Good treatments for PTSD are available. Here are some suggestions for finding a therapist, counselor, or mental health care provider who can help your recovery.
Things to consider
- Make sure the provider has experience treating people who have experienced a trauma.
- Try to find a provider who specializes in evidence-based medications for PTSD or effective psychotherapy for PTSD (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT); Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT); prolonged exposure therapy (PE); or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)).
- Find out what type(s) of insurance the provider accepts and what you will have to pay (out-of-pocket costs) for care.
- You may find more than one therapist. We also have information about Types of Therapists and Choosing a Therapist.
- Contact your family doctor to ask for a recommendation. You can also ask friends and family if they can recommend someone.
- If you have health insurance, call to find out which mental health providers your insurance company will pay for. Your insurance company may require that you choose a provider from among a list they maintain.
Finding a provider using the internet
These resources can help you locate a therapist, counselor, or mental health provider who is right for you. Note: These resources can be used by anyone, but if you are a Veteran, also see the "Help for Veterans" section below.
- Sidran Institute Help Desk will help you find therapists who specialize in trauma treatment. Email or call the Help Desk at (410) 825-8888.
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America offers a therapist search by location and mental health disorder. Call (240) 485-1011 or email.
- Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies offers a search of licensed therapists who offer cognitive or behavioral therapies.
- EMDR International Association has a locator listing professionals who provide EMDR.
- ISTSS Clinician Directory is a service provided by the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) that lets you consider many factors in searching for a clinician, counselor, or mental health professional.
- American Psychological Association has a Psychologist Locator that allows you to search by location, specialty, insurance accepted, and gender of provider.
- Psychology Today, offers a therapist directory by location. You can also find treatment centers here.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a Mental Health Services Locator by location and type of facility (inpatient, outpatient, residential). Call for assistance 24 hours a day 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Finding a provider by phone
In addition to the numbers listed above. you can also find a therapist, counselor, or mental health provider in the following ways:
- Some mental health services are listed in the phone book. In the Government pages, look in the "County Government Offices" section, and find "Health Services (Dept. of)" or "Department of Health Services." "Mental Health" will be listed.
- In the yellow pages, mental health providers are listed under "counseling," "psychologists," "social workers," "psychotherapists," "social and human services," or "mental health."
- You can also call the psychology department of a local college or university.
Help for Veterans
- All VA Medical Centers and many VA clinics provide PTSD care.
- Some VA centers have specialty programs for PTSD. Use the VA PTSD Program Locator to find a VA PTSD program.
- Vet Centers provide readjustment counseling to Veterans and their families after war. Find a Vet Center near you.
- VA Medical Centers and Vet Centers are also listed in the phone book. In the Government pages, look under "United States Government Offices." Then look for "Veterans Affairs, Dept of." In that section, look under "Medical Care" and "Vet Centers - Counseling and Guidance."
From the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, US Department of Veterans Affairs. www.ptsd.va.gov.