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What are Treatment Options for PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex mental health condition. It was first diagnosed in war veterans decades ago known as “shell shock.” As time went on, however, more was discovered about the disease.

The discoveries made not only include treatment for PTSD, but also the various causes for it. PTSD can result from:

  • Rape or sexual assault
  • Being involved in a car crash
  • Experiencing any kind of violent attack
  • Losing someone close to you
  • Being diagnosed with a life-threatening condition
  • And much more

Some people can be more at-risk of developing PTSD than others. This pertains to people:

  • Without the emotional and mental support they need
  • Who have previously experienced depression and anxiety 

People with similar characteristics can be all the more likely to experience PTSD. That doesn’t mean it can’t be treated, however. Treatment for PTSD can be more accessible than you could’ve thought, though it does take a lot of time and effort. You’ll have to want to put in the work and be open to various solutions.

There’s no one-size-fits all approach to this. So, treatment is usually tailored to your specific case. Most of the time, it can be a mix of several treatments. Some treatment options are much more common than others.

If you’re experiencing PTSD, these treatment options are worth looking into.

What are Treatment Options for PTSD?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

Coined as “talk therapy,” cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on tackling the thoughts and emotions you experience related to your trauma. While it’s usually used to treat depression and anxiety, it has proven to be useful in PTSD treatment as well.

With time, CBT teaches patients effective coping skills for changing their negative thoughts and patterns. With time and effort, these coping skills can be used to deal with the triggered responses you have to various daily situations.

Keep in mind that CBT doesn’t have much of an impact on past traumas. Rather, it helps you deal with anything in the present moment that sets off your trauma responses.

Prolonged exposure

Prolonged exposure is commonly utilized in conjunction with CBT. However, it is a separate strategy in and of itself. As an intervention strategy, prolonged exposure helps expose patients to trauma-related experiences in a safe place. While this can be difficult at first, it helps teach the skills needed to manage these situations and emotions.

Most people associate fear with the memories and events that cause PTSD. With prolonged exposure, however, people are shown that there’s nothing to fear about certain situations. This is done in a controlled and safe environment. This way, the patient knows that they are in full control during the session.

In most cases, prolonged exposure therapy starts with imagining the situations before making them increasingly real.


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) was designed specifically to help with PTSD. EMDR treatment focuses on helping patients properly process the thoughts and emotions they experienced during their trauma to help them move past it.

Unlike other PTSD treatments that focus on a patient’s responses to a trauma, EMDR focuses specifically on the memory associated with the trauma. Usually, patients will have two sessions a week for a total of between six and 12 sessions, although some patients see results with fewer sessions.

By tackling the memory of the trauma, EMDR minimizes—and sometimes removes—the emotions and thoughts associated with it. Patients end up feeling overwhelmed and triggered by the memory, helping them long-term.


Medication is usually used alongside each of the other treatments for PTSD, as it helps manage the symptoms as you treat the overall disorder. Usually, this is in the form of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Fluoxetine, Paroxetine, and Sertraline are the most common of these.

In some cases, venlafaxine, a selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), can also be used. For most patients, however, an SSRI is prescribed, so it’s worth digging a little deeper into them. These are used in most anxiety and mood disorders and have proven quite effective in the right dosages.

There are some exceptions to whether this is prescribed, however:

  • When there’s intolerable sexual dysfunction associated with use of the SSRI
  • If a patient has a co-occurring bipolar disorder, which could end up causing mood instability

Any qualified professional will work with you to make sure you’re using the right medication for you. Sometimes, you might need to use this long-term, but short-term usage could also be an option, depending on your case.

What Does PTSD Treatment Look Like at Jackson House?

PTSD treatment can be confusing and frustrating for anybody. Even the condition itself is unnerving for those affected by it. Not to mention the impact that the disorder has on daily life.

Getting treatment that’s catered to you and your circumstances is vital. In general, getting help from a professional will help you to overcome the obstacles that PTSD presents.

At Jackson House, we’re here to help. We understand that everyone needs some help sometimes. Moreover, we want to be there to give you what you need. Our PTSD treatment focuses on your needs and your unique circumstances.

We understand that mental health care is not a one-size-fits-all model. That said, our treatment plan is individually catered to you. Once you’ve taken the first step of getting in touch with us, we’re here to craft a plan that helps with your mental health condition.

You’ll be given an assessment so we can properly understand your condition and needs. Once we have a proper understanding, we will curate a treatment plan. After that, it’s a matter of being admitted to Jackson House and getting started on your treatment plan.

You’ll be treated with the respect and dignity you deserve throughout this entire process. If you’re experiencing PTSD and want help, give Jackson House a call. We’re here to give you a friendly hand so you can get better.

About the author

Jackson House

Jackson House

We built Jackson House because we realized there was a critical gap in our healthcare system and many individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse problems were struggling because of it. While there are many outpatient treatment options and locked, inpatient facilities there was nothing in the middle. Nothing to help people who needed around the clock care but wanted to receive treatment voluntarily, on their own terms. Jackson House is different. We provide clients with the level of care they need in a welcoming environment. When you walk through our doors, we will meet you wherever you’re at and help you on your journey toward feeling better.

It's time to feel better

We are here to help and we are in-network with most insurance providers. Call us for a free and confidential consultation.

If you’re a provider and need to send us information on a client, please feel free to fax us at 619-303-7044. If you need help immediately, call our 24-hour crisis line at 1-800-766-4274. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. Jackson House is licensed by the State of California Community Care Licensing Division and certified by the Department of Health Care Services. We are also CARF Accredited. If you have any client or quality of care concerns, please reach out to us at (888) 255-9280. If your concerns need further attention, you can contact the Department of Public Health at 619-278-3700 or the Community Care Licensing Division at 1-844-538-8766.