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Psychotherapy (Chic). 2008 Sep;45(3):340-60. doi: 10.1037/a0013323.

Contrasting exposure and experiential therapies for complex posttraumatic stress disorder.

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AEDP Institute.


In this paper, the authors compare and contrast two psychotherapy paradigms for the treatment of complex posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): a behavioral therapy (prolonged exposure; PE) and an experiential therapy (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy; AEDP). PE has received strong research support as an effective treatment for PTSD. The scientific evidence for experiential therapy is sparser, but also positive. In addition, clinical and research evidence suggest that (a) experiential processes are inherently embedded in PE, and may influence PE outcomes; and that (b) AEDP addresses several clinical and relational factors that are negative prognostic factors for PE (e.g., affect dysregulation, disorganized attachment, sense of alienation and mental defeat, dissociation, and disorders of the self). Suggestions are provided for further empirical exploration of the process and efficacy of AEDP and experientially informed PE for complex cases of PTSD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).


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