Exposure therapy for PTSD works in groups
Exposure therapy conducted in group sessions can be effective treatment for PTSD, according to a new VA analysis.
Psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder often includes exposure to the trauma.
Patients are helped to talk about their trauma, imagine themselves going through it again, and relive the thoughts and feelings they had at the time. But some clinicians have been reluctant to use such approaches in group therapy sessions. A new review study by a team with VA and Baylor College of Medicine suggests the concerns may not be warranted. The study examined the results of several trials that included 651 PTSD patients in all. It found that group-based cognitive behavioral therapy was effective for PTSD, and that it worked just as well when patients shared details of their traumas as part of the therapy. The meta-analysis supports the "use of exposure-based group cognitive behavioral therapy as a promising treatment option for PTSD," write the authors. (Clinical Psychology Review, online Oct. 6, 2012)