Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE)
Prolonged Exposure therapy (PE) is a specific type of exposure therapy that is used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In PTSD, the use of exposure therapy is intended to help the patient face and gain control of the fear and distress that was overwhelming in the trauma. Prolonged Exposure is a gold standard treatment for PTSD with substantial empirical and research supporting its effectiveness at reducing PTSD symptoms. It involves 4 main treatment components: 1- Psychoeducation about PTSD, PE treatment components and common reactions to trauma; 2 - Breathing retraining for inducing a relaxation response; 3 - In-vivo exposure (skills to participate in activities that clients have been avoiding due to trauma symptoms); and 4 - Imaginal exposure (talking about the trauma repeatedly in a safe environment with the therapist). PE is a time-limited, evidence-based treatment for PTSD that works for most people and ultimately helps individuals live the lives they want to live without trauma symptoms controlling them.