Imaginal Exposure for PTSD: Emotional Processing Preparation and Rationale

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. Imaginal exposure begins in session 3.
  2. Ask the patient to go back in her mind’s eye to the time of the trauma and recount it out loud, repeatedly.
  3. Record it for homework practice.
  4. After the imaginal exposure, process the experience with the patient.
  5. Make new learning that occurred in the exposure explicit to the patient.

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Imaginal Exposure for PTSD: Emotional Processing Preparation and Rationale

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