The American Psychiatric Association and the Department of Veterans Affairs and Defense back the benefits of prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD. Research shows PE can be an effective therapy for treatment-resistant trauma and complex trauma. If your current trauma and PTSD treatment centers aren't working, this is what you should try. How Prolonged Exposure Therapy Works A traumatic event or events often leads to a number of troublesome symptoms. You may struggle with intrusive thoughts about the event, feel unsafe in certain situations, or uncomfortable in your own skin. You may be in anxiety treatment centers or depression treatment centers. PTSD can also come with nightmares and feelings of hopelessness and anger. It\u2019s understandable that you\u2019d want to avoid things that trigger these PTSD symptoms. The problem is that avoiding events and feelings tied to trauma can make symptoms worse. It can also lead to substance abuse, eating disorders, and other unhealthy behaviors in an attempt to numb difficult emotions. Prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD helps you deal with fears and feelings around trauma so you can lessen their hold on your life. When you\u2019re traumatized, your brain may associate certain sights, smells, sounds, and situations with the trauma. When you come across these things in everyday life, the brain thinks you\u2019re in danger, even if you\u2019re not. This can trigger PTSD symptoms. Prolonged exposure therapy helps your brain develop healthier associations with trauma triggers. Prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD may involve: Imaginal Exposure You\u2019ll discuss the traumatic event with your therapist. They\u2019ll usually ask you also to record it. You\u2019ll read your account out loud (or listen to the recording) during therapy and at home. You\u2019ll continue to do this exercise over several sessions. Your therapist will help you work through the physical sensations and emotions that come up when you talk about the trauma. In Vivo Exposure These PE sessions help you address your trauma symptoms in real-world situations. You\u2019ll start to gradually expose yourself to situations you\u2019ve been avoiding because of trauma. The therapist carefully guides you through this process in a way that won\u2019t retraumatize you. You\u2019ll experience difficult feelings and have strong reactions but have the tools helping you manage those stressors better or go into more intensive stress management therapy. You\u2019ll gradually work your way up to more intimidating situations. Your tolerance for distress will grow, and triggering situations will also feel less intense. Prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD usually takes place over three months. The goal is to help you feel safe and secure in everyday life. Prolonged exposure therapy can help reset your fight, flight, or freeze response. You\u2019ll feel less activated by situations that remind you of past trauma. You\u2019ll feel fear and anxiety when the danger is real. Does prolonged exposure therapy sound like the treatment you're looking for? Call us today at for more information, or to get enrolled in treatment.