Question for therapists: where to learn more about how to do PTSD tx?
May 19, 2020 10:10 AM   Subscribe

I am hopefully getting my license within the year, Satan willing and the crick don't rise. I am pretty well aware that PTSD is, sad to say, at this point an increasingly important thing to feel comfortable treating and well versed in if I start doing any private practice or other clinical work. I know there are some therapists on here so, if you feel like this is something you treat and know, do you have any resources for how to be more up to speed with this?

It's been a long time since graduate school and frankly it's not something we talked a great deal about. I think any transition from the kind of jobs you have to do to get your hours to actual psychotherapy can be difficult, and some of it is learning as you go, but I want to feel well prepared. Thanks for any advice you have. Posting anonymously because therapist stuff is where I least want to be googlable.

Maybe also, relatedly, the best book you know from a clinician's standpoint on CBT more generally? I know how it works and have used it but for work with less acute anxiety I'd also like to feel like I have a map in my pocket if needed.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I am a patient with PTSD and not a therapist, but I have had great response to Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Much more than CBT. DBT is skills focused, and involves both group and individual therapy. The modules are well structured, and the mnemonics are great, if a bit corny.

I find there are way more CBT therapists than DBT ones, and as I said, CBT was less helpful for me in getting past the trauma.
posted by bilabial at 11:23 AM on May 19 [1 favorite]

The best book for an intro. to trauma work is Trauma and Recovery by Judith Herman. Second choice and more recently published would be The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van der Kolk. You could also work backwards by learning a trauma therapy modality (EMDR, SE, IFS are just a few). As a trauma clinician, I would say that CBT is the least effective approach to treating trauma. Trauma impacts our emotions, our bodies, our souls, and working with our thoughts is just scratching the surface. Feel free to PM if you have more questions.
posted by rglass at 11:48 AM on May 19 [2 favorites]

I am a PTSD researcher and therapist. CBT is not for everyone, insofar as there will never be a truly one-size-fits-all approach, but it reliably outperforms other therapies, and the effects last 5-10 years, including for highly complex patient populations. EMDR is generally considered to be CBT plus an inert component (eye movements), but based on my experience with EMDR providers, I have serious concerns about whether their trainings equip people to do the exposure to memories that you need to do for EMDR to be effective. There's more information about these issues in my profile. I have a lot of thoughts about why The Body Keeps the Score is problematic that I would be happy to share privately.

There are trainings for Cognitive Processing Therapy available this fall, and there's an official web training. There's also an online training for Prolonged Exposure. If you treat vets, there are free training resources available through the VA. I'll keep poking around and can check with my colleagues- feel free to memail me.
posted by quiet coyote at 12:36 PM on May 19 [2 favorites]

Somatic Experiencing, Prolonged Exposure, EMDR and Cognitive Processing Therapy are the "processing" treatments for PTSD.

Supportive treatments vary and may include DBT, CBT, and similar.

Training in one of the first groupings would be more useful if you want to help people recover from trauma instead of just coping with it.
posted by crunchy potato at 1:20 PM on May 19

I should clarify that Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure *ARE* CBTs for PTSD. They are THE two CBTs. Finding a PTSD researcher who disagrees that those two are the most appropriate front-line options in most cases would be like finding a climate scientist who doesn't think global warming is real.
posted by quiet coyote at 1:25 PM on May 19 [1 favorite]

If you want some recommendations around child trauma therapy, feel free to message me, seems like you're asking about adult therapy but thought I'd offer. Good luck!
posted by fairlynearlyready at 6:44 PM on May 19

« Older UK House Buying Auction Filter   |   Why are some life experiences not trendy in... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments