Most people want to avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma they experienced, but such avoidance reinforces their fear and traps them in a life that is inconsistent with their values. Prolonged Exposure (PE) is a specific type of cognitive behavioral therapy that teaches individuals how to approach trauma-related memories, feelings, and situations. By facing what has been avoided, a person can decrease symptoms of PTSD by actively learning that the trauma-related memories and cues are not dangerous and do not need to be avoided. Numerous well-controlled studies have shown that PE significantly reduces the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anger, and anxiety in survivors of varied and complex trauma.
In this workshop, Tiffany Hopkins provides background on the theory and rationale of PE and teaches specific procedures to help clients to control their trauma in step-by-step, controllable ways. This will include the basics of all components of PE and how to modify PE to tailor its use according to client’s response to exposure. This includes teaching how to collaborate with clients using both imaginal exposure and in vivo exposure, and how to fashion and respond to experience and help clients with emotions that arise. Dr. Hopkins will convey this with a mix of didactic material, case discussion, and participant role plays.
Tiffany Hopkins, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor and Clinical Psychologist within UNC’s Center for Women’s Mood Disorders. Her current clinical specialties are in trauma recovery, women’s health, and perinatal psychologist. She has extensive experience and training in Prolonged Exposure, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and STAIR/NST for trauma. She was previously employed by the Durham VA Medical Center, where she completed her postdoctoral fellowship in the Trauma Recovery Program within the Women’s Health and Male Military Sexual Trauma clinics. Additionally, Dr. Hopkins participated in the national rollout for the dissemination of Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy by the National Center for PTSD
- Foa, E. B., Hembree, E. A., and B. O. Rothbaum. (2007). Prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD : emotional processing of traumatic experiences: therapist guide. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press.
- Powers, M. B., Halpern, J. M., Ferenschak, M. P., Gillihan, S. J., & Foa, E. B. (2010). A meta-analytic review of prolonged exposure for posttraumatic stress disorder. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(6), 635-641. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2010.04.007
- Jerud, A. B., Farach, F. J., Bedard‐Gilligan, M., Smith, H., Zoellner, L. A., & Feeny, N. C. (2017). Repeated trauma exposure does not impair distress reduction during imaginal exposure for posttraumatic stress disorder. Depression and Anxiety, 34(8), 671-678. doi:10.1002/da.22582