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Phase 2 treatments


Three Evidence-Based Treatments

Please click on each arrow to learn about each treatment

Cognitive Processing Therapy(CPT)

Prolonged Exposure

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

  • 12 weekly sessions
    • First 7 are standard CBT
    • Last 5 are specific to PTSD
  • Can do it individually or in small groups of people
  • The person learns to examine their "stuck points" and change their beliefs

changes the way someone thinks

Stuck points are beliefs that people get stuck on that make them less able to function in a normal kind of way. For example: thinking everything in the world is dangerous.

Prolonged Exposure

Changes the way someone behaves

  • 10-session treatment
    • Session 1-4: In vivo exposure
    • Session 5-10: Imaginal exposure
  • Good treatment for simple PTSD
  • The person learns to become numb to their trauma and change their behavior to said trauma

The details of someone's trauma must NEVER be spoken about in court.

  1. It could re-traumatize the person who shared the information
  2. It could traumatize the court staff
  3. It could traumatize or re-traumatize the other participants.

In vivo exposure is exposing people to the triggers that make them anxious or distressed (feared stimuli) in real life. Anxiety surrounding the feared stimuli comes in waves, and the goal for this exposure is to sit with the stimuli until the anxiety has lessened.

Imaginal exposure involves describing the details of the trauma. The person records themselves discussing the event and listens to it repeatedly for up to an hour a day until they become numb to it.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

  • Helps people pay attention to an image that represents their trauma, a negative belief they developed about themselves as a result of their trauma, and the emotions and body sensations they feel when picturing/thinking about it
  • Must perform bilateral stimulation to change the brain
  • The person's anxiety goes down (desensitization)
  • The person learns to rethink trauma in a way that no longer distresses them (reprocessing)

changes the way the brain is organized

The body holds the distress that comes with trauma, so paying attention to points of the body that are feeling distressed or any discomfort while experiencing emotions during EMDR is important.

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Bilateral stimulation is used in EMDR by moving two fingers back and forth in front of someone's eyes and having them trace what is called the midline. Tapping can also be used as well, such as when conducting the session via telemedicine.