How to Support Someone with PTSD

November 24, 2014

Do you know someone suffering from PTSD? Here are some tips on how you can support your loved ones who may be struggling.

Realize that stigma is a barrier to getting treatment.

Ask them if talking would help, but do not push if they are not ready to discuss things. They may feel that treatment won’t help, worry what people may think, or fear being seen as weak. Getting them to seek help is not always easy and your encouragement matters.

Expand your understanding of how PTSD is identified and treated.

PTSD can occur following a life-threatening event like military combat, serious accidents, or violent assaults. People with PTSD often suffer from nightmares, flashbacks, difficulty sleeping, and feeling emotionally numb. Other symptoms include depression, substance abuse, or other physical and mental health problems. Learn more about PTSD symptoms and research, and find assessment tools and information about getting help at the National Center for PTSD.

Some treatments for PTSD include trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, medication, and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Those seeking therapy should seek out mental health professionals who specialize in the treatment of trauma and PTSD. Here at Council for Relationships, we have a number of staff therapists who work with veterans and have received specialized training.

Be aware of resources available for PTSD.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has many programs for veterans and their families who are worried about PTSD and related problems. Contact your local VA about these resources.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) website, the National Center for PTSD, is an excellent resource for veterans, the public, family, friends and professionals.

Make the Connection shares experiences and support for veterans with information on PTSD, treatment, and additional resources. details Veteran Health Care benefits and has information about PTSD including assessments, treatments, and more. is non-profit resource for symptoms, treatments, and self-help for PTSD.

Operation Home and Healing

Council for Relationships’ Operation Home and Healing provides counseling and services for active service members, Veterans, and their families. Our staff is specially trained to meet Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs criteria as being culturally competent with military personnel and their families. To find out more about OHH, click this link or contact

Charmaine Ensinger is a marriage and family therapist who formerly worked at CFR. To schedule an appointment with any of our current therapists, click here or call Client Care at 215-382-6680 Ext 1.