PTSD treatment: What does it look like?

Although PTSD and other unresolved trauma can have major consequences, they can be treated well and effectively. As soon as you have been referred to a psychologist by the doctor, a psychologist will first check whether you are dealing with PTSD during the intake phase. This is also part of a PTSD treatment for a child. This almost always involves the parents and possibly the school.

It is quite possible that in addition to PTSD, you also have to deal with other psychological complaints, such as depressive complaints. PTSD, in combination with anxiety disorders (such as panic disorder), is also common. But you may have more problems with physical complaints, such as stiffness in muscles, muscle pain, headaches, and fatigue. These complaints may be consistent with a somatic symptom disorder. It is therefore very important to map out what exactly is bothering you. This way, we can draw up a personal treatment plan that suits your situation.

PTSD treatment starts with a treatment plan

To draw up a personal treatment plan, we first carefully review your symptoms and complaints together and consider your behavior. We do this through personal conversations and some questionnaires. The same applies to PTSD treatment in children. In the case of children, contact is also made with the teacher. If it appears that you, as a parent, have also had to deal with the consequences of the traumatic event, we recommend that you also be treated for your complaints.

As soon as you have gone through your complaints with the psychologist, you will receive an advisory meeting explaining what is going on and how we can best tackle it together. How many sessions you can expect, which (online) forms of therapy will be used, and other important information recorded in a personal treatment plan that we will use.  


Regardless of the type of psychological complaints you have to deal with, you will always receive psychoeducation first. This means that we teach you what your mental disorder is exactly and the best scientifically-based ways to tackle it. In this case, you will learn more about PTSD, possibly in combination with other psychological complaints. With PTSD treatments for children, there will also be parental guidance, in which you, as a parent, will receive psychoeducation.

Using EMDR

When there is PTSD, EMDR therapy is used as the first step in the treatment. It is a form of treatment that can be used in children from two, adolescents, and adults. Read here more about EMDR.

Writing therapy for children and young people

Particularly for children and young people between 4-18 years, a form of writing therapy is possible, Writejunior. This can be used if, for example, there is a death or a parent with a psychiatric disorder. During this therapy, along with the therapist, a shocking incident is presented, and negative ideas (e.g., the self-image, others, and/or the world) are turned into neutral and optimistic thinking. If a "simple" trauma happens, complaints will soon vanish.

Exposure therapy

When you display avoidance behavior by, for example, avoiding public places or when it is too painful to think back to the event, exposure therapy can be used. In exposure therapy, you describe the traumatic event as accurately as possible. By confronting your trauma instead of avoiding it, the emotions that the trauma evokes in you diminish. This way, you can process your trauma well and give it a place. In some cases, a confrontation is chosen. You can think of a confrontation with the place where the unpleasant event took place.


Experts agree that children, adolescents, and adults with PTSD should be treated primarily through therapy. Medication should, therefore, not be used as a standard treatment method. It also plays a role that little research has been done into medication effectiveness, while the effectiveness of therapy has now been demonstrated. Medication is only used when therapy does not work or is insufficiently effective.

To get the full treatment of Post-traumatic stress disorder, visit Kentucky mental health care, they have the best psychiatrists in Louisville, ky.