Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET)

Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET) is an evidence-based therapy that is highly effective when it comes to treating symptoms of trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), especially for those struggling with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Prolonged Exposure Therapy operates on the basis that confronting a traumatic event rather than avoiding it can help you reverse the cycle of avoidance that so often results following a trauma and better process the traumatic event.

The idea behind Prolonged Exposure Therapy is that more anxiety, anger, and distress arise from not dealing with a traumatic event. With repeated exposure through therapy to memories of the event and to things that trigger reminders, the feelings and thoughts that arise when being confronted can be processed and worked through, rather than stored and hidden.

How Does Prolonged Exposure Therapy Work?

When you being Prolonged Exposure Therapy, you won’t immediately begin to examine your past experiences and traumas. You’ll be guided through the following steps of PET by a nurturing therapist who is trained in the principles of Prolonged Exposure Therapy and processing trauma and PTSD:

What Is the Evidence Behind PET?

Research shows that Prolonged Exposure Therapy is an effective treatment that can diminish symptoms of PTSD and the anxiety that comes with traumatic events. A study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that although there are potentially negative side effects when you begin the treatment, ultimately Prolonged Exposure Therapy has a high rate of success in diminishing symptoms and leading to a more satisfying and functional life.

While Prolonged Exposure Therapy is used primarily in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it has also been shown to be effective in conditions that are commonly co-occurring with PTSD, such as anxiety, impulsivity, anger, and depression.

Studies have also found that, when used with Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Prolonged Exposure Therapy can successfully reduce PTSD symptoms for suicidal individuals with BPD.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy at Clearview Treatment Programs

Prolonged Exposure Therapy isn’t for everyone, and doesn’t work with every diagnosis. At Clearview, we take time to determine if PET will benefit you before pairing you with a therapist who is extensively trained in PET. If PET would be beneficial, you will be guided through the process of exploring your trauma in a safe and nurturing setting.

After experiencing a traumatic event, it may feel like you are alone, as if no one can possibly understand how much it feels like life can never be functional again. Prolonged Exposure Therapy offers you a chance to be healthy again, to take control and experience a sense of mastery over yourself and your perspective on everyday situations so that you can begin to cultivate the skills needed for your journey of healing.

 

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