Treatment Approaches- Traditional

Pharmacological Therapy

Pharmacological therapy treats PTSD and traumatic disorders by attempting to normalize dysfunctional biological systems that affect neural functioning. The areas of the body most associated with trauma disorders are the adrenal, endocrine, and neurotransmitter systems in the brain. Pharmacotherapy approaches attempt to help the individual by introducing appropriate medications to target areas of body in order to stimulate or decrease biological activity. This in turn helps the individual better regulate their behaviors and responses to the stressors and environmental stimuli. Pharmacological medications can be used to treat trauma disorders with or without psychological therapy.

The purpose of pharmacotherapy is to choose the most appropriate medication or combination of medications to effectively treat the client’s symptoms for as long as possible with the least amount of side effects and negative reactions possible. This is a popular approach to trauma therapy because these disorders often share many symptoms with anxiety disorders and depression. Common symptoms include: hyperarousal, blunted affect, poor sleeping patterns, a greatly reduced ability to handle stress, pervasive sadness, and trouble concentrating or remembering things. In these situations anxiety reducing drugs (anxiolytic) and antidepressant medications can have a positive effect on a variety of psychological problems simultaneously. Problems typically arise from patients not complying with medication instructions or refusing to take the medication all together because they do not like how the side effects make them feel.

Traditional Psychotherapy

Alternative Approaches

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Psychoanalytic Therapy Energy Therapy
Pharmacological Therapy Critical Incident Stress Management


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Regent University
School of Psychology & Counseling
1000 Regent University Drive, CRB 154, Virginia Beach, VA 23464
800.373.5504 or 757.352.4000

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