Prolonged exposure (PE) is an evidence-based psychotherapy modality initially developed by psychologist Edna B. Foa. It is considered a frontline treatment program for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by the U.S. Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The primary goal of the PE modalities of treatment for PTSD is to facilitate emotional and cognitive processing of trauma memories and to reduce avoidance of situations related to the trauma, thus producing a gradual decrease in distress and psycho-physiological arousal evoked by trauma memories and reminders. This entry describes the modality format for most treatments and core therapeutic procedures of PE for PTSD and provides an overview of its theoretical basis and evidence for clinical efficacy.

Modality Format

A PE treatment is typically delivered in 9 to ...

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