Prolonged exposure therapy
Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET)
Prolonged Exposure Therapy is a form of psychotherapy employed for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This was developed originally by Edna Foa. As it is known, soon after a traumatic event, some people experience unwanted thoughts, feelings of hopelessness, depression, hypervigilance and disturbing nightmares,. Sometimes this trauma is not easy to deal with and requires expert intervention with therapeutic a tool, like the PET.
What to expect?
The major aim of Prolonged Exposure Therapy is to help the client recover from PTSD and live a meaningful life. This program is designed to help the clieny in following way:
1. to develop a complete and accurate understanding of the physical as well as emotional responses that are characteristic of PTSD.
2. to develop a mindset that helps the client maintain control of his or her self at all times and learn the skills and tools to do so.
3. to learn, practice, and employ coping skills as and when a necessary for recovery.
4. to learn how to fully integrate back into the family, lead a community and civilian life.
How does it work?
In Prolonged Exposure Therapy, the therapist provide the client with information and teaches the client skills and strategies that client can use to improve his/her life and reduce the PTSD symptoms. The client’s part is to learn this provided information, practice these skills, and implement these new approaches so that the person on therapy can experience the recovery that he or she deserve. This therapy acts as a guide to help the client through the process across different sessions.
These are some of the ways which facilitates the recovery of the client, as follows:
1. A group format is used to help the client learn information and skills. This helps the client to discover that he or she is not the only one experiencing these symptoms and to learn from others who have successfully overcome problems and learned to cope.
2. These groups are usually very structured. Each of the group has a purpose and goal. It is important for the client to attend all groups and learn the entire sequence of skill development.
3. The client is given homework complete in between sessions. Doing the assigned homework is speeds up recovery.
4. The client learn several skills that helps the client deal with expected and unexpected difficulties, interpersonal conflicts, and avoidant behavior.
When is used?
The purpose of the treatment program of PET is to help the client to recover from PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder).Although the therapy doesn't claim complete removal of symptoms and a symptoms free post therapy life, but they can aids oin the process of learn skills to regain control of one’s life, management of one’s reactions and response, creating a meaningful life.
Role of a PET Therapist:
Psychologist and mental health service providers can gain training and certification for PET. There are certain institutions which provides extensive training for PET through workshops or seminars in PET, where therapists gains an exposure of one-on-one exposure, mastering PET.
McLean, C. P., & Foa, E. B. (2011). Prolonged exposure therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder: A review of evidence and dissemination. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 11(8), 1151-1163.
Taylor, S., Thordarson, D. S., Maxfield, L., Fedoroff, I. C., Lovell, K., & Ogrodniczuk, J. (2003). Comparative efficacy, speed, and adverse effects of three PTSD treatments: exposure therapy, EMDR, and relaxation training. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71(2), 330 - 338.