Evidence-Based Treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: New Online Continuing Education (CE) Course from HealthForumOnline

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HealthForumOnline (HFO) adds a new online continuing education (CE) course, Evidence-Based Treatments for Adults with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, to their library of over 100 online CE courses for mental health professionals and allied healthcare providers. This online CE course presents trauma treatment options for acute stress reactions, acute stress disorder, and PTSD with a focus on PET, CPT, EMDR, and SIT.

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PTSD is often a chronic condition, with symptoms persisting for over 10 or more years. Moreover, PTSD is frequently associated with significant comorbidities (e.g., depression, addiction) making it one of the most difficult conditions to treat.

HealthForumOnline (HFO) is pleased to announce a new online continuing education (CE) course entitled, Evidence-Based Treatments for Adults with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, to its extensive library of over 100 online CE courses for mental health professionals. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the most debilitating conditions resulting from exposure to trauma (e.g., child abuse, intimate partner violence, natural disasters, combat). While the lifetime prevalence rate for PTSD is only approximately 7% in the general population, a rate that appears steady for the past 30 years, PTSD is rising among military personnel and veterans (1, 2). Increased focus on PTSD has also been driven by the rape trauma and domestic violence movements, and military advocacy groups vocal about the deleterious impact of trauma on psychosocial and occupational functioning (e.g., 3). HFO, a nationally-approved (APA, ASWB, NBCC) provider of convenient, cost-effective online continuing education (CE), is pleased to offer this timely and important CE course for counselors, psychologists, social workers and allied healthcare providers, working in the trauma context.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), PTSD may emerge after exposure to an event that involves actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violation (4). The symptoms that characterize PTSD are grouped into four separate clusters: 1) intrusion (e.g., intrusive memories, nightmares, flashbacks), 2) persistent avoidance of thoughts, feelings, and reminders associated with the trauma, 3) negative alterations in cognitions and mood that are associated with the traumatic event (e.g., negative beliefs about the self and others, persistent fear and anger), and 4) alterations in arousal and reactivity (e.g., exaggerated startle responses, difficulty sleeping). DSM-5 states that PTSD symptoms must last for at least one month in duration and cause clinically significant distress or impairment.

Looking beyond diagnostic guidelines, the clinical evidence suggests PTSD is often a chronic condition, with symptoms persisting for over 10 or more years (5). Moreover, PTSD is frequently associated with significant comorbidities (e.g., depression, addiction, suicidal ideation, health problems), making it one of the most difficult conditions to treat. Not surprisingly, a diagnosis of PTSD places an enormous burden on patients and their loved ones. Collectively, PTSD exacts significant costs on society as well, resulting in billions of dollars in health and mental health care expenditures and disability compensation (6).

This online CE course will present the three-stage model of trauma recovery, along with treatment options for acute stress reactions, acute stress disorder, and PTSD with a focus on the most widely used evidence-based psychological treatments (e.g., Prolonged Exposure Therapy; Cognitive Processing Therapy; Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing; and Stress Inoculation Treatment). Sociocultural factors associated with response to trauma, as well as treatment, are reviewed to facilitate culturally sensitive approaches. Additionally, available pharmacological and alternative/complementary treatment options are explored. Lastly, common patient-based (e.g., impediments to trust in the therapeutic alliance), as well as provider-based (e.g., vicarious traumatization, self-care strategies), treatment-related issues are addressed.

1. Norris, F.H., & Slone, L.B. (2013). Understanding research on the epidemiology of trauma and PTSD: Special double issue of the PTSD Research Quarterly. PTSD Research Quarterly, 24(2-3), 1-24.

2. Richardson, L.K., et al. (2010). Prevalence Estimates of Combat-Related PTSD: A Critical Review. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 44(1), 4–19.

3. Foa, E.B., et al. (2009). Effective treatments for PTSD: Practice guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (2nd Ed). New York: The Guilford Press.

4. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

5. Jonas, D.E., et al. (2013). Psychological and Pharmacological Treatments for Adults With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). (Comparative Effectiveness Reviews, No. 92). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

6. Marciniak, M.D., et al. (2005). The cost of treating anxiety: the medical and demographic correlates that impact total medical costs. Depression and Anxiety, 21(4), 178-184.

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Michelle Rodoletz, Ph.D.
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