PE for PTSD: Hotspots and Final Steps

Barbara-Rothbaum

Associate Vice-Chair of Clinical Research, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine
Director, Emory Healthcare Veterans Program
Director, Emory Trauma and Anxiety Recovery Program
Paul A. Janssen Chair in Neuropsychopharmacology

Key Points

  1. PE therapy includes a focused approach on ‘hotspots’, the most distressing parts of her traumatic memory, by identifying and repeatedly working through them.
  2. Regular assessment of PTSD and depression symptoms is essential for monitoring client’s progress and adjusting the therapy accordingly.
  3. The final session aims to provide a comprehensive review of the client’s journey, smoothing out the remaining hotspots and planning future therapeutic directions.
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Advanced Therapy Sessions

Transition to Hotspots (Sessions 5-6)

  • Definition and Identification: Focus on 'hotspots', the most distressing parts of Sarah's memory.
  • Procedure:
    1. Determine the start and stop points for each hotspot.
    2. Repeatedly work through one hotspot at a time before moving to the next.

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