There are vast numbers of articles and statistics relating to military veterans and PTSD and much still to learn. By comparison, there is a dearth or little of research on PTSD in the general population.

Media coverage, personal blogs, movies, and interviews have the veterans speaking out and demanding mental health care and more funds for research. While the focus remains on veterans, this is good news as the outcomes or results are likely to help find answers for the non-veterans as well.

Seemingly, new treatments sprout up everyday, in a virtual “race” for the cure. A quick Internet search will claim the miracle cure as yoga, playing the old video game “Turrets,” herbals and teas, and the recreational drugs marijuana and ecstasy. While all of these may have merit, one should be cautious before experimenting.

No one type of intervention is meant to stand-alone. Medications, CBT, CPT, or CISD/CISM - until there is a cure - are merely tools to help individuals cope with the symptoms of PTSD. These are tools to help the patient to improve quality of life.

Clinicians should be aware that treatment regimens or treatment plans may need to change and evolve over time as the symptoms of PTSD often recede and return. Some patients may be taking multiple medications for other symptoms such as depression, headaches, and body aches.

It is important for the clinician to remember that medication side effects themselves may be barriers to treatment. For example, a person taking heavy doses of pain medications may find it difficult or impossible to operate a vehicle to attend their PTSD appointments.

In determining how to intervene when PSTD is present, or signs and symptoms of response to trauma is present, clinicians have an ethical obligation to both educate themselves in order to possess the necessary skills to manage the problems presented by the client and to refer the client to a more skilled clinician if the problems operate outside of the clinician’s area of competence.

Because trauma is such a frequent contributor to psychological problems, it is important for every clinician to understand the principles associated with responding to trauma in an effective way. Because PTSD is a complicated syndrome that requires complicated and often every changing treatment approaches, it is important that clinicians remain aware of whether the skill sets and knowledge base that they possess are sufficient to respond effectively to a full-blown case of PTSD.

It is our hope that this training course has contributed to the skills and knowledge needed to address both of these concerns.

You have now completed the training material. Following the presentation of the bibliography, you may proceed to the course post-test.