Prolonged Exposure therapy (PE) is an evidence-based behavioral health treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). People with PTSD have difficulty processing traumatic memories and avoid thoughts, feelings and situations about the distressing event, leading to limitation of daily activities. PE helps them face the trauma and process their thoughts about it. Treatment ranges from 8-15 weekly sessions with a therapist (along with in-between sessions) to face situations, reminders and emotions about the trauma. Through PE and safe exposure to trauma-related content, patients learn that traumatic memories and reminders are not dangerous. As a result, PTSD symptoms remit and patients can expand their lives.
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is a personalized, 12-session treatment for patients with PTSD. A traumatic event can cause people with PTSD to think they are to blame and start to think the world is unsafe. These thoughts keep patients with PTSD “stuck”, causing them to miss activities, people and places they used to enjoy. CPT therapists work with patients to recognize and challenge traumatic thoughts to get patients “unstuck”. During the later sessions, themes of safety, trust, power and control, esteem and intimacy are explored as areas possibly affected by the trauma. CPT can be implemented in individual treatment, group treatment or individual and group treatment.
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