Category: PTSD

Symposium

Symposium 102 - Healing From Trauma Through CBT: How and Why Change Occurs in Evidence-Based Treatment for PTSD

Saturday, November 18
1:45 PM - 3:15 PM
Location: Sapphire Ballroom O & P, Level 4, Sapphire Level

Keywords: PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) | Psychotherapy Process | Change Process / Mechanisms
Presentation Type: Symposium

The efficacy of cognitive behavioral treatments (CBT) for PTSD is well established, yet studies exploring how and why symptom change occurs are less common. Process-oriented research that investigates what happens within and between sessions can expand knowledge about empirically-supported treatments (ESTs) beyond simple pre-post change. Such examinations may allow for greater insight into why some patients do not respond to ESTs and which variables are most vital for change to occur (Hayes et al., 2007; Kazdin, 2007). Furthermore, process research may lead to greater personalization of ESTs and can help clinicians facilitate and maximize positive change.


Methodologies used to examine the process of change in CBT for PTSD have recently become more diverse. Researchers have begun to examine nonlinear patterns of symptom change using innovative statistical methods (e.g., hierarchical linear modeling and latent class analysis, Clapp et al., 2016; Shumm et al., 2013). Others have examined within-session processes by using in-session patient-report of distress (e.g., Sripada & Rauch, 2015) and observational or narrative coding (Ready et al., 2015; Yasinski et al., 2016).  Together, these methodologies have provided new insights into the complex and fascinating process of healing from trauma through CBT. 


This symposium involves five presentations that each use different methodologies and perspectives to examine the process of change in four PTSD ESTs: virtual reality exposure (VRE) therapy, prolonged exposure therapy (PE), cognitive processing therapy (CPT), and written exposure therapy (WET). First, Laurie Zandberg will present findings on how treatment outcome expectancy influences the slope of PTSD and depression change in PE.  Second, Janie Jun will present findings on how coded within-session statements of hope and cognitive-emotional processing within PE are associated with discontinuous patterns of symptom change (rapid early responses and sudden gains).  Third, Elizabeth Alpert will present a study examining changes in decentering and associated variables (e.g. accommodation, rumination) coded in patient narratives during WET and CPT.  Fourth, Carly Yasinski will present a study examining the influence of within-session and between-session distress reduction on symptom reduction within VRE therapy.  And lastly, Jessica Maples-Keller will present a study examining how PTSD symptom clusters impact one another over the course of VRE therapy using a cross-lagged panel design.  The discussant, Dr. Sheila Rauch, will explore how these new empirical studies can (a) help clinicians facilitate change in PTSD treatments and (b) help researchers use innovative methods to delve deeper in the change process.

Learning Objectives:

Carly W. Yasinski

Postdoctoral Fellow
Emory University School of Medicine

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Carly Yasinski

Andrew M. Sherrill

Emory University School of Medicine

Presentation(s):

    Send Email for Andrew Sherrill

    Sheila A.M. Rauch

    Associate Professor
    Emory University School of Medicine

    Presentation(s):

      Send Email for Sheila Rauch

      Laurie Zandberg

      Assistant Professor
      University of Pennsylvania, Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety

      Presentation(s):

      Send Email for Laurie Zandberg

      Janie Jun

      Postdoctoral Fellow
      National Center for PTSD, Behavioral Sciences Division, VA Boston Healthcare System

      Presentation(s):

      Send Email for Janie Jun

      Elizabeth Alpert

      University of Delaware

      Presentation(s):

      Send Email for Elizabeth Alpert

      Carly W. Yasinski

      Postdoctoral Fellow
      Emory University School of Medicine

      Presentation(s):

      Send Email for Carly Yasinski

      Jessica L. Maples-Keller

      Postdoctoral Fellow
      Emory University School of Medicine

      Presentation(s):

      Send Email for Jessica Maples-Keller


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