Prolonged Exposure (PE) for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Prolonged Exposure (PE) is a way to help trauma survivors emotionally process their traumatic experiences. Doing this reduces PTSD symptoms and other trauma-related problems. It is an evidence-based treatment, and a specific type of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Prolonged Exposure is based on both Exposure Therapy and Emotional Processing Therapy. In Exposure Therapy you are helped to confront safe but anxiety-arousing situations in order to decrease your excessive fear and anxiety. Emotional Processing Therapy emphasizes that special processing of the traumatic event must take place to help reduce PTSD symptoms. Through exposure exercises and emotional processing, you will learn that you can safely remember your trauma and the events surrounding it. Breathing techniques will help you tolerate your anxiety and decrease your feelings of distress.
Rothbaum, B. O., Foa E. B., and Hembree, E. A. (2007). Reclaiming Your Life From a Traumatic Experience Workbook. Oxford University Press.