New approaches to combining pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder

Laura C. Pratchett, Kelly Daly, Linda M. Bierer, Rachel Yehuda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Introduction: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex disorder associated with an intricate biological and psychological symptom profile and various common comorbidities. Despite an existing myriad of evidence-based and experimental treatments, PTSD is often difficult to treat. This reality necessitates a discussion of the potential of emerging treatments. Areas covered: A literature search using PubMed and PsychInfo was done using the following keywords: randomized clinical trials, treatment guidelines, pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, all in addition to PTSD. A comprehensive treatment review establishes that early intervention approaches have not yet been found to prevent PTSD in trauma survivors. However, psychotherapy research provides substantial support for cognitive behavioral therapies and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing for chronic PTSD, and psychopharmacological approaches are myriad although at present there is FDA approval only for sertraline and paroxetine. However, the efficacy of these treatments varies and, unfortunately, not everyone will achieve remission. Expert opinion: So far, the mental health field has tended to focus on either biological or psychological targets. We propose that maximizing treatment success may require an integrated approach that does not dichotomize biological and psychological aspects. Exciting new developments reflecting this perspective include psychopharmacologic augmentation strategies that enhance the mechanisms of psychotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2339-2354
Number of pages16
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Evidence-based psychotherapy
  • Pharmacologic augmentation of psychotherapy
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Treatment


Dive into the research topics of 'New approaches to combining pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this