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Evidenced Based Treatment PTSD

Prolonged Exposure

Prolonged exposure therapy (PE) is a theoretically-based and highly efficacious treatment for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related depression, anxiety, and anger. Based on basic behavioral principles, it is empirically validated, with more than 20 years of research supporting its use. Prolonged exposure is a flexible therapy that can be modified to fit the needs of individual clients. It is specifically designed to help clients psychologically process traumatic events and reduce trauma-induced psychological disturbances. Prolonged exposure produces clinically significant improvement in about 80% of patients with chronic PTSD.[1]

Prolonged exposure therapy was developed by Edna B Foa, PhD, Director of the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety. Practitioners throughout the United States and many foreign countries currently use prolonged exposure to successfully treat survivors of varied traumas including rape, assault, child abuse, combat, motor vehicle accidents and disasters. Prolonged exposure has been beneficial for those suffering from co-occurring PTSD and substance abuse when combined with substance abuse treatment.[2]

Over years of testing and development, prolonged exposure has evolved into an adaptable program of intervention to address the needs of varied trauma survivors.[2] In addition to reducing symptoms of PTSD, prolonged exposure instills confidence and a sense of mastery, improves various aspects of daily functioning, increases client's ability to cope with courage rather than fearfulness when facing stress, and improves their ability to discriminate safe and unsafe situations.[1]

In 2001, Prolonged Exposure for PTSD received an Exemplary Substance Abuse Prevention Program Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Prolonged exposure was selected by SAMHSA and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention as a Model Program for national dissemination.[3]

Wikipedia July, 2012