Prolonged Exposure for PTSD

Avoidance of people, places and things which remind us of the trauma can impact our functioning.

Proven treatment for PTSD

 

Compass Counseling Group offers Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) for individuals struggling with symptoms of PTSD. PE is an evidenced-based treatment, proven to significantly reduce the symptoms of PTSD as well as co-morbid symptoms of depression, anger and anxiety. Besides reducing symptoms, PE also instills confidence and a sense of mastery. Clients are better able to discriminate safe and unsafe situations, and experience improvement in many areas of daily functioning. 


Prolonged exposure is a specific type of cognitive behavioral therapy that teaches individuals to gradually approach trauma-related memories, feelings and situations. Most people want to avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma they experienced but doing so reinforces their fear. By facing what has been avoided, a person can decrease symptoms of PTSD by actively learning that the trauma-related memories and cues are not dangerous and do not need to be avoided.


Prolonged exposure is typically provided over a period of about three months with weekly individual sessions, resulting in eight to 15 sessions overall.   


What is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is a mental health condition that some people develop after directly experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event but can also arise from situations such as learning that traumatic events have occurred to a close family member or a friend, the sudden loss of someone close to us or repeated or extreme exposure to aversive situations such as with our military service members or first responders. According to the National Center for PTSD, about seven or eight of every 100 people will experience PTSD at some point in their lives.

 

Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet for most, these symptoms will dissipate naturally. Those who continue to experience problems such as re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares may be diagnosed with PTSD. Other symptoms of PTSD can include emotional numbness and avoidance of places, people, and activities that are reminders of the trauma. As well as, increased arousal such as difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling jumpy, and being easily irritated and angered. PTSD symptoms can significantly impact academic, social and occupational functioning.