Treatment Essentials - PTSD: National Center for PTSD
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PTSD: National Center for PTSD

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Treatment Essentials

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Treatment Essentials

As these articles show, trauma-focused psychotherapy is the premier treatment for PTSD, but medication has an important role to play. Emerging and alternative treatments, as well as methods to better engage patients or enhance their treatment response are also described.

Psychotherapy

  • Overview of Psychotherapy for PTSD
    Reviews the psychotherapy recommendations of the 2017 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for PTSD, including discussion of the research underlying unanimous support of cognitive behavioral therapies.
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD
    Explains the theoretical model and session content of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), including a review of effectiveness research for individual and group modalities as well as studies including special populations and comorbidities
  • Prolonged Exposure for PTSD
    Explains the theoretical model and session content of Prolonged Exposure (PE), including a review of effectiveness research and studies including special populations and comorbidities.
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
    Explains the theoretical model and session content of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), including a review of effectiveness research as studies including comorbidities.
  • Treating Survivors in the Acute Aftermath of Traumatic Events
    Describes the complexity of therapy decisions following traumatic events, such as: the nature of events, phases of coping, assessment and evaluation, and intervention information noting specific techniques for acute stress.
  • 2017 Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of PTSD
    The updated VA/DoD CPG includes objective, evidence-based information on the management of PTSD and related conditions, including diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up recommendations.
  • Dissemination of Evidence-Based Psychotherapy for PTSD in Veterans Affairs
    An overview of VA's efforts to disseminate and evaluate utilization practices of Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure for treatment of PTSD.

Medication

Other Approaches

Treatment Engagement and Enhancement

  • Enhancing PTSD Treatment and Delivery
    Discusses new treatment, accessibility, and delivery strategies for PTSD care, including the use of technology, combined therapies, or other techniques.
  • Using the PTSD Treatment Decision Aid with Your Patients
    Learn how to use this online decision aid to help your patients make informed decisions about their PTSD treatment.
  • Using AboutFace: Real PTSD Stories
    Engage your patients in care with this online video gallery dedicated to Veterans talking about living with PTSD and how treatment turned their lives around.
  • PTSD and Telemental Health
    Describes how clinicians use various technologies to deliver mental health care while eliminating travel and discusses clinical considerations and pros/cons of telemedicine for patients with PTSD.

Mobile apps and self-help tools

  • CPT Coach
    A treatment companion mobile app to be used by patients and their mental health provider during Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). CPT Coach is not a self-help tool.
  • PE Coach
    A treatment companion mobile app to be used by patients and their mental health provider during Prolonged Exposure (PE). PE Coach may help with adherence to the treatment manual.
  • PTSD Coach Online: Self-Help and Coping for Clients
    Learn how to use this web-based self-help resource offering 17 tools to address stress-related symptoms and enhance problems skills as a supplement to treatment or to reinforce patient skill development post-treatment.

You May Also Be Interested In

A stack of documents

VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for PTSD (2017)

Get information on evidence based psychotherapies for PTSD.

A doctor handing a prescription.

Clinician’s Guide to Medications for PTSD

Get key information and guidance on the best medications for PTSD.

Are you treating Veterans with PTSD? We can help. PTSD Consultation Program for providers who treat veterans.

PTSD Consultation Program

Expert guidance for treating Veterans with PTSD.

Get help for PTSD

If you need help right away:

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PTSD Information Voice Mail:
(802) 296-6300
ncptsd@va.gov
Also see: VA Mental Health

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