Exposure Therapy for PTSD

Youth with PTSD will likely require guidance from a trained mental health professional, to address fear and avoidance related to the people, places, or things that are central to his/her trauma experience. A specific type of exposure is used for helping youth with PTSD, called Prolonged Exposure (PE). PE has four main parts: education, breathing training, live exposure, and imaginal exposure. Imaginal exposure is an important part of working with PTSD, as it allows the youth to talk about the trauma over and over again to regain control of his/her thoughts and feelings. Working with a therapist using PE allows the youth to change how s/he reacts to stressful memories, and gradually to become less and less afraid of the past trauma.