Psychology Research Proposal: Ptsd Treatment Focused on Guilt

2711 WordsApr 29, 201311 Pages
Cognitive Therapy in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Targeting Trauma-Related Guilt Posttraumatic stress disorder is categorized in the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders on Axis 1 as a subtype of anxiety disorders. PTSD develops after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. Patients with the disorder suffer from extreme emotional distress caused by recollections, dreams, and exposure to memory provoking stimuli. In some cases, individuals suffer PTSD after an event in which they were solely the victims. For example, a person, alone in his or her car and stopped at a red light, who is hit by a drunk driver and is hospitalized with serious injuries, may develop PTSD. In…show more content…
Cognitive restructuring is the process of rationalizing the patient’s thoughts in order to minimize the negative cognitive processes, by teaching them to identify their negative thoughts, depreciate them, and introduce rational thoughts, instead. The final component is anxiety management training, which is behavioral conditioning that works to give the patient a sense of control over their fear and teach them coping mechanisms such as relaxation skills and self-talk (Harvey, Bryant & Tarrier, 2003). Literature Review Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been examined in a number of trials testing treatments for PTSD. Some studies have found exposure treatments far more effective than the combination of cognitive and behavioral treatment exercises, concluding that cognitive treatments are totally unnecessary (Longmore & Worrell, 2007). Further studies have supported these conclusions and have labeled exposure therapies the “gold-standard treatment for PTSD” (Foa & Rothbaum, 1998). However, a trial conducted by Foa and colleagues reported that prolonged exposure exercises, although effective, showed room for improvement: only 52% of subjects met the standards for high end-state functioning levels (Foa, Dancu, Hembree, Jaycox, Meadows, & Street,1999a). While exposure-based treatments have proven efficacious, it can be argued that the type of treatment should correspond with the patient’s personal symptomatology. It is critical that psychologists recognize

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