Conditions & Treatments
Prolonged Exposure Therapy
Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) produces clinically significant improvement in about 80 percent of patients with chronic PTSD.
The desire to avoid things that remind you of a traumatic event is best treated through repeat exposure to your triggers until they no longer have power over you. Prolonged exposure therapy (PE) is a highly effective treatment for chronic PTSD and related depression, anxiety, and anger.
PE treatments have been successful in treating individuals suffering from traumas such as:
- Military combat
- Child abuse
- Motor vehicle accidents
PE treatment is a flexible therapy based on basic cognitive-behavioral principles that can be modified to fit the needs of individual patients. Treatment typically involves 90-minute sessions once a week and concludes after 12 to 15 sessions on average. In the sessions the therapist and patient work collaboratively to better understand trauma symptoms and triggers.
During the course of treatment, a variety of exposure-related interventions may also be used.
Through their therapy, patients learn to:
- Process traumatic events
- Reduce trauma-induced psychological disturbances
- Improve the ability to discriminate safe and unsafe situations
- Improve various aspects of daily functioning
- Increase the ability to cope with stress with courage instead of fearfulness
- Develop inner confidence and a sense of mastery
- Return to pre-trauma, event-level functioning