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PTSD and Evidence-Based Practices

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PTSD DSM-IV-TR Diagnostic Criteria
PTSD Statistics and Co-Morbidity
Biological Mechanisms and PTSD
Exposure Therapy
Trauma-Focused Therapy
EMDR
Additional Information
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PTSD Overview
 
Justin Reimenschneider
Amber Hursh
Justine Tedesco

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental illness which may develop following exposure to extreme trauma. 
  • Extreme Trauma is a terrifying event or ordeal that a person has experienced, witnessed, or learned about, especially one that is life-threatening or causes physical harm.  It can be a single event or repeated experience.
  • The experience causes that person to feel intense fear, horror, or a sense of helplessness.
  • The stress caused by trauma can affect all aspects of a person's life, including mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
  • Those who experience greater stressor magnitude and intensity, unpredictability, uncontrollability, sexual victimization, real or perceived responsibililty, and betrayal.
  • Those with prior vulnerability factors such as genetics, early age of onset and longer-lasting childhood trauma, lack of functional support, and concurrent stressful life events.
  • Those who report greater perceived threat or danger, suffering, upset, terror, and horror or fear.
  • Those with a social environment that produces shame, guilt, stigmatization, or self-hatred.

There is help for those suffering from PTSD!  Following considerable empirical scrutiny, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has proven to be a safe and effective treatment for PTSD.  There are several components to CBT, some of which will be discussed here.  Those discussed have a strong evidence base.  Those include:
  • Exposure Therapy
  • Trauma-Focused Therapy 
  • Cognitive Restructuring 
  • EMDR

Thought-Field Therapy is another component of EMDR.  It is emerging as an evidence-based practice and will also be discussed.

Finally, brain structures in relation to PTSD will be reviewed along with pharmacological treatment, which shows some efficacy.

Amber Hursh, Justin Reimenschneider, Justine Tedesco
RSSW 705 Evidence-Based Practice in Mental Health
Dr. Zvi Gellis, SUNY Albany, Rockefeller College of Social Work