9 Types of Therapies Compared: Which One Is the Best for Treating Trauma?

Dealing with trauma can be one of the hardest things anyone might go through in life. Not only can trauma be intense, but it can be something that one deals with for many years. On a brighter note, there are different therapies out there that someone can opt for to help them better handle their traumatic past and find healing going forward.

9 Types of Therapies Compared: Which One Is the Best for Treating Trauma?

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is one of the more commonly known types of talk therapy for trauma. The focus of this type of therapy is to address the unpleasant or negative thinking patterns and emotions one experiences that, in turn, lead to poor behaviors or actions.

2. Trauma-Focused CBT (TF-CBT)

TF-CBT is mainly focused on children and adolescents but can also involve families or adults as well. This talk therapy involves an emphasis on the sufferer’s traumatic experiences. Like traditional CBT, the goal is to replace unhealthy thoughts and emotions with healthier ones with the hopes to improve how one behaves towards their trauma as a whole.

3. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

CPT is very similar to TF-CBT in terms of its focus on trauma. Specialists in CPT focus on educating patients on how trauma affects their mind and body. They then teach their patients how to challenge and change their thought patterns associated with the trauma.

4. Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

This type of therapy involves reliving the trauma to heal from it. Patients will receive stimulation of the brain, often in the form of tapping or the use of lights, to help them process the memories of their trauma again.

5. Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)

This short-term therapy can be done one-on-one or in groups. NET involves recounting the events of one’s own life chronologically, including the traumatic experiences they’ve dealt with. NET therapists then show the patient how to take charge of their story and regain their sense of identity as a trauma survivor.

6. Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS)

IFS therapists teach their patients that there are three parts of the Self. Learning about this internal family system trio gives them a deeper understanding of how trauma is processed in the brain and how to better connect with their Self to heal.

7. Brief Eclectic Therapy (BET)

BET combines aspects of CBT and a psychodynamic therapy approach. This short-term form of therapy aims to address a patient’s specific underlying issues while integrating holistic forms of healing.

8. Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE)

PE helps trauma survivors learn to avoid aspects (e.g., certain places, songs, people, conversations, etc.) they’ve associated with their trauma. PE therapists encourage their patients to engage in exposure while providing them with grounding techniques to help them cope during exposure.

9. Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Some trauma patients require a more comprehensive form of treatment. A partial hospitalization program can offer just that. Programs for womens PHP for mental health often require the patient to temporarily take a break from their regular life responsibilities, like work or school, to focus on several hours of weekly group and individual therapy sessions.


It’s evident that when dealing with trauma, there isn’t a one-fits-all solution for healing. With so many therapies at hand, it’s up to the trauma victim to find what works for them and what doesn’t. Sometimes finding the right therapy requires a bit of trial and error.

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