Prolonged Exposure Therapy

Prolonged Exposure Therapy 

Our Therapy Treatment Team specializes in many different forms of therapy, including prolonged exposure therapy. PE Therapy, as it is often referred to, has become increasingly popular among those seeking post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) counseling due to its effectiveness and tendency to attack issues related to PTSD directly. But what, exactly, is PE therapy? And how does it work? 

What Is PE Therapy?

The prolonged exposure therapy program was developed by the director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety, Dr. Edna Foa. The treatment she developed was prolonged exposure therapy, and in the years since its development, it has become well-known for its effectiveness in helping people mentally separate dangerous situations from safe ones and also helping people control their emotions that are associated with a traumatic event trigger. 

So, what is prolonged exposure therapy? It is the effective treatment that our expert team uses to treat chronic PTSD and its related behavior. But what can you expect to experience during prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD?  

How Does Prolonged Exposure Therapy Work?

There are two treatments that take place during prolonged exposure therapy. The first looks to tackle the way the mind processes the event that caused your PTSD. The second treatment is designed to separate a patients’ association between PTSD emotional episodes and harmless triggers. 

Imaginal Exposure: 

Imaginal exposure is one-half of the prolonged exposure therapy process. This is the aspect of therapy sessions that will aim to better a patient’s relationship with the actual event that sparked the PTSD. Anything from combat experience to childhood abuse can be a cause for PTSD, so it is important to understand the uniqueness of each experience and be mindful of what makes the trauma so impactful. By repeating what triggered the trauma, our team will be able to better process the experience, creating a healthier relationship between your mind and the actual event.

In Vivo Exposure: 

One of the most defining and difficult to manage aspects of PTSD is the relationship that develops between the affected person and seemingly harmless triggers. Anything as simple and common as a specific vehicle can be cause for an outburst of emotion due to past traumas. In vivo exposure creates a situation where patients will be confronting these triggers, creating a healthier relationship with the triggers in the process. Through in vivo, the mind can finally begin to process everyday objects or situations in a healthy way, bringing normalcy back into a patient’s life.  

This two-pronged approach to PTSD healing is perfect for addressing both aspects of post-traumatic stress that are affecting those with the condition. By simultaneously creating a healthier understanding of the traumatic event and reestablishing a normal relationship with triggers, the mind can heal on all afflicted fronts.

Contact Our Treatment Team for PE Therapy

If you or a loved one is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and are seeking treatment, please make an appointment with our treatment specialists. Our team specializes in a variety of different therapies, including prolonged exposure therapy, and accepts a long list of insurance plans for your convenience. Take the first step on the road to healing and wellness. Contact our team today.