How is posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treated?
Individual (“talk therapy” or “play therapy”) and family therapy are the most effective treatments for PTSD. Through these treatments, children will learn how to identify and discuss their feelings with safe adults and cope with uncomfortable emotions in a safe way. Through family therapy, caregivers learn strategies to help address a child’s symptoms, improve family communication, increase empathy for a child’s distressing emotions, and identify/increase protective factors.
In addition to psychotherapy, medications are sometimes prescribed. Medications such as certain antidepressants, anxiolytics and prazosin have been shown to be helpful in reducing some of the symptoms of PTSD. Through working together with your prescriber, the best medication(s) can be determined.
During treatment, your prescriber will go over the benefits and risks of each medication, including the potential side effects. The clinicians at Children’s Hospital Colorado have many years of experience with managing these psychiatric medications and will address any concerns you may have.
Why choose Children’s Hospital Colorado for your child’s PTSD?
Our clinicians understand the unique ways in which children experience and respond to situations. Because our pediatric experts have specialized training in working with children, they understand the types of situations that often have a negative impact on children and are able to help families identify, respond to, and heal from traumatic events.
Additionally, because trauma can be a sensitive and difficult topic to discuss, our clinicians interact with children in a warm and compassionate way to help make treatment safe and healing.