An effective psychological strategy helps sufferers of PTSD

An effective psychological strategy helps sufferers of PTSD

A new study suggests that a particular therapeutic approach has better results in curing post-traumatic stress disorder.

A unique therapeutic tactic is believed to help sufferers of post-traumatic-stress-disorder. A new study has shown promise in which mindfulness plays a significant role. Those diagnosed are instructed to accept disturbing thoughts, feelings, and other anxieties based on their experiences to place them into a certain healthier context.

Lead researcher, Melissa Polusny, advocates “Mindfulness-based stress reduction teaches individuals to attend to the present moment, to attend to what they are experiencing — their thoughts, their feelings — in a nonjudgmental, accepting manner.”

The staff psychologist based at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System adds,  “We think that teaching people these mindfulness skills helps them to have a different relationship with their PTSD symptoms — a willingness to let thoughts be there without trying to push them away.” (Pioneer News article here).

Instead of dissecting the particularities of their emotions, this newfound approach advocates a different technique in interacting with certain thoughts. She goes on, “But some people have difficulty tolerating them and have difficulty completing them. Mindfulness stress reduction may offer a milder form of exposure that might be more tolerable for some patients.”

NYU Langone assistant professor of psychiatry, Maria SteenkampPhD, offers her thoughts. Previous approaches, known as CPT or Cognitive Processing Therapy and PE or Prolonged Exposure Therapy, have had disappointing results. She says, “As many as two-thirds of veterans receiving CPT or PE keep their PTSD diagnosis after treatment, even if their symptoms improve. So there is room for improvement.”


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