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Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD

Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD

As a trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral treatment, Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) gradually teaches you how to approach the memories, feelings, people, places, and situations that you have been avoiding since your trauma. This allows for a decrease in PTSD symptoms and recovery. People with PTSD often attempt to avoid reminders of their trauma, which can help you feel better short term, however this avoidance actually prevents people from recovering from PTSD.

  • PE is effective at treating PTSD for both veterans and civilians
  • PE works well for a variety of traumas, including combat trauma, sexual assault, and domestic violence
  • PE is a short-term treatment with approximately 8 to 15 weekly sessions with your therapist, and includes “homework” or practice assignments

Therapy Includes:

  • Incorporating breathing techniques to help manage anxiety
  • Engaging in safe situations that you have been avoiding, in a gradual and step-by-step manner
  • Talking about the details of your trauma in therapy, to allow for emotional processing and a decrease in anxiety related to the memory

Goals of Treatment:

  • Improve your understanding of PTSD
  • Reduce your distress about your memories of the trauma
  • Allow for the emotional processing of the trauma
  • Decrease your anxiety, depression, anger, and guilt as a result of the trauma


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