Why is it Difficult to Find Effective Treatment?

Unfortunately, many people with PTSD receive inadequate treatment. Most are likely to receive only supportive therapies, and although they may like and get along well with their therapists who are good listeners, express a genuine concern about them, and offer general suggestions for coping better (to exercise, eat more healthy foods, and engage in relaxing activities, as examples), none of these factors are likely to have any impact on their PTSD symptoms. Further, although medications can be effective for some in reducing their symptoms, PTSD patients treated with medications only, often must remain on medication indefinitely or they will be at a significant risk of relapse.


There are many reasons why PTSD sufferers do not get the treatments they need:

  • Many therapists have not received the necessary training or supervision in treatments that are most effective.
  • A shortage of competent treatment providers.
  • Many of the effective treatments require considerable structure in sessions that do not offer therapists the flexibility that they prefer with clients.
  • Effective treatments also tend to create temporary emotional distress, which therapists can find uncomfortable or overwhelming.
  • Coverage for psychological treatment by provincial or individual health care plans is often minimal or non-existent (many individuals with PTSD receive medication treatment only).
  • Even those with training in effective PTSD treatments are likely to have received training in only one of methods that is effective.