Release the past and create a new future
Prolonged Exposure Therapy
A brief CBT approach targeting PTSD
Prolonged Exposure Therapy is considered the Gold Standard processor of PTSD. It is used in the military and is the longest standing treatment for Type I Trauma. It is essentially an emotional processing theory and identifies the fear structure network underlying PTSD. It helps trauma survivors emotionally process their traumatic experiences in order to reduce trauma related symptoms.
Cognitive Processing Therapy
Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) was originally created to help women who had experienced sexual trauma and to process the abuse they had experienced. However, due to its success, it is now used for processing other traumas. Very often trauma clients will exhibit over-accommodation, completely altering their view of the world in such a way that it can often lead to them being unable to experience intimacy and trust.
Avoidance of strong emotions is common in clients who have experienced trauma, whilst some people are able to almost completely numb their emotions. CPT elicits exposure and then assists clients to differentiate between unhelpful thoughts and accurate interpretations. Unhelpful cognitions and other 'sticking points' are targeted for processing, in order to help clients explore how their trauma has changed their thoughts and beliefs, and how some of these ways of thinking may keep them stuck in their symptoms.
Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)
Narative Exposure Therapy is a short term treatment for traumatic stress disorders. Helping the client to process the memories and move them from current experience and into chronological order. The process is conducted over roughly 10 sessions, however NET is incorporated within the treatment programme designed for each person along with other therapeutic tools. Initially designed for and trialled with people who had experienced multiple and severe traumatic events (such as exposure to war, torture, rape and childhood abuse), NET brings swift relief for people who have experienced trauma. NET focuses on the completion and integration of the initial fragments of the traumatic events into a whole, including the sensory, physiological, emotional and cognitive experiences of the incident.
Rewind Technique (RT)
This technique has been described as a startling and effective method for treating PTSD and the symptoms often associated. This memory processing therapy is very different from others, such as Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, as this is a non disclosure treatment, meaning the client does not have to discuss the issues that need to be worked with. The non disclosure makes this therapy excellent as it can be used in group settings as well as on a one to one basis. The rewind technique works by removing the triggers that can cause the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder response cycle.
Image Re-scripting Reprocessing Therapy (IRRT)
IRRT is an imagery-based CBT treatment designed to alleviate PTSD symptoms and modify trauma-related images, beliefs and schemas. IRRT involves three phases of imagery:
Through this 3-phase imaginal symbolic “psychodrama” (on the “inner stage”), the trauma material is initially activated and experienced through the eyes of the “traumatized child,” and then challenged, modified, and reprocessed through the eyes of the “empowered adult” today. Replacing victimization imagery with mastery imagery enables trauma victims to experience themselves responding to the traumatic event as an empowered individual today no longer “frozen” in a state of helplessness, uncertainty, and confusion. In addition, the overwhelming emotional and physiological distress that often accompanies trauma memories is replaced with positive feelings of self-nurturing and self-calm. Thus, through the re-living, re-scripting, and re-processing of the trauma memory, successful emotional and cognitive processing of the traumatic event may occur, allowing the individual’s response to the traumatic event to normalise. (Smucker, 2012).
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