Brief Novel Therapies for PTSD: Written Exposure Therapy
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Purpose of Review
Written exposure therapy (WET) is a five-session exposure-based intervention for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). WET was developed through a series of systematic evaluations of the expressive writing procedure. It is an efficient intervention, requiring limited patient and therapist time, and no between-session assignments. The treatment results in statistically and clinically significant symptom change among individuals, including veterans, with PTSD.
WET has been shown to be non-inferior to cognitive processing therapy (CPT), a more intensive form of PTSD treatment. Additionally, WET resulted in substantially lower rates of treatment dropout compared with CPT (6% versus 39%). Moderator analyses of the rate of symptom change during treatment indicated that WET performed equally well for participants regardless of age, gender, comorbid depression, or estimated full scale IQ.
WET represents a viable option for the efficacious, brief treatment of PTSD and may have significant strengths compared with other manualized psychotherapeutic approaches.
KeywordsPTSD Treatment Brief therapies Trauma Cognitive-behavioral therapy
The study was funded by grant R01 MH095737 awarded to Denise Sloan from the National Institute of Mental Health. Johanna Thompson-Hollands was supported by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (Clinical Sciences Research and Development Service) under Career Development Award No. IK2 CX001589.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States government.
Conflict of Interest
Denise M. Sloan received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health.
Johanna Thompson-Hollands received a grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Denise M. Sloan and Brian P. Marx have a treatment manual book 2019 at the American Psychological Association.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
References and Recommended Reading
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
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