Trauma Therapist Near Me: Best PTSD Therapy & Specialist 2023

Reviewed by Sutton, D., MD

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trauma therapist near me

Humans are believed to undergo different stages of psychological development[1].Humans develop defense mechanisms unconsciously to protect against pain and avoid triggers that elicit displeasure and pain. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)[2] is defined as a psychiatric disorder caused by exposure to real or threatened trauma in the form of death, injury, and/or sexual abuse.

PTSD is a component of Trauma and Stress-Related Disorders. It is associated with serious health concerns including increased mortality, morbidity, and functional impairment. PTSD symptoms include intense physiological and emotional reactions to a traumatic reminder and re-experiencing the event that resulted in PTSD. Traumatic events include severe threats, physical injury, child abuse, sexual assault, medical illness, combat-related trauma, and interpersonal conflicts.

Treatment of PTSD

The first-line treatment of PTSD is trauma-focused psychotherapy, combined with serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). This article provides a detailed review of trauma therapy and trauma therapists in the year 2022.

Given the recent scenario, individuals suffering from severe coronavirus disease 2019[3](COVID-19) are at an increased risk for the development of PTSD and/or acute stress disorder (ASD). Traumatic stress often occurs in combination with emotional responses in the form of anxiety. Threat responses engage different regions of the brain and are complex processes.

There are numerous developments in the healing, management, and diagnosis of PTSD and other trauma-related disorders. In addition to pharmacological interventions in the form of SSRI and SNRI medications, meditation and mindfulness[4] are useful for trauma healing. Trauma therapists utilize different therapeutic techniques, learned during training and practice, to alleviate the symptoms and improve the coping abilities of the affected individuals.

The subsequent sections discuss the types and techniques of trauma therapy along with its benefits and effectiveness regarding trauma. Look through the section ‘5 Best Trauma Therapists 2022’ to find out which one works best for you.

What Is Trauma Therapy?

Trauma therapy[5] or trauma-focused psychotherapy not only reduces the health burden of PTSD and related disorders but also counters the future impacts and complications of these disorders. Trauma-focused therapies include eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), and other therapeutic modalities for the effective and precise healing of trauma-related disorders.

There are several mechanisms involved in the administration of trauma-focused psychotherapy. These mechanisms are listed and described as follows.

  • Consolidation: This comprises the repetition of exercises, skills, and other domains involved in trauma therapy in order to reinforce the processing of trauma and traumatic events.
  • Trauma Processing: This entails sequencing, reframing, and recognizing the fear-reducing changes related to traumatic memory.
  • Therapeutic Relationship: This refers to how counselor/therapist-patient trust, mutual attitudes, and feelings are expressed during the treatment.
  • Sharing: This is described as fostering attachment relationships and support from networks. Sharing is also described as enhancing relationships with significant others.
  • Motivation: This is the driving force causing a person to confront traumatic memories and associated triggers.
  • Affect Modulation: In affect modulation, an individual learns to manage, recognize, and label negative emotions.
  • Reciprocal integration: This refers to changes in cognition associated with changes in feelings due to critical experiences. 

There are several evidence-based therapies for the healing of psychological trauma in different age groups including children, adolescents, and adults.

Types Of Trauma Therapy

  • Prolonged Exposure (PE)
  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
  • Trauma-focused Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (TF-CBT)
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

Prolonged Exposure (PE)

Prolonged exposure therapy[6] or PE is a scientifically established modality for the healing of PTSD and other trauma-related disorders. PE comprises in vivo exposure and imaginal exposure. Standard treatment with PE comprises approximately 10-15 sessions involving imaginal exposure. The therapy sessions are conducted weekly. However, PE may be ineffective in the management of chronic functional impairment among the affected persons.

A newer form of PE is compressed PE. In contrast to standard PE, compressed PE comprises 10 standard PE sessions, which are conducted on consecutive working days. Imaginal exposure sessions are usually conducted in the mornings and in vivo exposure activities are performed in the afternoons. Individuals undergoing compressed PE are also assigned imaginal exposure recordings which they have to listen to every night.

PE may contribute to an increase in perceived social support, which in turn leads to an improvement in the symptoms of PTSD and other trauma-related disorders.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

Different types of cognitive behavioral therapies (CBTs) are available for the healing and management of PTSD symptoms. One of the many types of CBT used in PTSD treatment is cognitive processing therapy (CPT)[7]. This is a manualized therapy, which equips an individual with the important skills to regain control and handle distressing thoughts.

CPT protocol for PTSD treatment comprises 12 sessions, each lasting for 90 minutes. The trauma therapists may, however, change the duration of sessions or allow additional sessions at the patient’s discretion. Moreover, CPT for trauma-related disorders can be performed in different settings including individual therapy, group sessions, or a combination of both.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT)

TF-CBT[8] is a direct form of trauma therapy for children, adolescents, and non-offending caregivers. TF-CBT employs the principles of CBT along with exposure techniques in order to improve PTSD symptoms. The interventions include psychoeducation, gradual exposure, cognitive processing of thoughts related to trauma, and coping skills.

TF-CBT is offered in different settings including schools, homes, and outpatient facilities. The therapy can be administered in different settings including individualized therapy and group sessions.

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR[9] is a form of trauma-based therapy that rapidly treats unprocessed memories related to adverse traumatic experiences. Following are the different phases of EMDR therapy for PTSD and other trauma-related disorders.


The first phase of EMDR therapy is history-taking. The therapist obtains background information using standard diagnostic psychometrics and history-taking questionnaires. During this phase, the therapist also determines the suitability of EMDR for the patient and the healing targets from the traumatic events.


The second phase of EMDR therapy is preparation. This refers to the preparation of the client for target processing in EMDR. This phase comprises education related to trauma-related symptoms and techniques fostering stabilization and personal control.


The third phase of EMDR therapy is assessment, which involves accessing the therapy target and the primary attributes of memory.

Adaptive Resolution

The fourth phase of EMDR therapy, desensitization, involves the processing of traumatic experiences for adaptive resolution. This phase comprises standardized protocols that incorporate eye movements.


The fifth phase is installation, which refers to an increase in the connections with positive cognitive networks.

Body Scan

The body scan is the sixth phase of EMDR therapy. This involves the complete processing of the remaining disturbances that are associated with therapeutic targets. 

Closure involves ensuring the stability of the client at the completion of therapy.

Reassessment in the final phase of EMDR therapy. During this phase, the therapist ensures the stability of the client and the therapeutic outcomes. Reassessment also involves the evaluation of the effects of healing. 


Closure involves ensuring the stability of the client at the completion of therapy.


Reassessment in the final phase of EMDR therapy. During this phase, the therapist ensures the stability of the client and the therapeutic outcomes. Reassessment also involves the evaluation of the effects of healing. 

5 Best Trauma Therapist Near Me 2023

  • BetterHelp offers accessible care 24/7
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  • Talkspace offers therapy sessions for couples
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  • Talkspace comprises psychiatrists who are authorized to prescribe medications

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  • Offers free counselor switching and time-efficient client-counselor matching
  • Calmerry provides evidence-based therapy
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  • ReGain provides affordable and accessible trauma therapy services
  • Offers flexible subscription plans
  • Offers relationship-based counseling


Following are the different techniques involved in trauma-based therapy of the patients.

  • Exposure
  • Relaxation
  • Recording of critical experiences
  • Psychoeducation
  • Traumatic recollection
  • Homework
  • Termination
  • Cognitive shifting
  • Future perspectives
  • Sharing trauma experiences with others

What Trauma Therapy Can Help With

Trauma therapy is a form of psychotherapeutic modality for the treatment and management of trauma-related disorders including PTSD. Trauma symptoms and recollection of experiences may hinder the routine and occupational activities of affected individuals. It not only alleviates the symptoms of trauma but also enables an individual to cope with the traumatic experiences.

Benefits Of Trauma Therapy

Reactions to trauma may comprise sadness, anxiety, exhaustion, confusion, dissociation, physical arousal, and agitation. These reactions have adverse psychological and emotional outcomes. Delayed reactions include persistent fatigue, nightmares, anxiety associated with flashbacks, sleep disorders, depression, avoidance of emotions related to trauma, and fear of recurrence.

Trauma-focused psychotherapies have been recommended for the treatment of PTSD and other trauma-related disorders by the American Psychological Association (APA). These therapies comprise the first-line treatment for PTSD. Military personnel and veterans demonstrate a preference for different psychotherapeutic modalities based on their symptoms.

Patients receiving these therapies experience a clinically meaningful improvement in the symptoms. Trauma therapies for trauma-related disorders are also effective for the treatment and management of emotional and psychological conditions associated with trauma.


Various research studies assess the effectiveness of trauma-based psychological interventions for PTSD and other trauma-related disorders. The studies demonstrate that trauma-based psychological interventions lead to significant improvement in PTSD and related symptoms as compared to other therapeutic interventions. In addition to PTSD, trauma-based psychological interventions are also effective in reducing anxiety and depression symptoms.


Trauma-based therapy for PTSD and other trauma-related disorders includes EMDR, TF-CBT, PE, and CPT. Trauma therapy comprises different techniques that help the affected individuals recognize, cope, and resolve the symptoms of PTSD. Trauma therapy is also associated with positive emotional and psychological outcomes. This includes improvement in the symptoms of anxiety and depression, along with improvement in the quality of life of affected individuals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why trauma therapy is important for mental health?

Trauma-based therapy is important for the mental health of survivors of childhood trauma, sexual assault, and other traumatic experiences. Mental health professionals help in coping with traumatic flashbacks and memories such as those of childhood trauma. Clients find traumatic therapy helpful for combating depression and anxiety symptoms.

What are the different types of trauma-based therapy employed by mental health providers?

Mental health professionals may use EMDR, TF-CBT, PE, and CPT for the recovery of trauma-related disorders. The professionals may also focus on mindfulness interventions to improve mental health. Trauma-based therapy makes clients with PTSD and other trauma-related disorders become capable members of the community.

What is the polyvagal theory of trauma?

Polyvagal theory implies that the central nervous system affects the autonomic nervous system. According to the theory, the symptoms of PTSD are based on biological mechanisms and are experienced somatically.

How does Talkspace work?

The client first completes a brief assessment to provide knowledge about the symptoms. The next process is a personalized match where the client is matched with the therapist. This is followed by the initiation of therapy.

+ 9 sources

MIDSS adheres to strict procurement guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutes, and medical associations. We work mainly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure the accuracy of the information. We avoid the use of tertiary references. You can read about how we ensure the accuracy and timeliness of our content in our editorial process.

  1. Orenstein, Gabriel A., and Lindsay Lewis. “Eriksons Stages of Psychosocial Development.” PubMed, StatPearls Publishing, 2020,
  2. Mann, Sukhmanjeet Kaur, and Raman Marwaha. “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).” PubMed, StatPearls Publishing, 2020,
  3. Cascella, Marco, et al. “Features, Evaluation, and Treatment of Coronavirus.” PubMed, StatPearls Publishing, 2020,
  4. Basso, Julia C., et al. “Brief, Daily Meditation Enhances Attention, Memory, Mood, and Emotional Regulation in Non-Experienced Meditators.” Behavioural Brain Research, vol. 356, Jan. 2019, pp. 208–220, 10.1016/j.bbr.2018.08.023.
  5. Watkins, Laura E., et al. “Treating PTSD: A Review of Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Interventions.” Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 12, no. 258, 2018, pp. 1–9,, 10.3389/fnbeh.2018.00258.
  6. Bourassa, K. J., et al. “The Impact of Prolonged Exposure Therapy on Social Support and PTSD Symptoms.” Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 260, 1 Jan. 2020, pp. 410–417,, 10.1016/j.jad.2019.09.036.
  7. Asmundson, Gordon J. G., et al. “A Meta-Analytic Review of Cognitive Processing Therapy for Adults with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.” Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, vol. 48, no. 1, 18 Oct. 2018, pp. 1–14, 10.1080/16506073.2018.1522371.
  8. de Arellano, Michael A. Ramirez, et al. “Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Children and Adolescents: Assessing the Evidence.” Psychiatric Services, vol. 65, no. 5, May 2014, pp. 591–602,, 10.1176/
  9. Novo Navarro, Patricia, et al. “25 Years of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): The EMDR Therapy Protocol, Hypotheses of Its Mechanism of Action and a Systematic Review of Its Efficacy in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.” Revista de Psiquiatria Y Salud Mental, vol. 11, no. 2, 2018, pp. 101–114,, 10.1016/j.rpsm.2015.12.002.


Bayer, R., MD
Medical Writer & Medical Doctor
Rick is a Final Year Medical Student. Passionate about medicine, fitness and personal growth, he is always ready to challenge himself to accomplish tasks and especially spread correct medical information to people. Rick is a long-term medical writer for several sites. With more than 5 years of experience in medical writing, he has completed 200+ projects with private and business clients.


Sutton, D., MD
Medical Writer & Editor
Drew is a retired ENT doctor who now lives in the Southeastern US. He was a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology and an MD degree. He completed his internship in General Surgery and Residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and practiced for almost 30 years in all aspects of ENT, including a specialization in disorders of the ear and skull base. Drew is passionate about communicating his clinical experiences and making his knowledge more accessible to the general public by medical writing.

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