There are a variety of evidenced-based treatments for PTSD. After selecting which one feels like a good fit for you, be sure and find a therapist trained in that approach. Often therapists will state if they are trained in a particular approach, if not you can ask what evidenced based approach they use. The options are listed below have all been shown to be effective.
- Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)
- The goal of NET is to help reorganize memories across the lifetime, mixing “hot” traumatic memories with “cold” autobiographical memories. A recent evaluation of the literature done in Issues in Mental Health Nursing found this approach to be effective at reducing PTSD symptoms.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- According to a research article in Frontiers in Psychology, EMDR is an effective way to treat PTSD. The article explains that EMDR is focused on treating PTSD using bilateral stimulation (side to side movement), usually of the eyes. This moment is thought to reduce the discomfort caused traumatic memories. The goal of this approach is to reprocess and integrate memories.
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
- Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART)
- Researchers in Military Medicine showed ART to be effective at treating PTSD. This approach is a brief therapy, meaning it typically takes place over 2 to 5 sessions. This approach uses bilateral eye movement and two other components to reduce PTSD symptoms.
For more information, please visit our page about Trauma Therapy, Individual Therapy, or read our blog post about What to Expect from Therapy.
Brewin, C. R. (2001). Memory processes in post-traumatic stress disorder. International Review of Psychiatry, 13(3), 159-163.
Grech, P., & Grech, R. (2020). A Comparison of Narrative Exposure Therapy and Non-Trauma-Focused Treatment in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 41(2), 91-101.
Kip, K. E., Rosenzweig, L., Hernandez, D. F., Shuman, A., Sullivan, K. L., Long, C. J., & Sahebzamani, F. M. (2013). Randomized controlled trial of accelerated resolution therapy (ART) for symptoms of combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Military medicine, 178(12), 1298-1309.
Kugler, J., Andresen, F. J., Bean, R. C., & Blais, R. K. (2019). Couple‐based interventions for PTSD among military veterans: An empirical review. Journal of clinical psychology, 75(10), 1737-1755.
National Institute of Mental Health. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml#part_145373
Priebe, S., Matanov, A., Janković Gavrilović, J., McCrone, P., Ljubotina, D., Knežević, G., & Schützwoh, M. (2009). Consequences of untreated posttraumatic stress disorder following war in former Yugoslavia: morbidity, subjective quality of life, and care costs. Croatian medical journal, 50(5), 465-475.
Smith, P., Yule, W., Perrin, S., Tranah, T., Dalgleish, T. I. M., & Clark, D. M. (2007). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for PTSD in children and adolescents: a preliminary randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 46(8), 1051-1061.
Valiente-Gómez, A., Moreno-Alcázar, A., Treen, D., Cedrón, C., Colom, F., Perez, V., & Amann, B. L. (2017). EMDR beyond PTSD: A systematic literature review. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 1668.
Whitworth, J. D. (2016). The role of psychoeducation in trauma recovery: Recommendations for content and delivery. Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work, 13(5), 442-451.