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J Clin Psychol. 2012 May;68(5):536-47. doi: 10.1002/jclp.21850.

Cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder: application to a couple's shared traumatic experience.

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Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (CBCT for PTSD) is designed to improve PTSD symptoms and enhance intimate relationship adjustment. Phase 1 includes psychoeducation about the reciprocal influences of PTSD symptoms and relationship functioning, exercises to promote positive affect and behaviors, and conflict management skills. In Phase 2, behavioral methods are used to address avoidance and emotional numbing and to increase relationship satisfaction. Couples engage in activities to promote approaching, rather than avoiding, feared situations. Phase 3 focuses on specific trauma appraisals and here-and-now cognitions that maintain PTSD and relationship problems. This article provides an overview of the treatment, a review of the outcome research, and a case illustration of a couple with a shared trauma (a stillborn child).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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