There are many kinds of therapeutic environments for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including one-on-PTSD Therapy Can Help the Whole Familyone therapy sessions, group therapy, and family sessions to help the veteran understand and communicate with his or her family members. Family therapy is beneficial in cases where the relationships between husbands, wives, sons, daughters, and even friends have been negatively impacted by PTSD symptoms.

  • Dynamics. Although it feels intensely personal, PTSD will often affect everyone in your family. Your spouse and children may be afraid of you, become angry or withdrawn, or even start avoiding you. Family therapy can help everyone in the family understand what others are going through and change the dynamic to help improve relationships.
  • Communication. In family therapy, each person will be given a chance to address his or her feelings. A therapist will offer help to keep the conversation going productively in the highly-emotional environment. The more everyone involved listens to others and responds honestly, the more likely it is that the consequences and symptoms of your PTSD will be understood.
  • Concerns. Families are often worried about a family member with PTSD suffering from additional problems, such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, or dependence on drugs or alcohol. A family session can help everyone voice their concerns in a way that doesn’t make the patient feel accused or victimized.

Can I Stay in Private Therapy and Still Go to Family Sessions?

Yes, and it is a good idea to do so. Your one-on-one therapy sessions can be focused on improving your internal feelings and responses, while your family sessions will remain centered on restoring relationships at home. To learn more about getting treatment for your PTSD symptoms, visit the related links on this page or order our free booklet, The Essential Guide to VA Disability Claims.


Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska