Font Size

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (cont.)

PTSD Treatment

There are several types of therapy for PTSD. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy are the two main branches of treatment. There are a few different types of CBT as well. Many clinicians use both and integrate them into the work that they will do with you.

CBT cognitive behavior therapy for PTSD involves two main aspects. First there is exposure therapy.

  1. This can be done verbally by talking about the memories and learning to process these memories or cues and get past them.
  2. You can also do eye movement therapy called EMDR. During eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, you talk about the trauma while you follow the therapist's finger with your eyes. This helps your brain process your memories and reduce your "overanxious" response to the memories.
  3. Another new type of exposure therapy is called virtual reality exposure. You are placed in a virtual world that immerses you in your trauma and prevents you from avoiding it. You relive it with the help of your therapist to decrease your "over-responsiveness" to the past trauma.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy focuses on identifying current life situations that you were previously unaware of that may be setting off traumatic memories and worsening PTSD symptoms. You get help coping with intense feelings from the past. It helps you become more aware of your current feelings so that you can change your reactions to them. This therapy helps you understand how your past affects the way you feel now.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/9/2015
Medical Author:

Must Read Articles Related to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Anxiety Anxiety as a medical condition is characterized b...learn more >>
Grief and Bereavement
Grief and Bereavement Grief is our personal experience of loss. Mourning is a public expression of our grief. Bereavement is the period after a loss during which mourning occurs (usu...learn more >>
Nightmares Nightmares occur from time to time in many children, but they are most common in preschoolers (children aged 3 to 6 years) because this is the age at which norm...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):

PTSD - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your PTSD?

PTSD - Experience

Please describe your experience with PTSD.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder - Effective Treatments

What kinds of treatments have been effective for your posttraumatic stress disorder?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder »

The formal diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)was not introduced into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders until its third publication in 1980.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

Medical Dictionary