Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE)

What is Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE)?

Prolonged Exposure Therapy is a psychotherapy treatment aiming to help individuals confront fears. After a traumatic event, individuals may want to avoid anything that reminds them of this experience, which can intensify the fear. This type of therapy uses a cognitive behavioral technique that teaches individuals to gradually approach memories, feelings, and situations related to a traumatic event.

How Does It Work?

A therapist providing PE aims to ensure that sessions are provided in a place where an individual feels safe. The therapist will work with an individual to gain a better understanding of the traumatic experience and teach coping skills to manage symptoms of anxiety. The therapist will use different exposure techniques to assist the individual with revisiting the traumatic memories, process their experiences and gain an understanding that the memories and fears alone are not dangerous and do not need to be avoided.

How Long Is Treatment?

PE typically involves weekly, 60-90 minute sessions, for 8-15 weeks. This can vary based on the individuals specific needs.

Who Could Benefit From PE?

An individual who has experienced any form of trauma and has any of the following symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive Disorder
  • Phobias
  • Panic Attacks
  • Social Anxiety