The Most Successful Form of Treatment for PTSD: Identifying Effective Methods

Choose the form you think is the most successful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 14, 2024 07:55
Welcome to StrawPoll's latest thought-provoking ranking - "What is the most successful form of treatment for PTSD?" As we delve into the world of mental health, we invite you to join thousands of others in sharing your perspective on the most effective treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. From traditional therapy to cutting-edge approaches, our comprehensive list covers a wide range of potential solutions to this complex condition. But we don't stop there - we're always open to new insights! Feel free to vote for your favorite treatment or suggest one that we haven't mentioned. Unravel the mysteries of healing the mind and contribute to the conversation by casting your vote today! Together, we can better understand and support those affected by PTSD. So, what are you waiting for? Join the discussion and let your voice be heard!

What Is the Most Successful Form of Treatment for PTSD?

  1. 1
    This form of therapy is highly effective in treating PTSD as it helps individuals identify and challenge negative thought patterns and beliefs that contribute to their symptoms. CBT also teaches coping skills and relaxation techniques.
    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a widely used form of therapy that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It aims to help individuals identify and challenge negative or unhelpful thought patterns and develop more positive and adaptive ways of thinking and responding to situations. CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts and beliefs influence our feelings and actions, and by changing these unhealthy or irrational thoughts, we can experience improved well-being and functioning.
    • Duration: Usually short-term, lasting 12-20 sessions
    • Structure: Structured and goal-oriented
    • Collaborative: Therapist and client work together to identify and solve problems
    • Evidence-based: Supported by extensive scientific research
    • Focused on the present: Primarily seeks to address current issues and difficulties
    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in other rankings
  2. 2
    EMDR is a form of therapy that uses rapid eye movements to help individuals process traumatic memories and reduce the intensity of their symptoms.
    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy approach that is commonly used to treat individuals who have experienced trauma or distressing life events. It was developed in the late 1980s by Francine Shapiro, a psychologist and educator. EMDR aims to facilitate the processing and integration of traumatic memories in order to reduce their distressing effects and promote psychological healing.
    • Purpose: To alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories and facilitate healing.
    • Technique: Clients focus on a disturbing memory while simultaneously engaging in specific eye movements or other forms of bi-lateral stimulation.
    • Phases: EMDR typically involves eight phases, including history taking, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, body scan, closure, and reevaluation.
    • Bilateral Stimulation: The use of eye movements, taps, or auditory cues to stimulate both sides of the brain, facilitating the processing of traumatic memories.
    • Processing Targets: EMDR can be used to treat various types of trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), phobias, anxiety, and other emotional disturbances.
    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in other rankings
  3. 3
    PE involves gradually exposing individuals to their traumatic memories in a safe and controlled environment to help them overcome their fear and anxiety.
    Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) designed to help individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by gradually confronting and processing traumatic memories and related triggers.
    • Duration: Typically 8-15 sessions spread over 8-15 weeks
    • Exposure: Involves recounting the traumatic event repeatedly in a safe environment
    • Imaginal Exposure: Engaging in detailed retelling of the traumatic memory during therapy sessions
    • In Vivo Exposure: Confronting avoided situations or activities that evoke distressing memories
    • Emotional Processing: Encourages understanding and integration of emotions associated with the traumatic event
    Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) in other rankings
  4. 4
    Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can be helpful in managing symptoms of PTSD, especially when used in conjunction with therapy.
    Medications are commonly prescribed for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AFib), a condition characterized by irregular and rapid heart rhythm. These medications help control the heart rate, restore normal heart rhythm, and prevent blood clots that may lead to stroke or other complications.
    • Types: There are multiple types of medications used to treat AFib, including antiarrhythmics, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and anticoagulants.
    • Antiarrhythmics: These medications help restore and maintain normal heart rhythm by suppressing irregular electrical signals in the heart.
    • Beta blockers: Beta blockers slow down the heart rate, reducing the workload on the heart and preventing the occurrence of AFib episodes.
    • Calcium channel blockers: Calcium channel blockers relax the blood vessels and reduce the heart rate, helping to control AFib and prevent complications.
    • Anticoagulants: These medications help prevent blood clots by thinning the blood and reducing the risk of stroke or other blood clot-related complications.
  5. 5

    Group Therapy

    Irvin D. Yalom
    Group therapy provides a supportive environment where individuals can share their experiences with others who have gone through similar trauma. This can help reduce feelings of isolation and promote healing.
    Group therapy is a therapeutic approach for treating Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) that involves regular sessions where individuals with BPD come together in a group setting to receive support, guidance, and treatment. The sessions are led by a trained therapist who facilitates the therapy process by providing structure and creating a safe and supportive environment for participants to explore and address their emotional and relational difficulties.
    • Treatment Duration: Group therapy sessions typically last for 1-2 hours, and the overall duration of treatment can vary depending on individual needs. It usually involves weekly or bi-weekly sessions over a period of several months to years.
    • Group Size: The ideal group size can range from 6 to 12 participants to ensure a balance between individual attention and group dynamics. However, larger or smaller groups can also be effective depending on the specific circumstances.
    • Psychoeducation: Group therapy often includes psychoeducation, where participants learn about BPD, its symptoms, causes, and coping strategies. This knowledge helps individuals better understand their condition and develop skills to manage their emotions and behaviors.
    • Interpersonal Learning: One of the core aspects of group therapy is facilitating interpersonal learning. Through interactions with other group members, participants have opportunities to gain insights into their own patterns of relating, receive feedback, and experiment with new ways of relating.
    • Support and Validation: Group therapy provides a supportive and validating environment where individuals with BPD can share their experiences, gain support from others facing similar challenges, and feel understood and accepted without judgment.
    Group Therapy in other rankings
  6. 6
    These therapies focus on using meditation, breathing exercises, and other techniques to help individuals manage their symptoms and reduce stress.
    Yoga and Mindfulness-Based Therapies are integrative approaches that combine elements of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices to treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It aims to address the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the condition and promote overall well-being and healing.
    • Evidence-based Approach: Yoga and Mindfulness-Based Therapies are rooted in scientific research and proven to be effective in reducing PTSD symptoms.
    • Trauma-Informed: The approach is sensitive to trauma survivors' unique needs and avoids triggering or retraumatizing experiences.
    • Physical Integration: Incorporates gentle movement, postures (asanas), and breathwork to help release tension and promote physical relaxation.
    • Emotional Regulation: Teaches techniques to manage emotions, reduce anxiety, and improve mood control.
    • Mindfulness Practices: Includes various mindfulness-based exercises, such as meditation, body scanning, and focused awareness, to cultivate present-moment awareness and reduce rumination.
  7. 7

    Art Therapy

    Margaret Naumberg
    Art therapy can be helpful in processing traumatic experiences and expressing emotions that may be difficult to put into words.
    Art therapy is a form of therapy that uses various visual arts mediums as a means of expression and communication. Through the creative process, individuals explore their thoughts, emotions, and experiences, promoting personal growth and healing. It is a non-verbal and non-threatening method of therapy that allows for self-expression and reflection.
    • Mediums Used: Painting, drawing, sculpting, collage, and other visual arts mediums
    • Therapeutic Goals: Self-exploration, emotional release, stress reduction, enhanced self-esteem, personal growth
    • Targeted Issues: Anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, self-esteem issues, and other mental health concerns
    • Process-Oriented: Focuses on the creative process rather than the final artistic product
    • Qualified Practitioners: Art therapists who have completed specific training and hold relevant credentials
    Art Therapy in other rankings
  8. 8
    Animal-Assisted Therapy
    CampCasey2004 · CC BY-SA 4.0

    Animal-Assisted Therapy

    Dr. Boris Levinson
    This form of therapy involves working with animals to help individuals reduce anxiety and stress and improve overall well-being.
    Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) is a form of treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that involves interacting with animals to improve emotional well-being and alleviate symptoms of PTSD. It is a complementary therapy that can be used alongside other traditional treatment approaches.
    • Types of animals: dogs, cats, horses, dolphins, etc.
    • Beneficial effects: reduced anxiety, improved mood, increased relaxation
    • Bonding with animals: forming a trusting relationship with the animal
    • Physical interaction: petting, grooming, walking, or riding animals
    • Sense of purpose: responsibility for the animal's care and well-being
  9. 9
    Hypnotherapy can be used to help individuals access and process traumatic memories and reduce symptoms of PTSD.
    Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy that uses hypnosis to help individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) manage their symptoms and overcome their trauma. It involves inducing a state of deep relaxation and heightened focus to access the subconscious mind, where past traumas are stored. Through this process, the therapist aims to reframe negative beliefs and behaviors associated with the trauma and facilitate healing.
    • Induction methods: Various techniques can be used to induce the hypnotic state, such as guided imagery, progressive relaxation, or direct suggestion.
    • Accessing the subconscious: Once in a hypnotic state, the therapist can communicate directly with the subconscious mind to identify and address the root causes of PTSD.
    • Reframing negative beliefs: Hypnotherapy aims to change negative thought patterns and beliefs related to the trauma, replacing them with more positive and adaptive ones.
    • Emotional regulation: Hypnosis can help individuals develop coping mechanisms and strategies to manage intense emotions often experienced with PTSD.
    • Visualization techniques: Therapists may utilize guided imagery and visualization exercises to help individuals better process and integrate the traumatic memories.
  10. 10
    Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
    Eric Wassermann, M.D. · Public domain
    TMS is a non-invasive form of brain stimulation that has shown promise in reducing symptoms of PTSD.
    Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. It involves placing a magnetic coil on the scalp, which delivers brief magnetic pulses to specific areas of the brain, causing small electrical currents that can modulate neuronal activity.
    • Non-invasiveness: TMS does not require any surgical procedure or direct contact with the brain.
    • Targeted stimulation: TMS can target specific areas of the brain by adjusting the coil placement.
    • Pulse characteristics: TMS allows for various pulse configurations, including frequency, intensity, and duration.
    • Depression treatment: TMS has been approved for the treatment of depression, especially in cases where other interventions have been ineffective.
    • Diagnostic tool: TMS can be used to probe and map brain function, aiding in the diagnosis of certain neurological conditions.
    Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) in other rankings

Missing your favorite form?


Ranking factors for successful form

  1. Empirical evidence
    The treatment should be supported by scientific research studies that have demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing symptoms of PTSD.
  2. Patient-centered care
    The treatment should focus on the needs, goals, and preferences of the individual seeking care. Different people respond to different types of treatment, so an effective approach is tailored to each patient.
  3. Safety
    The treatment should be safe and non-harmful to the person seeking care. It should not cause anxiety, fear or worsening of symptoms.
  4. Accessibility
    The treatment should be feasible to implement and accessible to the patient in terms of cost, availability, and location.
  5. Co-occurring health conditions
    The treatment should be able to address co-existing conditions such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse if present.
  6. Sustainability
    The treatment should have long-lasting positive effects and be able to help patients manage their symptoms for the long-term.
  7. Acceptability
    The treatment should be acceptable to the patient in terms of the level of involvement and commitment required.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most successful form of treatment for PTSD. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or form is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 188 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each form once every 24 hours. The rank of each form is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most successful form of treatment for ptsd

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. PTSD can cause significant distress and interfere with daily life, making it difficult for individuals to function normally. There are various forms of treatment available for PTSD, including therapy, medication, and alternative therapies. However, determining the most successful form of treatment can be challenging as different individuals may respond differently to different treatments. It is important to seek professional help and work with a mental health professional to find the most effective treatment for PTSD.

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