Exposure therapy is designed to reduce the irrational feelings a person has assigned to an object or situation by safely exposing him or her to various aspects of that fear. The way in which this is done in each treatment simply differ. Journal of Traumatic Stress. During day two and three, the recollection of the sexual abuse by her sports trainer was processed. Recently, intensive cognitive behavioral treatment was shown to be feasible for the treatment of 14 PTSD patients with single trauma in adulthood Ehlers et al. For example, a person with agoraphobia , a fear of crowded places, might imagine standing in a crowded mall.
The Origins of Exposure Therapy
Stress inoculation therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, and cognitive processing therapy are all considered cognitive behavioral therapies. Victims are encouraged to identify parts of the trauma with "inadequately processed emotions" associated with them, known as "stuck points. Eye movement desensitization reprocessing is a therapy specifically designed to address trauma survivors. EMDR involves exposure therapy alongside cognitive techniques. The external attention required is theorized to allow the reprocessing of the event.
The intensive exposure therapy (IET)
Exposure therapy has been found to effectively address the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD , as well as symptoms of other anxiety disorders. With this roundup of different forms of exposure therapy, find out which treatment is right for you. Exposure therapy is considered a behavioral treatment for PTSD. This is because exposure therapy targets learned behaviors that people engage in most often the avoidance in response to situations or thoughts and memories that are viewed as frightening or anxiety-provoking. It is important to recognize that this learned avoidance serves a purpose. When a person experiences a traumatic event , he may begin to act in ways to avoid threatening situations with the goal of trying to prevent that traumatic experience from happening again.
Compared to supportive counseling, prolonged exposure therapy for sexual abuse-related PTSD was more effective at reducing symptoms in adolescent girls. Improvement in symptoms remained significant up to 12 months after treatment completion. Study Rundown: This randomized clinical trial found that prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD related to sexual abuse resulted in a greater reduction symptoms than supportive counseling in adolescent girls. This is the first controlled study to demonstrate that prolonged exposure therapy is effective in adolescents with PTSD. Results are limited by sample size but generate hypotheses for larger studies in a more heterogenous population. Click to read the study in JAMA.