help individuals confront and gradually reduce avoidance behaviors, promote emotional regulation, and foster a sense of empowerment and control over their trauma-related experiences. Furthermore, the therapeutic relationship and the validation received during therapy contribute to the healing process, fostering resilience and promoting positive changes in individuals’ cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses to traumatic events.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for PTSD

CBT is a widely recognized and practical treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). CBT incorporates skills training to enhance coping strategies, emotion regulation, and problem-solving abilities, empowering individuals to manage distressing symptoms and improve overall functioning.

CBT for PTSD is often delivered in individual or group formats, and it has been shown to significantly reduce PTSD symptoms, improve quality of life, and enhance resilience.

Exposure Therapy for PTSD

Exposure therapy is a prominent and evidence-based treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that involves gradually and systematically confronting trauma-related memories, situations, or stimuli in a safe and controlled manner.

In exposure therapy for PTSD, patients work with a therapist to create a hierarchy of feared or avoided situations or memories, starting with less distressing elements and gradually progressing to more challenging ones.

Through repeated and controlled exposure to these stimuli, individuals can:

  • Process and integrate the traumatic experiences.
  • Reduce avoidance behaviors.
  • Learn that the associated distress decreases over time.

Exposure therapy helps individuals develop a sense of mastery and empowerment over their trauma-related triggers, leading to a decrease in PTSD symptoms and an improvement in overall functioning and quality of life.

EMDR Therapy for PTSD

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a specialized and effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EMDR involves a structured eight-phase process integrating cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, and bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or taps. During EMDR sessions, individuals with PTSD are guided to recall distressing memories while simultaneously engaging in bilateral stimulation, which helps to process and desensitize traumatic experiences.

This eye therapy PTSD management aims to facilitate reprocessing traumatic memories, alleviate uncomfortable symptoms, and promote adaptive cognitive and emotional responses.

Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD

Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) is a widely used and effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that addresses maladaptive thoughts and beliefs related to the traumatic event.

CPT involves structured sessions where individuals work with a therapist to identify and challenge unhelpful cognitive patterns, such as self-blame or negative beliefs about oneself or the world.

Through various techniques, including Socratic questioning and writing assignments, individuals learn to reframe and restructure their thoughts, develop a more balanced perspective on the trauma, and challenge cognitive distortions.

CPT effectively reduces PTSD symptoms and has a solid evidence base supporting its use in treating PTSD.

New PTSD Treatment Fact Sheet

What are The New Treatments for PTSD?

Researchers and clinicians have been exploring innovative approaches such as virtual reality therapy, mindfulness-based interventions, neurofeedback, and pharmacological advancements. These new treatments aim to enhance the effectiveness and accessibility of PTSD interventions, providing alternative options for individuals who may not have responded optimally to traditional therapies.

However, some emerging treatment options have been controversial and need more research. It is crucial to consult with mental health professionals and stay informed about the latest developments to explore treatment options.

The Efficacy of Ketamine Therapy for PTSD

Ketamine therapy is a new promising treatment for PTSD. Ketamine is an anesthetic agent that, when administered in controlled and monitored doses, has shown rapid and significant reductions in PTSD symptoms.

The mechanism of action involves targeting glutamate receptors in the brain, leading to neuroplastic changes and the formation of new neural connections. It is often delivered in a clinical setting under the supervision of healthcare professionals.

While further research is still needed to understand its long-term effects and optimal administration protocols entirely, ketamine treatment for PTSD holds potential as a novel and practical treatment approach for individuals with the condition who have not responded adequately to traditional therapies.

The Risks of MDMA for PTSD Treatment

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), commonly known as ecstasy or Molly, as a potential treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), carries certain risks that must be carefully considered.

MDMA therapy PTSD medication involves combining the administration of MDMA with psychotherapy sessions. While early studies have shown promising results, potential risks include adverse psychological effects, such as anxiety, panic reactions, and emotional distress during the drug experience.

Concerns exist about the potential for misuse or long-term adverse effects on brain function, cardiovascular health, and overall mental well-being. Close monitoring, rigorous safety protocols, and ongoing research are crucial to understand better the risks associated with PTSD treatment MDMA option and ensure its safe and effective use as a potential treatment.

Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy for PTSD

Psychedelic-assisted therapy, including the use of psilocybin-containing mushrooms (often referred to as “shrooms”), has gained attention as a potential treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Preliminary studies have shown promising results, suggesting that psychedelics can facilitate profound therapeutic experiences and enhance psychological well-being.

However, the legal status and regulatory frameworks surrounding psychedelic substances vary across jurisdictions, emphasizing the need to consider the risks, safety measures, and ethical considerations associated with mushroom therapy for PTSD.

Rigorous research, professional guidance, and adherence to safety protocols are essential in exploring the potential benefits and risks of these new PTSD treatment options.

What is PTSD? Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder NIMH Free PDF

Download the file below for more information about PTSD and the best PTSD treatment. This file has been made publicly available for download to help raise awareness about PTSD symptoms and treatments.

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PTSD Statistics

Specific populations face higher rates of PTSD than others. Military veterans experience double the rate of PTSD than civilians, and young adults are more frequently diagnosed with PTSD than adults.

Living with post-traumatic stress disorder can be debilitating. People who experience the symptoms of PTSD can experience intense episodes of anxiety, avoid certain situations, and have difficulty regulating their emotions and sleep patterns.

7.7 Million

Roughly 7.7 million adults in the US have PTSD in a given year.

Source: NIMH


About 60% of men and 50% of women experience at least one traumatic event.

Source: NCBI


around 11-20% of veterans who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have PTSD in any given year.

Source: VA

Treatment for Complex PTSD

C PTSD treatment typically involves a comprehensive and integrated approach that addresses the specific symptoms and challenges associated with prolonged and repeated trauma. Here are some standard components of complex PTSD therapy:

  • Trauma-focused Therapy.
  • Skills Training.
  • Stabilization and Self-care.
  • Relationship and Attachment Work.
  • Medication.

C PTSD treatment should be tailored to the individual’s needs and may require a longer duration than treatment for single-incident PTSD. Moreover, treatment for PTSD nightmares associated with complex post-traumatic stress disorder may involve a combination of therapies, such as:

  • Imagery rehearsal therapy (IRT).
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I).
  • Trauma-focused therapies.

A comprehensive assessment by a qualified mental health professional is essential to develop an appropriate and personalized treatment plan for C-PTSD.

Diagnosing psychiatric conditions should be done by trained and licensed professionals, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, or clinical social workers. These PTSD treatment professionals have the expertise to conduct a comprehensive evaluation and provide an accurate diagnosis.
Diagnosing psychiatric conditions should be done by trained and licensed professionals, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, or clinical social workers. These PTSD treatment professionals have the expertise to conduct a comprehensive evaluation and provide an accurate diagnosis.

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PTSD Treatment Medications

Medications are sometimes prescribed as part of the treatment plan for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Commonly used medications include elective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline (Zoloft) or paroxetine (Paxil).

SSRIs can help reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and intrusive thoughts. Other medications, like prazosin, may be prescribed to address nightmares and sleep disturbances associated with PTSD. However, medication should be used in conjunction with therapy and under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional, as the effectiveness and appropriateness of medication can vary for each individual.

The Benefits of PTSD Inpatient Treatment

If you’re looking for the best complex PTSD treatment centers, inpatient treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can offer several benefits for individuals who require a more intensive level of care:

  • Structure and Safety: Inpatient treatment provides a highly structured and controlled environment, ensuring round-the-clock care and supervision. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with severe PTSD symptoms or those who may be at risk of self-harm or suicide. The controlled setting allows immediate access to support, crisis intervention, and a safe space for stabilization.
Inpatient PTSD treatment allows individuals to fully immerse themselves in the therapeutic process without distractions from external stressors or responsibilities.
Inpatient PTSD treatment allows individuals to fully immerse themselves in the therapeutic process without distractions from external stressors or responsibilities.

Inpatient PTSD treatment programs are typically recommended for individuals with severe symptoms or those who have not responded well to outpatient care. The decision to pursue inpatient treatment should be made in collaboration with mental health professionals based on the individual’s specific needs and circumstances.

  • Comprehensive Treatment: Inpatient programs typically offer comprehensive therapeutic interventions and services. This can include individual therapy, group therapy, trauma-focused therapies, medication management, psychoeducation, and holistic approaches such as art therapy or mindfulness practices.
  • Peer Support and Community: Inpatient treatment allows individuals with PTSD to connect with peers with similar experiences. This sense of community and understanding can foster a supportive environment where individuals can share their struggles, gain insights, and develop a sense of belonging. Peer support can play a vital role in recovery and provide encouragement and validation.
  • Multidisciplinary Approach: Inpatient programs often involve a multidisciplinary team of mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, nurses, and support staff. This collaborative approach ensures that individuals receive coordinated and comprehensive care that addresses various aspects of their condition, including psychiatric, medical, and psychosocial needs.

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PTSD and substance use often go hand in hand as co-occurring disorders. When people are dealing with both PTSD and substance use disorders, it is referred to as a dual diagnosis. Treating the symptoms of both conditions is essential to long-term recovery.

People who have experienced a traumatic incident and have long-lasting symptoms of mental illness will often resort to extreme measures to avoid trauma-related memories. 

Drugs such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids, or stimulants may temporarily relieve symptoms, leading people with PTSD and traumas to turn to substance abuse as a coping mechanism.

Yet while using substances to cope may provide some short-term relief from a trauma memory, substance abuse can quickly worsen a person’s mental illness. When people abuse drugs or alcohol, their minds and bodies adapt to the substance. They can experience significant rebound effects when they attempt to stop using substances, which leads to worsening mental health and the development of addiction.

The occurrence of substance abuse among people with PTSD typically follows a similar pattern:

  • People experience anxiety, fear, or distress in response to traumatic memories.
  • They use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate their mental health symptoms and find temporary relief.
  • When the drugs or alcohol wears off, their mental health stressors reappear stronger than before.
  • They use more drugs or alcohol to cope with their mental and physical symptoms, leading to a destructive downward spiral.

This cycle can quickly lead to addiction. Rather than dealing with the devastating effects of PTSD alone, people can also begin to experience intense drug cravings, withdrawal symptoms, loss of interest in favored hobbies and activities, and other consequences from their substance use.

Treating PTSD and Addiction

We Level Up offers many options for helping people with co-occurring disorders. Our PTSD treatment program is interwoven directly with our substance use treatment programs and can provide comprehensive care from specially trained mental health providers.

Integrating PTSD and addiction treatment is essential for people struggling with both disorders. Treating one condition without the other can quickly lead to relapse or worsening symptoms after treatment completion.

By creating a thorough dual-diagnosis program for PTSD treatment and effective substance use treatment, We Level Up has provided the most productive mental health treatment options available.

At a dual-diagnosis program, our clients receive post-traumatic stress disorder treatments such as:

  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
  • Long-term exposure therapy.
  • Cognitive therapy.
  • Psychiatric treatments, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
  • Experiential therapies.
  • Individual therapy.
  • Group therapy.

These post-traumatic stress disorder treatments help people work through traumatic memories with a mental health professional, reduce their overall level of traumatic symptoms, teach them to manage stress levels and provide coping mechanisms that can last a lifetime.

We offer several PTSD treatments to ensure that each client gets the help they need when needed. People developing PTSD can benefit from early intervention, and those with a long history of symptoms can reclaim their lives from mental health conditions and reduce their distress significantly.

In addition, clients with co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorders receive the best evidence-based addiction care, including:

  • Individual therapy.
  • Motivational interviewing.
  • Medication-assisted therapy.
  • Relapse prevention programs.
  • Group therapy.
  • Family therapy.
Consider practical factors such as location, cost, insurance coverage, and the availability of specialized PTSD treatment programs.
Consider practical factors such as location, cost, insurance coverage, and the availability of specialized PTSD treatment programs.

These treatments have decades of research validating their efficacies in helping people manage the symptoms of PTSD, and substance use disorders, repair their relationships, overcome their drug and alcohol cravings, and live stronger and healthier lives in sobriety.

How To Find PTSD Therapy Near Me?

To find “PTSD treatment near me,” consider the following steps:

  • Start by searching online directories or databases that specialize in mental health providers.
  • Contact your primary care physician, psychiatrist, or other mental health professionals for recommendations. Additionally, consider asking trusted friends, family members, or support groups who have had positive experiences with PTSD therapy for their recommendations.
  • Contact mental health organizations or helplines in your country or region.
  • If you have health insurance, contact your insurance provider to obtain a list of mental health professionals who are in-network or covered by your plan. This can help narrow your search and ensure that therapy sessions are financially feasible.

Remember to consider factors such as therapist specialization, treatment modalities, convenience of location, and the therapist’s availability when selecting a PTSD therapy provider. Finding the best therapy for PTSD and a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and supported as you embark on your journey toward healing and recovery is essential.

We Level Up Therapy for PTSD Near Me

We Level Up mental health center provides a comprehensive and specialized treatment plan for PTSD and other mental health conditions. Our team of highly trained and experienced professionals is dedicated to delivering evidence-based therapies and interventions tailored to the unique needs of each individual. We offer a range of therapeutic modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma-focused therapies, group therapy, and evidence-based approaches, all in a safe and supportive environment. Check our mental health locations nationwide.

The goal of We Level Up mental health centers is to guide individuals on their path to healing, helping them regain control of their lives and achieve improved overall well-being.

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Top 3 Treatments of PTSD FAQs

  1. How many veterans with PTSD seek treatment?

    Studies have shown that less than half of veterans requiring mental health treatments receive any treatment. Of those receiving PTSD therapy and depression, less than one-third are receiving evidence-based treatment programs. Many veterans with PTSD do not seek or receive the necessary treatment, with barriers such as stigma, lack of awareness, and limited access to healthcare services playing a role in the underutilization of mental health resources.

  2. What is the best treatment for PTSD?

    The best treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) depends on the individual and their needs. Evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), PTSD treatment EMDR, and medication, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have shown effectiveness in reducing PTSD symptoms and improving overall functioning.

  3. Can PTSD come back after treatment?

    PTSD symptoms can resurface or return after treatment. While treatment can significantly alleviate symptoms and improve coping mechanisms, some individuals may experience triggers or new traumatic events that can rekindle or exacerbate their PTSD symptoms, requiring additional or modified treatment approaches. Individuals must continue seeking support and maintaining their mental health even after successful treatment to effectively manage any potential recurrence of symptoms.

Powerful Coping Skills for Anxiety. Top Mental Health Tips & Anxiety Tips Advice from a Therapist.

Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) frequently co-occur, with many individuals simultaneously experiencing symptoms of both conditions. The distressing and traumatic experiences associated with PTSD can significantly contribute to developing or exacerbating depressive symptoms. Treating both conditions concurrently is essential for comprehensive mental health care and improved overall well-being.

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Search We Level Up PTSD Treatment, Mental Health Topics & Resources

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[2] Miao XR, Chen QB, Wei K, Tao KM, Lu ZJ. Posttraumatic stress disorder: from diagnosis to prevention. Mil Med Res. 2018 Sep 28;5(1):32. Doi 10.1186/s40779-018-0179-0. PMID: 30261912; PMCID: PMC6161419.

[3] Watkins LE, Sprang KR, Rothbaum BO. PTSD Treatment: A Review of Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Interventions. Front Behav Neurosci. 2018 Nov 2;12:258. Doi 10.3389/fnbeh.2018.00258. PMID: 30450043; PMCID: PMC6224348.

[4] Schrader C, Ross A. A Review of PTSD and Current Treatment Strategies. Mo Med. 2021 Nov-Dec;118(6):546-551. PMID: 34924624; PMCID: PMC8672952.

[5] PTSD: National Center for PTSD Home – Veterans Affairs (.gov)

[6] Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – National Institute of Mental Health (.gov)

[7] PTSD Treatment Basics – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

[8] National Center for PTSD Treatment – Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA)

[9] Interventions for the Prevention of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Adults After Exposure to Psychological Trauma / PTSD Treatment –

[10] Psychotherapy for PTSD Among Veterans Also Receiving Drug or Alcohol Treatment (COMPASS) – Clinical Trials (.gov)