Exposure Therapy vs. Cognitive Restructuring in Preventing PTSD


John Gever, MedPage Today, reports that a recent study shows that exposure therapy is better than cognitive restructuring when it comes to preventing PTSD. The study consisted of 90 patients who met the criteria for acute stress disorder – and had not been a victim of sexual assault, the 90 patients were then divided up into three groups, one group received exposure therapy, another received cognitive restructuring and the 3rd group was placed on a waiting list. According to the article:

only 37% of patients who began prolonged-exposure therapy shortly after a traumatic event had developed PTSD six months later, compared with 63% of those treated with cognitive restructuring (P=0.05), reported Richard A. Bryant, Ph.D., of the University of New South Wales, and colleagues in the June issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

Gever shares that 47% of individual’s treated using exposure therapy had full remission of acute stress disorder symptoms.

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About Rolf Gainer Ph.D.

Dr. Rolf Gainer is the founder of the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma as well as the Neurological Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario, in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Gainer is a psychologist with more than twenty-five years of experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. Dr. Gainer has designed and operated innovative rehabilitation programs in the United States and Canada for individuals who have been regarded as difficult to serve. He is currently involved in conducting two outcome studies related to the long-term issues faced by individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. He has presented papers throughout the United States and Canada in many professional conferences and educational forums.
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