Office of Research & Development

print icon sign up for VA Research updates
header

Exposure therapy for PTSD works in groups

thumbnail
Exposure therapy conducted in group sessions can be effective treatment for PTSD, according to a new VA analysis.
Group therapy insight—Exposure therapy conducted in group sessions can be effective treatment for PTSD, according to a new VA analysis. (Photo by Alina Solovyova-Vincent/iStock)

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)


Questions about the R&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.