The incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder in the general population is as high as 8%, and in the active military and veteran population as high as 17%.  Given the impact of PTSD on individuals and families affected by this condition, dissemination and implementation of effective treatments is a high priority.  Under the direction of Judith S. Beck, PhD, and led by expert Beck faculty, this Beck Institute specialty workshop will cover cognitive behavioral approaches for PTSD.  Participants will learn exposure techniques and other skills specifically developed to aid clients in accessing salient trauma information, understanding their reactions and achieving a realistic perspective on the traumatic event.  An in-depth explanation and illustration of prolonged exposure—a primary intervention for PTSD—will be included, as well as cognitive techniques for imaginal revisiting of the trauma memory.  Role-plays and other experiential exercises will be conducted throughout.

Scholarship Opportunity

Do you treat active duty or veteran military members or their families? You are eligible for our Soldier Suicide Prevention Scholarship.

Upcoming Dates

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Can’t get here or the dates don’t work for you? Explore our online training programs.

Workshop Details

Day 1: Introduction and Overview

  • Applying the cognitive model to PTSD (reexperiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal)
  • Constructing a cognitive conceptualization that includes the interaction of PTSD symptoms and other sequelae (including substance abuse, anger, dissociation, depression, interpersonal difficulties, suicidality)
  • Identifying the different symptoms of PTSD
  • Describing the interventions for PTSD and ways to apply them
  • Adjusting therapy for excessive avoidance
  • Planning the sequence of treatment

Day 2: Interventions

  • Deciding when to use stress management techniques
  • Applying appropriate stress management techniques
  • Explaining the rationale for imaginal exposure
  • Explaining the rationale for in vivo exposure
  • Creating an in vivo hierarchy
  • Conducting imaginal exposure
  • Applying processing following imaginal and in vivo exposure to optimize cognitive shift

Day 3: Special Situations and Treatment Course

  • Developing strategies to overcome excessive avoidance
  • Applying exposure therapy to cases of shame, guilt, grief, disgust, and other non-fear based emotions
  • Managing over and under engagement during treatment in patients with PTSD
  • Applying treatment for specific traumas (i.e., extended traumas)
  • Maintaining focus on treatment of PTSD
  • Describing methods of self-care
  • Structuring the session

Workshop Objectives

  1. Use specific procedures to promote recovery in individuals with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  2. Elicit personal aspirations using imagery to motivate work on PTSD symptoms
  3. Use a cognitive conceptualization of PTSD to remove obstacles to recovery
  4. Describe how to treat core symptoms of PTSD and common comorbidities
  5. Discuss how to adjust therapy for comorbidities and excessive avoidance
  6. Use effective interventions to change beliefs and promote long-term change and progress toward recovery
  7. Identify beliefs and procedures to deal with non-fear based emotions, such as fear and guilt
  8. Describe how to plan for maintenance and relapse prevention
  9. Identify therapist beliefs that might interfere with clinical decisions
  10. Apply processing to develop context in which to understand the traumatic experience and associated reactions

Recommended Reading

Applicant Prerequisite

This course is appropriate for those with an intermediate to advanced level knowledge in the mental health or medical field.

Doctorate or master’s degree (or equivalent degree for practitioners outside of the US) in a mental health, medical, or related field. Core 1 Workshop recommended.

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