Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


The emotional wounds of trauma are like any physical injury. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean unhealed wounds aren't affecting your health and overall well-being. If you or someone you care about is experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), NewYork-Presbyterian is here to help. We are a recognized leader in programs focused on the types of trauma related to PTSD. Our teams offer inpatient and outpatient care and services delivered through research programs aimed at improving the recovery of people with PTSD.

We care for anyone affected by PTSD, with specialized expertise for:

  • Military personnel, veterans, and their families
  • Disaster workers/first responders (such as police officers and firefighters)
  • PTSD-related substance abuse
  • Survivors of abuse
  • Survivors of sexual assault, rape, or domestic violence
  • Burn survivors
  • Those traumatized by the events of 9/11

Identifying PTSD Symptoms

The experience of PTSD is different for everyone. Sometimes we notice the symptoms in ourselves, and sometimes those close to us are the people who notice. Signs and symptoms of PTSD may include:

  • Recurrent and intrusive memories of the event
  • Recurrent, distressing dreams of the event
  • Suddenly acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring
  • Intense emotional or physical distress during events that remind you of some aspect of the traumatic event
  • Avoiding things or places associated with the trauma
  • Experiencing a general numbing feeling
  • Persistent symptoms of increased arousal, such as trouble falling asleep or staying asleep; irritability or outbursts of anger; trouble concentrating; hypervigilance; or being easily startled

Our Approach to PTSD

Treatment may help individuals understand more about trauma and its impact, identify emotions related to the trauma, and work to reduce or eliminate PTSD symptoms. After a thorough evaluation, your team will recommend the treatments that may be most effective for you. We offer individual and group psychotherapy and medical treatments, including:

  • Prolonged exposure (PE) therapy, a cognitive-behavioral treatment that safely exposes you to real-world situations related to your trauma or its triggers, and includes imaginal exposure, where you talk through your trauma with a therapist to gain control of your thoughts and feelings
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), a form of therapy that does not involve direct discussion of trauma, but instead addresses the effect of trauma on social functioning by helping you pay attention to and understand your feelings and improve your interactions with other people in the present.
  • Medications to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression

Therapeutic Options

We offer treatment for PTSD in a variety of settings, depending on your needs:

  • Inpatient care. For people whose symptoms require inpatient hospitalization, we offer inpatient care at a variety of locations. We provide collaborative, evidence-based treatment that integrates primary and mental health care, using both psychotherapy and medication to stabilize symptoms.
  • Outpatient clinics. Individual and group counseling, as well as medication management, are available on an outpatient basis, based on treatment needs and availability.
  • Partial Hospitalization Program. NewYork-Presbyterian offers an Adult Partial Hospitalization Program, which provides comprehensive evaluation and intensive short-term treatment during the regular business day to adults (18 years of age and older) with acute symptoms who can be treated outside of the inpatient setting, to avert or shorten an inpatient hospitalization.
  • Continuing Day Treatment Program. Our Continuing Day Treatment Program provides a comprehensive evaluation for 6 to 12 months for adults ages 18-62 with severe psychiatric illnesses. Using a model of wellness and recovery, we provide a structured, supportive environment to stabilize your symptoms and help you pursue your personal goals.
  • Military Family Wellness Center. Our Center provides evidence-based treatments for PTSD, depression, sleep problems, and other emotional difficulties, for service members, veterans, and their family members.

Research: Future PTSD Treatments

More is known about PTSD than ever before. At NewYork-Presbyterian, our investigators continue to pioneer research to develop new PTSD treatment approaches. Through a research-funded clinical program, you may be able to receive treatment free of charge. Current research areas focus on:

  • Combat or occupation-related PTSD
  • Military sexual trauma
  • PTSD related to the World Trade Center attacks
  • PTSD related to a burn injury
  • Imaginal exposure therapies
  • Virtual reality exposure therapies
  • Cognitive behavioral therapies
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Combination therapies with/without medication
  • Therapies delivered via telemedicine
  • Equine assisted treatment for veterans with PTSD

Referrals & Appointments

Recovering from trauma does not occur overnight. For some of us, these reactions persist and affect us for months, even years. If this is the case, treatment for PTSD may be necessary. Only a doctor with specialized training can diagnose PTSD and determine the appropriate treatment.

Our PTSD experts know that taking the beginning steps toward treatment can be the most challenging. The first step is to call us at 212-821-078 (for care on the East Side of Manhattan or White Plains, New York) or 646-774-8042 (for the West Side of Manhattan). You can reach us any day — day or night. We are available to help you determine the next steps that are right for you or your loved one.

If you think you or a loved one might benefit from the psychiatric services offered at NewYork-Presbyterian, get in touch with us. Call 877-NYP-WELL, and a friendly representative will help you find the right specialist, right now.

Please note, if this is an emergency, please dial 9-1-1 or visit your local emergency department. For free and confidential support from trained mental health professionals, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or NYC Well at 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355).