“Vets benefit from Exposure Therapy.” Revisiting my own painful traumatic past has been very beneficial…

by | Jul 26, 2013

Prolonged Exposure Therapy… click for more…

“Exposure therapy is a type of therapy that helps you decrease distress about your trauma. This therapy works by helping you approach trauma-related thoughts, feelings, and situations that you have been avoiding due to the distress they cause. Repeated exposure to these thoughts, feelings, and situations helps reduce the power they have to cause distress.
Prolonged Exposure (PE) is one exposure therapy that works for many people who have experienced trauma. It has four main parts:”
By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner

Veterans benefit from “exposure therapy…”  Quote from this website article…

“The results indicate that prolonged exposure (PE), when provided within routine VHA [Veterans Health Administration] settings, is associated with significant improvement in PTSD and depression symptoms across subgroups of veteran patients,” the authors concluded.

“The findings from the VA PE Training Program suggest that PE is associated with clinically significant improvements in PTSD among veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan as well as veterans of other eras. It is notable that PE, a treatment originally developed for female rape survivors, can benefit male and female veterans affected by different kinds of traumatic events,” they added.


I am always encouraged to read about the success of alternative therapies that provide relief from the symptoms of PTSD.  Even though it is recognized by the mental health professional community that prescription medications can help in the short run, it seems clear that the many alternative choices that provide human connectedness and mindfulness have a far better chance of healing benefits for the long term.

I have realized in my own research and personal experience that reliving or revisiting traumatic experiences really does help.   The long term repressed feelings and denial really stick around as emotional baggage unless you start to put it out there by being engaged in a proactive way.  Trying to sort the trauma and emotional pain from the past without complete awareness is like chasing a myth. 

My research and writing on the subject of trauma the past two years has provided me with a perspective that has been healing and continues to be a positive work in progress…  The more the dots are connected and my memory returns from those painful childhood and young adult years, my mind becomes clear and more focused on the living in the moment and future goals.  It is exciting to slowly but surely take away the power and hold that traumatic experiences often have on those of us who suffer from the lingering symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Wishing all my readers the best in your own journey of healing!

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story click to order

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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