In this study we are providing a therapy called exposure therapy. This type of treatment is done one on one with a therapist. It is based on theories that following traumatic events, people often learn to be afraid of things that aren’t actually dangerous. They may go out of their way to try and avoid thinking and talking about what happened. However, they may continue to be haunted by the memory of what happened, despite these efforts to avoid. With exposure therapy the goal is to help people approach safe situations and memories again, so that they can reclaim their lives.
In exposure therapy you are encouraged to retell the story of what happened during your traumatic event(s) with the help of a supportive therapist. This helps you gain control over the memory and often leads to decreased anxiety, fear, anger, and guilt over time. Extensive research shows that most people who do exposure therapy feel improved after completing the treatment.
In this study, we are providing a brief form of exposure therapy. Over the course of 6 sessions, scheduled on consecutive days, you will meet with a therapist for an hour each day to work on processing through your trauma memory, exploring your emotions related to the experience, and learning to tolerate and approach your trauma reminders.