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Navigating Conversations About Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can have profound effects on those who have been exposed to trauma. Discussing PTSD with your patients requires a thoughtful and sensitive approach to address their specific needs and experiences. Health care providers play a vital role initiating and navigating these conversations with their patients. 

Safe, Nonjudgmental Environment

Having a safe, nonjudgmental environment for your patients will allow them to feel more comfortable sharing their experiences and emotions. This will also help you establish trust with your patients, making them more likely to speak honestly about symptoms. For those who may feel embarrassed about discussing their PTSD symptoms, you can help make it easier for them by reducing societal stigma.

Empathic Listening

When you actively listen to your patients with empathy, your attentiveness and responsiveness helps your patients connect with their emotions. Empathic listening will help you validate your patient’s feelings and experiences without judgment.

Collaborative Goal Setting

Involving your patients in setting goals helps patients feel empowered and engaged. Together, you and your patient can identify realistic and achievable goals based on individual needs and preferences. 

Offering Hope

You can reassure your patients that recovery from PTSD is possible with appropriate treatment and support. When you highlight success stories, it can help patients realize recovery is possible. If needed, you can also connect patients with additional help and resources such as support groups, peer networks, or community resources.

During PTSD Awareness Month, you can make a significant difference in the lives of your patients. 

For more information about TRICARE and mental health coverage, visit our Mental Health Benefits page. Visit www.health.mil for PTSD Awareness resources.