Learning Prolonged Exposure for PTSD: A Comprehensive Guide for Clinicians

Earn 7 CE/CME Credits - Online PE Training

Learn the fundamentals of Prolonged Exposure for PTSD in this course led by Dr. Barbara Rothbaum. She is a renowned expert with more than 30 years of experience in treating PTSD patients.

Dr. Rothbaum will teach you the critical components of PE: How to apply breathing retraining, how to conduct imaginal exposure, and how to construct an in vivo hierarchy for in vivo exposure. She also provides you with specific guidance on homework assignments.

This course will give you practical and step-by-step guidance that will expand your skills to treat PTSD patients. This program offers not just “interesting information”, but practical education and wisdom from a practitioner with decades of real-world experience. 

Are you a clinician with little time? If so, microlearning is your best friend. 

The course is divided into modules, those modules are divided into learning nuggets designed to fit your busy life.  You can spend just 5 to 10 minutes and still learn something valuable. 

This course offers multiple ways to learn PE: You can watch the course videos, read the transcripts, or listen to the audio recordings.

After completing this online program, you can earn 7 CE/CME credits.

Online PE Training You Can Immediately Apply to Your Practice

In this online course, you can learn at your own pace, we have divided each module into several video sections, which are short and to the point.

You can easily choose which video section you are interested in watching. You can also listen to the audio version or download PDF transcripts.

Module 1: Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD

In this first module, Dr. Barbara Rothbaum introduces the key initial concepts of prolonged exposure therapy (PE) for PTSD.


  1. CBT for PTSD: Basics and Rationale
  2. Understanding DSM-5 Criteria for PTSD: A Disorder of Extinction
  3. PTSD from a PE View: The Fear Structure, Trauma and Recovery
  4. Mechanisms of PE in PTSD: Emotional Processing and Cognition Modification
  5. 8 Myths About Exposure Therapy
  6. Assessing PTSD: Measurement-Based Therapy
  7. Using PE to Overcome Fear: Four Cornerstones
  8. Self-Care for PTSD Therapists: Developing Tolerance for Patient Distress
  9. PE Therapy Sessions: Structure and Main Components
  10. CBT for PTSD: Summary

Module 2: Exposure Therapy Overview and Session 1

Dr. Rothbaum describes the session overview for PE and focuses on each component of the first session.


  1. Preparing Clients for PE: First Steps
  2. PE Therapy Sessions: Overview
  3. PE for PTSD Session 1: Outline and Timing
  4. Understanding Emotional Processing in PE Session 1: Discussing the Treatment Rationale with Patients
  5. Breathing Retraining in PTSD: A Practical Exercise
  6. PE for PTSD Session 1: Summary


Module 3: Session 2 and In Vivo Exposure

In this third module, Dr. Rothbaum dives into session 2 and discusses common reactions to trauma, in vivo exposure, and the in vivo hierarchy.


  1. SUDS, Reactions to Trauma and In Vivo Exposure for PTSD in PE Session 2
  2. PE for PTSD Session 2: Main Components
  3. Presenting Common Reactions to Trauma in PE Therapy Session 2
  4. Common Reactions to Trauma Worksheet
  5. In Vivo Exposure Therapy for PTSD: The Essentials
  6. Constructing the In Vivo Exposure Hierarchy for PTSD Therapy
  7. In Vivo Exposure Therapy for PTSD: The Importance of Safety
  8. Implementing In Vivo Exposure for PTSD: How to Create an Exposure Hierarchy
  9. PE for PTSD Session 2: Summary

Module 4: Safety Behaviors and Session 3

In this module, Dr. Rothbaum focuses on session 3. She presents safety behaviors, imaginal exposure, and processing.


  1. Considering Safety Behaviors and In Vivo Exposure for PTSD Treatment
  2. Introducing Imaginal Exposure in PTSD Treatment: Sessions 3 to 5
  3. PE for PTSD Session 3: Agenda and First Imaginal Exposure
  4. Imaginal Exposure for PTSD: Emotional Processing Preparation and Rationale
  5. Implementing Imaginal Exposure: Revisiting the Trauma Memory
  6. Processing Imaginal Exposure for PTSD: Tips for Therapists
  7. Imaginal Exposure Script: An Example
  8. Imaginal Exposure Homework: Guidelines
  9. Imaginal Exposure for PTSD in Session 3: Summary

Module 5: Intermediate Sessions, Hot Spots, and Tips for Exposure Therapy

Dr. Rothbaum explains how to proceed during the intermediate sessions, with a special focus on the hot spots procedure. She also provides useful tips for conducting exposure therapy.


  1. PE for PTSD Intermediate Sessions: Processing Imaginal and In Vivo Exposure
  2. Imaginal Exposure for PTSD: Emotional Engagement and Processing Hot Spots
  3. Processing Emotional Hot Spots for PTSD: Introduction
  4. Imaginal Exposure Protocol for PTSD: Processing Hot Spots in Trauma Memories
  5. Imaginal Exposure Homework: Guiding Patients
  6. PTSD Treatment with Exposure Therapy and Virtual Reality: Tips for Therapists
  7. PE for PTSD: Summary of Intermediate Sessions Structure

Module 6: Final Session and Next Steps

Dr. Rothbaum provides a broad overview of the final session. This includes reviewing the patient’s progress and continuing practice as well as managing impaired emotional engagement and comorbidities.


  1. Final Session of PE Therapy for PTSD: Revising the Newly Organized Memory
  2. Reviewing Patient-Reported Outcomes in PE Therapy for PTSD
  3. Suggestions for Continued Practice at the End of PE Therapy for PTSD
  4. Addressing PTSD Emotional Avoidance and Anxiety Sensitivity: Tips for Therapists
  5. Increasing Emotional Engagement in PE Therapy for PTSD: Addressing Under-Engagement and Homework
  6. Handling Emotional Over-Engagement in PE Therapy for PTSD: Tips for Therapists
  7. Managing Comorbidities in PE Therapy for PTSD
  8. Difficulties in PTSD Treatment: Flexibility in the Use of PE Procedures Guided by the Treatment Rationale
  9. PE for PTSD: Final Session and Recommendations


Module 7: An Interview with Dr. Barbara Rothbaum

During this interview, Dr. Jessica Diaz and Dr. Rothbaum dive into the practical aspects of applying PE. Together they discuss the specifics of breathing retraining, imaginal exposure, distress reduction, in vivo exposure, and homework assignment, among other interesting topics.

Meet Your Prolonged Exposure Instructor

Prolonged Exposure Therapy Training
Barbara Rothbaum, Ph.D.

Barbara Olasov Rothbaum, Ph.D., is Director of the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program. She is a professor and Associate Vice Chair of Clinical Research at Emory School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Trauma and Anxiety Recovery Program. She holds the Paul A. Janssen Chair in Neuropsychopharmacology.

Dr. Rothbaum specializes in research on the treatment of anxiety disorders, particularly PTSD. She was a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Study on Assessment of Ongoing Efforts in the Treatment of PTSD, and briefed the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs and Armed Services on the IOM report results in 2014.

Dr. Rothbaum has been studying PTSD treatments since 1986 and has developed, tested, and disseminated some of the most innovative and effective treatments available for PTSD. She is an inventor of virtual reality exposure therapy and a pioneer in applying it in the treatment of PTSD in combat veterans. She has authored over 350 scientific papers and chapters, published 11 books on the treatment of PTSD, and edited 4 books on anxiety.

She received the Diplomate in Behavioral Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology and is a past-President of the International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies. She is on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Anxiety Disorders Association of America and National Center for PTSD and on the Executive Committee of the Warrior Care Network. She is a Fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the National Academy of Inventors, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Division 56 (Division of Trauma Psychology).

Dr. Rothbaum received the Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Practice of Trauma Psychology in 2010 for APA Division 56 and received the Robert S. Laufer Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Her outreach efforts include training community clinicians in evidence-based treatment for PTSD.

Accreditation Information

In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by Amedco LLC and Psychopharmacology Institute (PSYIN).  Amedco LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Nurses (ANCC)

Amedco LLC designates this activity for a maximum of 7.0 ANCC contact hours.

Download All Materials in 3 Different Formats

Audio course

Learn PE while doing other things like commuting, doing chores, or running errands.

All 7 modules are available as an audio course.

PDF transcripts

"PE for PTSD: A Practical Guide for Therapists" offers transcripts and slides of all 5 modules.

These PDF transcripts allow you to absorb course materials more quickly.

Save videos for offline access

You can download all course videos for offline access.

You don't have to rely on having a stable internet connection.

Instant Access to "Learning Prolonged Exposure for PTSD: A Comprehensive Guide for Clinicians"

$ 277
  • 7 CE/CME Credits
  • Immediate and lifetime access to all materials
  • Audio downloads
  • Transcripts
  • Video downloads

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We are so sure you’ll be happy with your purchase that we offer a “30-Day Money-Back Guarantee” to ensure your satisfaction.

If for any reason you are not fully satisfied with the course, send us an email to support@psychotherapyacademy.org and we will promptly issue a refund.