June is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month. Though we have come a long way in informing the public about PTSD, there is still plenty of work to do in this effort. The Center for Deployment Psychology provides information and training on the topic all year, but in June we make a special effort to highlight PTSD, resources, and evidence-based treatments.
Over the years I’ve worked with a variety of patients and learned a few lessons along the way about efficiency… especially when it comes to the use of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies (EBPs). As a graduate student, I had very little exposure to EBPs and I was thoroughly immersed in existential and client-centered therapy. As I entered the military for my internship year I had my first introduction to protocol-based treatment and I was very skeptical. That year and the subsequent years have been transformative in the way I approach my patients' problems.
Have you heard about Concurrent Treatment of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders Using Prolonged Exposure (COPE)? This session-by-session therapist guide, written by Dr. Sudie Back and colleagues, was published in 2015. However, when I mention it at Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) workshops, few therapists in the audience have heard about it.
The concept of moral injury (MI) has become much more of a mainstream construct in mental health treatment over the last decade. In my research for this article, I reviewed my colleague’s observations and perspectives on the theoretical development, assessment and treatment. There has been rigorous examination, discussion and research on the construct of MI, its causes and remedies.