Military culture considerations in prolonged exposure therapy with active duty military service members.

Hall-Clark, B. N., Wright, E. C., Fina, B. A., Blount, T. H., Evans, W. R., Carreño, P. K., Peterson, A. L., & Foa, E. B.; for the STRONG STAR Consortium
May 1, 2019

Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 26(2), 335-350.

Over 15 years of combat deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, and surrounding locations have increased the risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in active-duty military service members, significantly amplifying the need for effective treatments within the military health care system. While effective evidence-based treatments for PTSD exist, results have not been as robust for service members and veterans as those found with civilians, suggesting that there are unique factors that may make PTSD in active military personnel more challenging to treat. Few clinical articles address military cultural aspects of the delivery of Prolonged Exposure therapy, especially with an active-duty military population. The aim of this paper is to highlight the role of military culture and lifestyle in PTSD symptom expression and recovery, and to provide clinical strategies to successfully conduct Prolonged Exposure with active-duty service members. Strategies to overcome logistical difficulties and clinical techniques to address common themes that emerge in working with military populations are delineated. Case examples are provided to illustrate concepts.

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