Prolonged Exposure for PTSD

Posted on 06/24/14 01:11:pm

If you or someone you know suffers from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), you may benefit from a type of therapy called prolonged exposure, or PE, which helps you process single or multiple/continuous trauma in a way that reduces your symptoms.

This cognitive behavioral therapy treatment for adult men and women diagnosed with PTSD consists of a course of individual therapy and therapist-directed assignments which help reduce specific PTSD symptoms as well as depression, anger and general anxiety.

PE therapy has three components:

  1. psychoeducation about common reactions to trauma and the cause of chronic post-trauma difficulties
  2. imaginal exposure, a revisiting or repeated recounting of the traumatic memory in your imagination
  3. in vivo exposure, gradually approaching trauma reminders, such as situations and objects that are feared and avoided despite being safe.

At the PTSD partial hospitalization program at Rogers Memorial Hospital-West Allis Lincoln Center location, PE Treatment is individualized and conducted by therapists and behavioral specialists trained in this technique. After your initial assessment, you will work with a highly trained therapist or behavioral specialist to design a hierarchy of exposures, working one-on-one on imaginal exposures and complete assignments under supervision.

A patient's ability to engage in these procedures in a health manner primarily determines how long treatment lasts. While group therapy is part of PTSD treatment, all PE work is individual and not done in the groups.

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