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Retraining the Brain

Applied Neuroscience in Exposure Therapy for PTSD

Sheila Rauch (author) Carmen McLean (author)

ISBN: 9781433834042

Publication Date: Apr 2021

Format: Paperback

Presents prolonged exposure therapy (PE), a specific manualized exposure therapy program for PTSD. A variant of exposure therapy, PE is a cognitive behavioural approach designed to reduce pathological anxiety and related emotions by helping patients approach relatively safe but distress-provoking thoughts, memories, situations, and stimuli.
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  • Full Description
  • More Information
  • Table of Contents
  • Author Biography
  • Customer Reviews
Rauch and McLean bridge the gap between neuroscience research and the treatment of PTSD patients.

Individuals with PTSD have developed automatic associations between specific stimuli and traumatic events. As a result, these individuals experience intense fear when exposed to the stimuli, even though the original threat is no longer present. 

This book presents prolonged exposure therapy (PE), a specific manualized exposure therapy program for PTSD. A variant of exposure therapy, PE is a cognitive behavioral approach designed to reduce pathological anxiety and related emotions by helping patients approach relatively safe but distress-provoking thoughts, memories, situations, and stimuli, with the goal of reducing unhelpful emotional reactions to those stimuli.

Informed by extensive research but written for clinicians, the book explains how neuroscience can guide our application of the three key components of PE: (1) psychoeducation about the nature of trauma, (2) in vivo exposure to trauma reminders, and (3) imaginal exposure to the memory of the traumatic event followed by processing of the imaginal and other exposures.
Pages 219
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Apr 2021
Publisher American Psychological Association
Subject/s Clinical psychology   Physiological & neuro-psychology, biopsychology   Abnormal psychology  
  • Preface
  • I. Overview of Prolonged Exposure and Theory
  • Chapter 1. Theory and Prolonged Exposure    
  • Chapter 2. What Is Prolonged Exposure Therapy?
  • II. Neuroscience Methods for Clinicians
  • Chapter 3. Neurosteroids, Cortisol, and Other Neurochemicals 
  • Chapter 4. Imaging 
  • Chapter 5. Electroencephalography 
  • Chapter 6. Psychophysiology
  • Chapter 7. Genetics and Genomics 
  • III. Applied Neuroscience: Prolonged Exposure for PTSD
  • Chapter 8. Psychoeducation and Neuroscience
  • Chapter 9. In Vivo Exposure and Neuroscience
  • Chapter 10. Imaginal Exposure and Neuroscience
  • Chapter 11. Processing and Neuroscience
  • IV. Future Directions
  • Chapter 12. Augmentation of Prolonged Exposure
  • Chapter 13. New Models of Care Delivery
  • References
  • Glossary
Sheila A. M. Rauch, PhD, ABPP, is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine and serves as deputy director of the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program and director of mental health research and program evaluation at the VA Atlanta Healthcare System. She has been developing programs, conducting research, and providing treatment for PTSD and anxiety disorders for over 20 years. She has published scholarly articles, chapters, and books on anxiety disorders and PTSD, focusing on neurobiology and factors involved in the development, maintenance, and treatment of anxiety disorders.

Carmen P. McLean, PhD, is a clinical psychologist at the National Center for PTSD's Dissemination and Training Division at the Palo Alto VA and a clinical associate professor (affiliate) at Stanford University. She's an associate editor for Cognitive Behavioral Practice and a 2018 recipient of the Anne Marie Albano Early Career Award for Excellence in the Integration of Science and Practice from the Association for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies. She's published over 100 articles and chapters on PTSD and anxiety. Her research examines ways to increase the reach of exposure therapy for PTSD by addressing implementation barriers and testing eHealth interventions.

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