From a site called: Gentling.org
Those people who suffer from PTSD do well to explore the different means of healing from their traumatic experiences. There is not one set way to heal from them; different people will respond better to different treatments, treatment approaches, and counselors.
Some current research indicates that the nature of the trauma, and how long PTSD symptoms have been experienced may make a difference in the type of treatment that is a best fit for an individual. It is known, for example, that interpersonal trauma, such as physical or sexual abuse is more difficult to treat than PTSD resulting from a natural disaster. Further, if the abuse was at the hands of a trusted person or family member, this is more difficult than if the abuse was at the hands of a stranger. The length of time of the abuse, number of critical incidents, and nature of the abuse all play into the treatment choices and treatment duration.
Not all counselors are suited for working with survivors of interpersonal abuse that have PTSD. Some do not have the basic qualifications of having an advanced (Master’s degree or Ph.D) in a clinical discipline. Further, some counselors, while having an advanced clinical degree, have no experience in treating PTSD that is a result of interpersonal abuse. The reader should understand that there is no specialized degree in treating PTSD; most counselors who are good at it got that way by treating many cases over a substantial period of time. In many cases, the individual with PTSD may also have other mental health issues as well, such as cutting behavior or eating disorders, substance abuse or depression. Finding a clinician who can work with all of these in the context of PTSD is very desirable. And even beyond this, the individual counselor needs to be able to be a good personality fit for the person seeking help with their PTSD.
The foremost modes of treatment to relieve symptoms include traditional psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and EMDR. There are variations of each of these as well, or combinations of them that may go by various names or labels. There is no medication yet approved to treat PTSD, but there are several medications that can help with the depression and anxiety associated with it. Beyond the mainstream, there are many so called ‘natural remedies’ or ‘guaranteed rapid relief’ treatments that do not have adequate research to support or recommend them.
Generally, all of the major treatments tend to agree that it is important to review, often in detail, the traumatic event(s) that occurred. Some do this repeatedly (called ‘flooding’) or have special techniques to do this, like EMDR. Cognitive-behavioral approaches attempt to help the PTSD sufferer to change how they think about the trauma, and engage in particular behaviors to combat the after effects of the trauma.
But not all valid treatment approaches insist on repeated, detailed review of the trauma. Some methods wait for the individual to speak about the trauma when they are ready, and encourage them to share only as much detail as they are comfortable with. These approaches tend to accept that while talking about the incident is helpful for some people, it may not be helpful for all people. These methods also may make use of a high degree of education to the sufferer about how the disorder works in their body and brain, and will offer training on how to inhibit and manage the allostatic load and process (the automatic stress and anxiety reactions) that causes the uncomfortable symptoms. Some other acceptable methods also make use of well defined pastoral and spiritual healing tools and approaches.
The guidelines for locating a counselor and treatment should be: look for a qualified counselor, the counselor should be able to tell you about their approach to PTSD and how many cases that they have treated, the counselor should always allow you to set the pace of treatment, be open to your discovery of healthy things that help that may not be part of their counseling approach, and the treatment should fit comfortably into the above mentioned approaches that are accepted in the mainline treatment community.
The best path to heal from PTSD is going to be unique to you.