Individuals with PTSD are frozen in a fight-or-flight or chronic shutdown system, as these systems are what helped them survive their trauma. Unfortunately, this also means that they have little interest or capacity to engage socially.
Without social engagement, these individuals are left feeling lost and alone. Therefore, PTSD therapies typically should revolve around helping these individuals access their ability to engage socially, so that in time, they can communicate their thoughts and emotions, and someday heal from the wounds of their trauma.
Recognize that individuals with PTSD require social engagement.
Social engagement is the first safety system of the brain. Individuals with PTSD cannot access this safety system, which is why treatment options should rely heavily on helping them access this system.
Perform simple, group-oriented activities with individuals with PTSD.
You can ask them to help arrange chairs for a meeting, join others in tapping out a musical rhythm on chair seats, or even roll a ball back and forth with you. Other activities include breathing exercises (pranayama), group singing and dancing, etc.
Use light, playful tones.
This will help these individuals open up to you. Yelling at them or using a harsh tone will cause them to react with fear or anger.