PTSD and Exposure Therapy
One of PTSD’s most extreme symptoms is our tendency to avoid anything and everything that reminds us of our trauma. However, avoidance only feeds our traumatic feelings and encourages us to continue to embrace and act upon them. Exposure therapy – the opposite of the typical, self-prescribed avoidance approach – aims at ending the cycle once and for all. While avoidance may provide temporary relief, it just doesn’t last. Facing these triggers is the key to reducing the frequency and severity of PTSD symptoms.
According to an article on Medical News Today exposure therapy has proven to actually intercept the progression of trauma survivors from Acute Stress Disorder to PTSD. Now that’s something to think about.
Very popular with all kinds of trauma and particularly the military, PTSD Facts For Health defines exposure therapy this way:
Exposure therapy is based on the principle that we get used to things that are just annoying and not truly dangerous. This is called habituation, and it occurs naturally in over 95% of people…. Exposure therapy is based on the idea that this kind of habituation must occur in the person who has been traumatized if they are to overcome PTSD. Exposure therapy asks patients to confront, in a safe way, the very situations, objects, people and memories they have attached to the trauma (and are probably very consciously avoiding).
For more information on exposure therapy, and to see it in action, read PTSD Treatment: Exposure Therapy.
(Photo: The U.S. Army)
- PTSD Treatment: Alternative Therapy Options
- PTSD Treatment: Traditional Therapy Options
- PTSD and Talk Therapy
- PTSD and Cognitive Behavior Therapy
- PTSD and EMDR Therapy
- PTSD and Exposure Therapy
- PTSD and Energy Processing Therapy
- PTSD and Hypnosis
- PTSD and Neuro-Linguistic Programming
- PTSD and Self-Empowered Therapy
- PTSD and Group Therapy
- Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises