Have you heard about Written Exposure Therapy (WET) yet? It’s a newer evidence-based psychotherapy (EBP) for PTSD, recently added as a first line, trauma-focused treatment in the latest VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines. Last year I took the WET training taught by Dr. Brian Marx, one of the treatment originators. I must admit, I was skeptical about how it worked and whether it would be effective. Since the training, I have used it with 2 patients and now feel comfortable adding it to my PTSD toolbox.
Blog posts with the tag "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder"
I recently had the privilege and pleasure to speak with Dr. Edna Foa, the Senior author and creator of Prolonged Exposure therapy, and to correspond with Dr. Sheila Rauch the newest member of the team, about the updated Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD manual. I learned all about the new manual as well as some savory bits about relaxed breathing, imaginal exposure processing, and the future of PE treatment.
A study of non-treatment-seeking infantry soldiers who had been deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq Tobin, et al (2014) found that 44.0% reported chronic pain (pain for more than 90 days). Of those chronic pain suffers, 48.3% reported symptoms for over one year. Additionally, 15.1% of this non-treatment-seeking sample was using opioids. The comparable rates of civilian chronic pain and opioid use at the time of this study were 26.0% and 4.0%. Alarmingly, 44.1% of soldiers reporting opioid use also reported mild to no pain in the past month and 5.6% reported no pain (Tobin, et al, 2014).
The June 2019 issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress (JTS) was devoted to Moral Injury (MI). As a clinical psychologist working at a military training hospital where nearly all patients are Warfighters, I was curious about current recommendations regarding the accepted definition of MI, what measure to use, and how to treat it.
A quick search of the PTSD literature will show you widespread rates of PTSD in the U.S. military. In some studies, the rate is as low as 1.4% (Bliese, Wright, Adler, Thomas, & Hoge, 2007), and in others it is as high as 41.3% (Maguen, Lau, Madden, & Seal, 2012). There are a number of reasons for these highly discrepant rates, many of which are methodological differences.