Private Prolonged Exposure Therapy
prolonged exposure therapy (PE) for ptsd.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy is considered by the United States Veterans Association to be the gold standard in evidenced-based, manualised treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Numerous well-controlled studies over the past two decades have shown that PE significantly reduces the symptoms of PTSD as well as co-morbid symptoms of depression, anger, and anxiety. In addition to reducing symptoms, PE also instils confidence and a sense of mastery. Clients become more able to discriminate safe and unsafe situations, and experience improvement in many areas of everyday functioning.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy is based in Emotional Processing Theory, which posits that PTSD symptoms arise as a result of cognitive and behavioural avoidance of trauma-related thoughts, reminders, activities and situations. PE helps the client interrupt and reverse this process by blocking cognitive and behavioural avoidance, introducing corrective information, and facilitating organization and processing of the trauma memory and associated thoughts and beliefs. This is accomplished through in vivo and imaginal exposure.
In vivo exposure involves repeatedly engaging in activities, situations, or behaviors that are avoided because of the trauma, but which are not really dangerous. Over time, In vivo exposure lessens excessive fear, and other distressing emotions, and helps with the recognition that the avoided situations are not overly dangerous, and that the client can cope effectively even when distressed.
Imaginal exposure involves repeatedly revisiting the traumatic experience in memory by describing the event aloud in detail. The narrative is recorded and the client listens to the recording between sessions to maximise therapeutic value. Revisiting the event in this way helps processing of the traumatic memory by activating the thoughts and emotions associated with the trauma in a safe context. Imaginal exposure also helps the client realise he or she can cope with the distress associated with the memory.
Why Prolonged Exposure Therapy?
- PE has the largest number of studies advocating its efficacy and effectiveness.
- PE has been found effective with the widest range of trauma populations.
- PE has been found effective in co-morbid populations (substance use disorders, BPD, psychosis, etc.).
Research on Prolonged exposure therapy.
Powers et al., 2010 meta-analysis (13 studies)
- Moderate to large effect size for PTSD symptoms and secondary symptoms
- The average patient in PE therapy fared better than 86% of patients in control situations
Institute of Medicine Report (2007)
- Concluded that PE is the best-supported therapy for PTSD
US Veterans Association (VA)/Department of Defence (DoD)
- Concluded that PE is a 1st-line treatment for PTSD
Private Prolonged Exposure Therapy can help untangle the complex emotions and fears that trauma survivors feel. Individuals with multiple or chronic trauma can benefit as much from PE as patients with a single-incident trauma. Treatment typically lasts for 10-15 sessions with each session lasting 90-120 minutes. Make an appointment today with an expert Private Prolonged Exposure Therapist from the Box Tree Clinic in Harley Street.
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