Trauma Therapy Options for Treating PTSD

One of the most crippling mental health conditions is post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. This condition is typically triggered when a person experiences or even witnesses a horrific or terrifying event. The effect of this event may last for quite a period of time, spanning months or even years. Nightmares, extreme anxiety and flashbacks are some of the symptoms of PTSD.

Whenever a person goes through a traumatic event there can be a difficult time ahead as they try to cope and adjust to what they experienced or witnessed. It’s very important to get treatment if you have PTSD so you can mitigate your symptoms and lessen the devastating effect of PTSD on your daily life.

As you seek counseling, you should look for a therapist who has experience helping people through problems associated with PTSD. There are different approaches and modalities used in trauma therapy, so it’s good to explore your options and discover which therapy works best for you.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Often during treatment for PTSD your therapist will use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The basis for this treatment method is rooted in the assumption that the individual affected by PTSD need to change their thoughts and increase their coping skills. Training in using breath to manage the stress and techniques that help the individual replace irrational thoughts with less threatening, accurate understandings is part of CBT.


A skilled hypnotherapist can guide an individual into an altered, or hypnotic, state. Once there the therapist can talk to the person about the problem they are seeking treatment for. It is believed that the emotions or thoughts that the patient feels during hypnosis are important to the healing process. Studies found that hypnotherapy helped improve sleep and decrease symptoms in individuals experiencing PTSD.

Psychodynamic Therapy

When psychodynamic therapy is used, there is a key focus on the unconscious mind. The unconscious is where thoughts that that are too painful to examine and upsetting feelings are stored. Even though thoughts that are unconscious are not within our awareness they can still have a profound effect on our lives.

Psychodynamic therapy allows the counselor to pinpoint where the individual stands regarding the traumatic event. Once they understand how the event is being processed and where the client is stuck they can help them work through processing the trauma and integrating it.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

In order to perform Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, therapists must attend special training from one of the recognized associations that conducts the educational courses in EMDR. Organizations such as the EMDR International Association or the EMDR institute offer the training on a regular basis.

During an EMDR session the client focuses on the traumatic experience while the therapist uses a moving finger or light that the patient’s eyes follow. At times sound tones are also used. The treatment can be very effective as it basically helps reprogram the brain to help alleviate the trauma.

Post-traumatic stress disorder can be a debilitating condition that drastically alters one’s ability to fully function and have a truly enjoyable life. A skilled therapist can help an individual by employing various treatments that help reduce or eliminate the effects of PTSD.