PTSD Treatment and Assessment

Notice how the therapist looks through the diagnostic criteria for PTSD. She asks questions regarding Allen’s experience geared toward confirming the diagnosis. Once this is confirmed, the clinician shows how exposure therapy can be introduced to the client for subsequent sessions, ensuring he is prepared that the incident will be revisited. Stress inoculation is also used with the mention of other dynamics that are impacting Allen such as gender roles and personal boundaries. Educating Allen on these aspects of his experience will help mitigate feelings of guilt about grieving for his wife and the effect it has on his work performance. Disclosing this information to a new therapist is extremely difficult for some clients, and Allen is visibly saddened and anxious about doing so. Before the therapist allows the session to end, she walks him through a short breathing exercise to calm him after a difficult disclosure.


American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

A., Eftekhari, A., & Ruzek, J. I. (2012). Review of exposure therapy: A gold standard for PTSD treatment. Journal Of Rehabilitation Research & Development, 49(5), 678-687. doi:10.1682/JRRD.2011.08.0152

Lee, C., Gavriel, H., Drummond, P., Richards, J., & Greenwald, R. (2002). Treatment of PTSD: Stress Inoculation Training with Prolonged Exposure Compared to EMDR. Journal Of Clinical Psychology, 58(9), 1071.

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