Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends

You might know the words from the Beatles or Joe Cocker, either way it is an important message about the significance of support. As common sense would tell us the same applies to those who are going through PTSD treatment.

However, the kind of support is very important.  Should it be accommodating the needs of the person when they find treatment difficult or encouraging them to face their fears and distress?

Research published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (2019) demonstrated how important this is. Meis and her colleagues (2019) examined veterans undergoing PTSD treatment and they found that:

“veterans who reported their loved ones encouraged them to face distress were twice as likely to remain in PTSD treatment than veterans who denied such encouragement.”

Assisting family members to support the person going through PTSD treatment by encouraging them to approach their distress is a key factor in successful treatment.


Meis, L. A., Noorbaloochi, S., Hagel Campbell, E. M., Erbes, C. R., Polusny, M. A., Velasquez, T. L., . . . Spoont, M. R. (2019). Sticking it out in trauma-focused treatment for PTSD: It takes a village. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 87(3), 246-256.