Footprints to Recovery, Mental Health Treatment Program in NJ

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Footprints to Recovery Mental Health New Jersey

post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Living with post-traumatic stress disorder can be incredibly challenging. Our mental health facility in New Jersey is well-staffed and equipped to treat many trauma-related mental health disorders including PTSD.


Traumatic experiences can affect anyone. These events can result in feelings of severe anxiety, fear, and distress that can interfere with your day-to-day life. 

Often, people feel overwhelmed by terrifying memories, nightmares, and flashbacks. Activities that were once a routine part of life can suddenly become a source of terror, triggering intense feelings of danger without warning. As a result, people can become violent, anxious, or avoidant to escape the pain. These behaviors often result in paranoia, self-isolation, and substance abuse to numb feelings of fear, guilt, and sadness.

At Footprints to Recovery, we understand how traumatic events can change your life and the impact they have on your mental health. We are committed to helping people process their past trauma in a safe, supportive environment.

Our trauma-informed care helps individuals struggling with PTSD, allowing them to identify triggers and manage their symptoms. Our holistic outpatient treatment focuses on healing the mind, body, and soul by providing a variety of specialized services to help you learn how to cope with stress and regain a sense of safety. Through individualized treatment plans, our mental health services can help you recover from PTSD and lead a healthier, more fulfilling life.


The healing process can pose many challenges - all of which can be difficult to cope with on your own.

Our team of licensed mental health professionals can help you manage your symptoms and create a new, more fulfilling life.


We accept most major insurance provider plans.

If you have coverage of any kind, we will work with you to determine your benefits for mental health treatment. Any information you share with us is kept strictly confidential.

What Is PTSD?

PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. It is a mental health condition that can develop when people experience a traumatic event. Signs and symptoms of PTSD occur after the traumatic event or experience. There are several symptoms associated with PTSD, but the most common revolve around unpleasant memories (flashbacks), difficulty sleeping, and constantly feeling ‘on edge’ or hypervigilant. 

These symptoms can appear right after a traumatic experience, or they can take months or even years to develop and affect someone’s life in a negative way.

PTSD is often associated with military service. Compared to civilian life, military service exposes people to dangerous, stressful, and life-threatening situations far more often. However, those in the military only experience PTSD at a slightly higher rate than civilian Americans. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Center for PTSD, around 7% of Veterans will develop PTSD at some point in their life compared to 6% of the civilian population.

Footprints to Recovery offers a full continuum of mental health services for PTSD in New Jersey. Our programs are individualized and include both holistic and evidence-based treatments for PTSD. When past trauma is getting in the way of living your life to the fullest, our PTSD treatment program can help.

What Causes PTSD?

PTSD does not discriminate. People of all ages and from all walks of life can develop post-traumatic stress disorder after trauma. Countless aspects of life can cause trauma and many of them are out of our control.

Traumatic life experiences that can lead to PTSD include:

Any event that is potentially life-threatening or overly stressful can lead to the development of PTSD. Trauma is different for everyone. How we experience trauma depends on things like our age, our gender, and previous exposure to traumatic events. Feeling unsettled or upset following a traumatic event is natural. When those feelings persist for longer than a couple of months, it could be a sign of PTSD.

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How Is PTSD Diagnosed?

PTSD is diagnosed through a comprehensive evaluation conducted by a qualified mental health professional, such as the therapists at Footprints to Recovery. Clinicians use the criteria outlined in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) when diagnosing PTSD.

Symptoms of PTSD are split into five major categories of criteria, with three other qualifying criteria listed in the DSM-5. The diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder include the following:

A. Exposure To Life-Threatening Violence

Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence in one (or more) of the following ways:

  • Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s).
  • Witnessing, in person, the event(s) as it occurred to others.
  • Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend. 
  • Experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic event(s).

Note: This criterion does not apply to exposure through digital media, TV, movies, or pictures unless this exposure is work-related.

B. Routine Distress

Presence of one (or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred:

  • Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s). 
  • Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or effect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s).
  • Dissociative reactions (e.g., flashbacks) in which the individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event(s) were recurring. 
  • Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s).
  • Physiological reactions to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s).
C. Avoidant Behavior

Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by one or both of the following:

  • Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s).
  • Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or are closely associated with the traumatic event(s).
D. Altered Mental State

Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following:

  • Inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event(s) (typically due to dissociative amnesia).
  • Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world.
  • Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) resulting in self-blame or blaming others.
  • Persistent negative emotional state including fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame.
  • Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities.
  • Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.
  • Persistent inability to experience positive emotions such as happiness, satisfaction, or love.
E. Reactive Behavior

Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following:

  • Reckless or self-destructive behavior.
  • Hypervigilance.
  • Exaggerated startle response.
  • Problems with concentration.
  • Sleep disturbance such as difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or restless sleep.
  • Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation), typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects.
F. Duration of Symptoms

The duration of an individual’s trauma-related disturbances (Criteria B, C, D, and E) is more than 1 month.

G. Level of Impairment

The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

H. Non-Substance Related

The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition.

Source: The criteria for PTSD is sourced from the National Library of Medicine in reference to diagnostic criteria laid out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fifth edition (DSM 5). 

We have included the criteria on this page for informational purposes only, it is not intended to assist in self-diagnosing PTSD or any other mental disorder. To be diagnosed, you must be assessed by a licensed medical or clinical professional.

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms

People with PTSD may experience a variety of symptoms that persist long after the traumatic event has occurred. These symptoms interfere with living life and can be exhausting to deal with on a regular basis.  In general, PTSD symptoms can be grouped into four main categories:

PTSD Symptoms


One of the most common PTSD symptoms is intrusive thoughts and memories. These are recurrent, distressing memories or nightmares related to the traumatic event. Individuals may also experience flashbacks, where they feel as if they are reliving the event. Flashbacks often have a trigger – a person, place, or thing – that causes painful memories to resurface.


People with PTSD may avoid certain places, activities, or even thoughts and feelings that remind them of the traumatic event. They may isolate themselves socially, have difficulty remembering aspects of the event, or lose interest in activities they once enjoyed.


This category includes symptoms such as negative thoughts about oneself or others, distorted beliefs about the world, persistent feelings of guilt or shame, and diminished interest in previously enjoyed activities. Individuals may also experience difficulties in maintaining relationships and may have a sense of detachment or emotional numbness.


Individuals with PTSD may be easily startled, have trouble sleeping or concentrating, and may display heightened irritability or anger. They may also engage in reckless or self-destructive behavior and be hypervigilant, constantly scanning their environment for potential threats.

Struggling With Symptoms of PTSD?

If you are struggling with the symptoms of PTSD, Footprints To Recovery Mental Health is here to help. We offer comprehensive treatment programs designed to get to the root of your trauma and provide you with the tools needed for long-term recovery. 

Our care team consists of experienced psychiatrists, licensed therapists, and certified substance abuse counselors who will work with you every step of the way to ensure that you get the best possible outcome. With our help, you can begin the journey toward true happiness and fulfillment. Contact us today to learn more about our PTSD treatment services.

How Is PTSD Treated?

Working with professional mental health treatment counselors is crucial when it comes to PTSD. A clinical therapist with experience can offer personalized treatment using the latest evidence-based therapies.

The most effective treatment for PTSD involves a combination of:

In some cases, the trauma causing PTSD may be ongoing. In those cases, your clinical team must address the trauma for effective recovery.

Therapy Treatments for PTSD

Therapy is a widely recognized and effective treatment approach for post-traumatic stress disorder. There are different types of psychotherapy and a clinician will help decide which treatment options are right for you.

Some of the most common therapy treatments for PTSD include:

While in treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, the goal is to recover one’s sense of safety, trust, and control. Treatment typically includes learning about the disorder, its causes, and how to manage symptoms. It also involves utilizing mental health counseling techniques to identify and challenge negative thoughts that can lead to distress. With the help of a trained therapist or counselor, an individual can develop coping skills for managing stressors in healthy ways.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most well-established treatments for PTSD. It focuses on identifying and challenging negative thoughts and beliefs related to the traumatic event. CBT often includes exposure therapy, where individuals are gradually exposed to reminders of the trauma in a safe and controlled manner, allowing them to process and reframe their traumatic experiences.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR combines elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy with bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or taps. During EMDR sessions, individuals recall distressing memories while simultaneously focusing on external stimuli, facilitating the processing of traumatic experiences and reducing their emotional intensity.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy involves gradually and systematically confronting avoided trauma-related memories, situations, or emotions. Through repeated exposure to the traumatic memories in a safe and controlled environment, individuals learn that their anxiety naturally decreases over time, helping them regain a sense of mastery over their traumatic experiences.

Medication for PTSD

Medication can be an important component of the treatment plan for post-traumatic stress disorder. They are used to help reduce symptoms and to complement talk therapy treatment.

The most common medications for PTSD include:

Medication should always be prescribed and managed by a qualified healthcare professional, such as the team at Footprints to Recovery Mental Health in New Jersey.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs are a class of antidepressants that work by increasing the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation, in the brain. SSRIs are effective in reducing the core symptoms of PTSD, including intrusive thoughts, avoidance behaviors, hyperarousal, and depression or anxiety often associated with the disorder. Research studies have demonstrated their efficacy in improving overall functioning and quality of life in individuals with PTSD.

Common SSRIs used to treat PTSD include:

Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

SNRIs are another class of medications commonly used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. SNRIs work by increasing the levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation, in the brain. SNRIs reduce the severity of symptoms of PTSD, including intrusive thoughts, avoidance behaviors, hyperarousal, and associated depression or anxiety. Research studies have demonstrated their effectiveness in improving overall functioning and quality of life in individuals with PTSD.

Common SNRIs used to treat PTSD include:


A combination of antidepressants and talk therapy for PTSD may not work for everyone. Prazosin is a medication for high blood pressure that’s proven effective in treating PTSD. Prazosin belongs to a class of medications known as alpha-blockers. It works by blocking the action of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter involved in the stress response, on specific receptors in the brain. By blocking these receptors, Prazosin helps reduce the hyperarousal and nightmares commonly experienced in PTSD.

The benefits of using Prazosin to treat PTSD include:


Benzodiazepines are a class of medications that have sedative effects and are y prescribed for conditions such as anxiety and insomnia. They can be used to treat PTSD in the short term. Long-term use of benzodiazepines is not recommended due to the potential for dependency and addiction. Benzodiazepines don’t target the underlying issues causing PTSD, rather they’re used to treat symptoms of PTSD like insomnia and anxiety. These medications can be habit-forming and may lead to dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms when used for a prolonged period. They can also impair cognitive function, memory, and motor skills, which can impact daily functioning and increase the risk of accidents or falls.

Some common benzodiazepines used to treat PTSD include:

You should only use benzodiazepines to treat PTSD under the supervision of mental and behavioral health professionals.

PTSD Treatment Options

At Footprints to Recovery Mental Health, we provide a comprehensive range of services to support individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma-related disorders. Our treatment approach involves evidence-based therapies and medication to effectively manage symptoms related to trauma. Our dedicated team of mental health professionals is committed to helping you follow the path to recovery. We offer unique levels of care to ensure that everyone can find a safe and effective treatment plan tailored to their specific needs. Overcoming the challenges associated with PTSD is our shared goal.

“We take pride in our work and are committed to making each of our clients happy.”

Footprints to Recovery Mental Health offers a full continuum of mental health services for PTSD in New Jersey. Our caring and dedicated mental health treatment staff have the skills and experience you need to overcome post-traumatic stress disorder and start living your life to the fullest. Your clinical team can help you understand PTSD and create a strategic plan to treat it.

When you work with behavioral health care professionals, effective treatment for PTSD is possible. You don’t have to let trauma and the stress that comes with it control your life any longer. Contact the team at Footprints to Recovery Mental Health today and get started with PTSD treatment in New Jersey today.

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