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J Clin Psychol. 2002 Aug;58(8):947-59.

Psychosocial treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder: a practice-friendly review of outcome research.

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  • 1Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


A review of the treatment research indicates that several forms of therapy appear to be useful in reducing the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Strongest support is found for the treatments that combine cognitive and behavioral techniques. Hypnosis, psychodynamic, anxiety management, and group therapies also may produce short-term symptom reduction. Still unknown is whether any approach produces lasting effects. Imaginal exposure to trauma memories and hypnosis are techniques most likely to affect the intrusive symptoms of PTSD, while cognitive and psychodynamic approaches may address better the numbing and avoidance symptoms. Treatment should be tailored to the severity and type of presenting PTSD symptoms, to the type of trauma experience, and to the many likely comorbid diagnoses and adjustment problems.

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