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During their training most psychologists are taught cognitive behavioral therapy.

CET was first developed to treat phobias such as fear of spiders
airplanes, or heights, to help patients compare their irrational fears with
harmless realities.

Patients are gradually desensitized from their irrational
fears by bringing to mind what they are most afraid of, using their narratives and images (“imaginal exposure”), or they are placed in actual (but actually safe) anxiety-provoking situations (‘in vivo exposure’), or they are exposed to virtual-reality, computer-simulated scenes, for example, in the case of combat-related PTSD, fighting in the streets of Fallujah.

The idea behind cognitive behavioral treatment is that when patients are repeatedly exposed to the stimulus without bad things actually happening they gradually will become less upset: the bad memories will have become assoclated with ‘corrective” information of bein8
help patients deal with their tendency to avoid, as in ao
about it.

It Sounds simple, but, as we have seen, reliving trauma reactvales
the brains alarm System and knocks out critical brain areas necessary for integrating the past, making it likely that patients will relive rather than resolve the trauma.

Prolonged exposure or “flooding has been studied more thoroughly
than any other PiSD treatment. Patients are asked to “focus their attention on the traumatic material and .. not distract themselves with other thoughts
or activities.

Research has shown that up to one hundred minutes of flood
ing (in wnich anxiety-provoking triggers are presented in an intense, sustained form) are required before decreases in anxiety, but it has not been proven to help to deal with fear and anxiety, but it has not been proven to help with guilt or other complex emotions.


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