Cognitive Behavioural and related Therapies
the Treatment of
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
In this paper the therapies related to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) will be studied in order to determine the applicability thereof for the treatment (and prevention) of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD will be summarised as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders edition 4 with revisions (DSM-IV-TR). The therapy models, their theory and techniques will be discussed. The therapies this paper has in scope are, CBT, Exposure therapy and it’s different related techniques, Stress Inoculation Training (SIT), and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). Other augmenting therapies will be discussed as well. The application of these therapies will be researched in a literature review of clinical reviews and studies, in order to provide scientific - empirical evidence for the applicability of these therapies to treat PTSD.
Cognitive Behavioural and related Therapies for the Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Introduction
This paper will focus on the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and related therapies as used to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For this reason it is necessary to understand how CBT and related therapies will be used to treat PTSD and how PTSD patients/clients will benefit from this therapies. Furthermore it is necessary to study previous clinical research to determine if these therapies are indeed helpful to treat PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The American Psychiatric Association (APA), in their DSM-IV-TR (2000) defined PTSD as, “…the development of characteristic symptoms following exposure to an extreme traumatic stressor involving direct personal experience of an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury, or other threat to one's physical integrity; or witnessing an event that involves death, injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of another person; or learning about unexpected or violent death, serious harm, or threat of death or injury experienced by a family member or other close associate” (p. 463). They (APA), also divided the symptoms of PTSD into three clusters: The trauma re-experiencing symptoms: when reminded of the trauma, the client experience, intrusive memories, psychological or physical distress, nightmares, and an experience of reliving the trauma (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Arousal symptoms (at least three of the following symptoms): insomnia, irritability, difficulty concentrating, Hyper-vigilance, and heightened startle response (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). Avoiding symptoms (at least three of the following symptoms): constant avoidance of thoughts, feelings, and reminders of the trauma, inability to recall some aspect/facts of the trauma, withdrawal from people, withdrawal from everyday/normal activities, and emotional numbing (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). When these symptoms influence and impair normal functioning negatively for at least a month after the experienced trauma, it is called ‘chronic’ but when the symptoms persist for more than three months it is (acute) PTSD (Bryant, 1999). Bryant (1999) summarised PTSD as, “…the most common psychiatric condition following exposure to violence” (p. 79). In order to treat PTSD, CBT and related therapies are used. The discussion that follows will give an overview of some of the therapies for the treatment of PTSD. Cognitive Behavioural Theory
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapeutic treatment that facilitating clients to understand their thoughts and feelings that influence their behaviours (Cherry, 2011). CBT is based on the premises that a reorganisation of self-statements will also lead to a corresponding reorganisation of behaviour (Corey, 2009, p. 275). Some of the...