Introducing Imaginal Exposure in PTSD Treatment: Sessions 3 to 5

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. Sessions 3 to 5 focus on imaginal exposure, processing, checking homework, and assigning in vivo exposure.
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Transcript

Introducing Imaginal Exposure in PTSD Treatment: Sessions 3 to 5

In video 2, we’ll review the overview for sessions 3 to 5.

Introducing Imaginal Exposure in PTSD Treatment: Sessions 3 to 5

In general, the structure of sessions 3 to 5 are the same. In the next video, we’ll talk about what are some items specific to session 3. But in general, for sessions 3 to 5, we’ll always start with reviewing the homework and reviewing the in vivo exposure that was practiced for homework. In session 3 only, we’ll present the rationale for imaginal exposure. In all three sessions, we will conduct imaginal exposure for about 45 to 60 minutes, following which we’ll process the imaginal exposure. And then we’ll work on assigning homework.

Foa, E., Hembree, E. A., Rothbaum, B. O., & Rauch, S. (2019). Prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD: Emotional processing of traumatic experiences - Therapist guide (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.   Rothbaum, B. O., Foa, E., Hembree, E. A., & Rauch, S. (2019). Reclaiming your life from a traumatic experience: Client workbook (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.

Introducing Imaginal Exposure in PTSD Treatment: Sessions 3 to 5

Homework will always include continuing the breathing retraining practice, listening to the audio tape of imaginal exposure at least once per day. They don’t need to listen to it on the day of a session. Continue the in vivo exposure exercises daily, working up the hierarchy with the SUDS levels, and listening to the audio tape of the other parts of the session 1 time.

Foa, E., Hembree, E. A., Rothbaum, B. O., & Rauch, S. (2019). Prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD: Emotional processing of traumatic experiences - Therapist guide (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.   Rothbaum, B. O., Foa, E., Hembree, E. A., & Rauch, S. (2019). Reclaiming your life from a traumatic experience: Client workbook (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.

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