Thursday, July 18, 2013

'Prolonged exposure' therapy may help vets with PTSD

This can help veterans with PTSD but only if they do it right. It has to be based on the cause of the trauma, which often includes survivor guilt. If they just keep rerunning the events, it won't work. If they make peace with the events, what they did and what was done to them, then it works. Otherwise it is salt in the wound.
'Prolonged exposure' therapy may help vets with PTSD
By Genevra Pittman
Wed Jul 17, 2013

(Reuters Health) - Therapy that involves repeatedly processing painful memories and approaching anxiety-provoking situations in a safe way may ease symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans, a new study suggests.

Although there is good evidence so-called prolonged exposure therapy can help people with PTSD, researchers said most of the data come from civilians, including women who have been sexually assaulted.

"One of the important factors in chronic PTSD is avoidance - avoiding thinking about the trauma and avoiding going to places that remind you of the trauma or are similar," said Edna Foa, head of the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and a developer of prolonged exposure therapy.

The idea behind prolonged exposure is "helping the patient confront the memories and confront the situations they avoid," added Foa, who wasn't involved in the new study.

"They realize they can talk about this event, and they don't fall apart. It gives them a sense of control over the memory, rather than the memory controlling them."
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