Clinical Guideline for the Treatment of PTSD


Key Questions: 1. What is the efficacy of psychological and medical treatments for adults with PTSD, compared to no treatment or to inactive controls? 2. What is their comparative effectiveness (i.e., psychological treatments compared to other psychological treatments, medication treatments compared to other medical treatments, and psychological treatments compared to medication treatments)? 3. Which treatments work best for which patients? In other words, do patient characteristics or type of trauma modify treatment effects? 4. Do serious harms of treatments or patient preferences influence treatment recommendations?

This guideline is intended to provide treatment recommendations for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in adults, based on a systematic review of the evidence for treatment of Psychological and Pharmacological Treatments for Adults With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) conducted by the Research Triangle Institute-University of North Carolina Evidence-Based Practice Center (RTI-UNC EPC) (Jonas, Cusack, Forneris, Wilkins, Sonis, Middleton, et al., 2013). 

Although of considerable importance in the treatment of PTSD, this guideline does not address complementary or alternative treatments, assessment, and screening of PTSD, subthreshold PTSD, PTSD prevention, PTSD treatment in children, dose/timing/duration of treatment, or cost. It is the hope of panel members that future iterations of this guideline include these topics as their evidence base develops. 


  • Scope of the Document
  • Summary of recommendations
  • Introduction to the Topic
  • Process and Methods of the CPG
  • Considerations for Treatment Implementation
  • Discussion
  • Limitations of Existing Treatment Research Literature: Future Research Needs
  • Guideline Summary and Future Directions
Contact Person/Organization: 

American Psychological Association 

Type of Tool:

Publication Date: 

Clinical Practice Guidelines for PTSD: An Overview of the Process and the Product