Therapy and Medication
CBT is based on the idea that thoughts can cause our behavior and feelings. The therapy works by changing the way a person feels when recalling past events. There are several approaches to CB, including Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Rational Behavior Therapy, Rational Living Therapy and Cognitive Therapy. CBT is considered one of the most rapid approaches in terms of results with most patients only needing 16 sessions. CBT often relies on "homework" or assignments the therapist gives the patient.
CBT Statistical Success Rate
According to Ptsdforum.org, "CBT on average across clinical studies demonstrates an overall effectiveness of above 80%." The Australian National PTSD course has reported rates from 50% to 90%, depending on location, course structure and physicians involved.
In EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) the therapist works gently with the client and asks him/her to revisit the traumatic moment or incident, recalling feelings surrounding the experience, as well as any negative thoughts, feelings and memories. The therapist then holds his or her fingers about eighteen inches from the client's face and begins to move them back and forth like a windshield wiper.
The client tracks the movements as if watching ping pong. The more intensely the client focuses on the memory, the easier it becomes for the memory to come to life. As quick and vibrant images arise during the therapy session, they are processed by the eye movements, resulting in painful feelings being exchanged for more peaceful, loving and resolved feelings. The therapy works by 'unblocking' the brain's information processing system that has become stuck due to extreme stress and trauma.
Medications to lessen the effects of PTSD
Medication is sometimes prescribed to people with PTSD to relieve secondary symptoms of depression or anxiety. Antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft are most commonly used for PTSD. However, they are not a cure.