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Treatment of reactivated post-traumatic stress disorder; Imaginal exposure in an older adult with mu

15 Aug
Treatment of reactivated post-traumatic stress disorder; Imaginal exposure in an older adult with multiple traumas.
Russo, Hersen & Van Hasselt of Nova Southeastern University report in a single-case analysis how the technique of imaginal exposure helped a 57 year old woman suffering from current and reactivated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a transient ischemic attack. Although this is obviously not a "study", with only one case reported, it does offer a treatment regimen to explore further. The subject''s responses to self-reported depression, anxiety, and PTSD symptoms were repeatedly recorded during four phases: (a) initial psychotherapy, (b) imaginal exposure, (c) skill generalization, and (d) fading of treatment. In addition to dramatic reduction in levels of depression and anxiety, results showed a significant improvement in PTSD symptoms relating to recent and remote traumatic experiences. Improvements were maintained approximately 16 months after imaginal exposure ended, despite ongoing external stressors.

Citation: Russo SA, Hersen M, Van Hasselt VB. Treatment of reactivated post-traumatic stress disorder; Imaginal exposure in an older adult with multiple traumas. In Behavior Modification 2001 Jan;25(1):94-115.
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award