Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD for Veterans and Military Service Personnel


Most individuals who have been exposed to a potentially traumatic event, such as sexual assault/abuse, physical assault/abuse, natural disasters, motor vehicle accidents, and combat, are able to recover naturally. Others, however, get “stuck” at some point during the recovery process and develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This course is designed for behavioral and mental healthcare providers who work with survivors of trauma. In fact, understanding and exhibiting competence in working with symptomatic trauma survivors is a critical skill for clinicians. In this course, you will be introduced to one of the most effective treatments for individuals who have PTSD, called Prolonged Exposure therapy (PE). Based on the work of Dr. Edna Foa and her colleagues, this course provides an overview of the theory behind, and empirical support for, Prolonged Exposure therapy. Through a series of interactive exercises and case studies, you will learn about PE and how it works to help individuals who have PTSD.


Hours: 1.00


Certificates provided by accrediting body (0 Match)

Course Details

Hours: 1
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 3/31/2018
Learning Objectives:
Discuss the theoretical underpinnings for Prolonged Exposure therapy.
Summarize the empirical support for this evidence-based treatment.
Describe the procedures used in Prolonged Exposure therapy, including in vivo and imaginal exposure, along with the general course of treatment sessions.

Section 1: Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: Theoretical Background A. Trauma and PTSD B. Behavioral Model of PTSD C. Classical Conditioning D. Classical Conditioning and PTSD E. Single Trial Learning F. Conditioned Stimuli and Conditioned Responses G. Test Your Knowledge H. Operant Conditioning I. Operant Conditioning and PTSD J. More about Operant Conditioning and PTSD K. So What Is So Bad about Avoidance? L. Case Example: Meet CPL Wright M. More about CPL Wright N. Review O. Summary Section 3: Behavioral Model for the Treatment of PTSD A. Understanding CPL Wright B. What Is Exposure Therapy? C. Emotional Processing: a Cognitive Behavioral Model of PTSD D. More about Emotional Processing E. Trauma Memory F. Characteristics of Trauma-Related Memory Structure G. Recovery Process H. Avoidance Leads to Chronic PTSD I. Erroneous Cognitions Related to PTSD J. An Example of Erroneous Cognitions Related to PTSD K. Review L. Review M. Summary Section 4: Empirical Support for Prolonged Exposure Therapy A. Evidence-Based B. Continuous Empirical Support C. Encouraging Results D. Further Empirical Support E. Review F. Summary Section 5: An Overview of Techniques and Procedures A. Overview B. For Whom Is PE Therapy Appropriate? C. A Good Foundation for PE Therapy D. The Four Treatment Procedures Used in PE E. Education about Common Reactions to Trauma F. The Goals of PE G. Additional Education about Common Reactions to Trauma H. Breathing Retraining I. In Vivo Exposure J. More about CPL Wright K. An Example of In Vivo Exposure L. Imaginal Exposure M. What about CPL Wright? N. PE Session Outlines O. Review P. PE: Modifications and Future Directions Q. Summary Section 6: Conclusion A. Summary B. Next Steps C. Congratulations

Instructor: Jenna Ermold, Ph.D.
Jenna Ermold, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist working as the Assistant Director of Online Programs for the Center for Deployment Psychology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. In this capacity, she oversees the development and dissemination of online training programs for behavioral health clinicians to improve competency in working with military members and their families. Additionally, she develops and presents workshops across the country to military and civilian audiences on topics in deployment behavioral health and evidence-based therapies for PTSD. She is a graduate of the Malcolm Grow (USAF) Medical Center Psychology Residency Program and served on active duty as a psychology in the United States Air Force from 2002 to 2006. Dr. Ermold graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in psychology and English and received her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Vermont. She specializes in health psychology, behavioral health integration into primary care, women's reproductive behavioral health, post-traumatic stress disorder, and military psychology.  Disclosure: Jenna Ermold, Ph.D. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Instructor: William Brim, Psy.D.
William Brim, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He has been with the Center for Deployment Psychology since 2007, initially as a Deployment Behavioral Health Psychologist at Malcolm Grow (USAF) Medical Center and serving as the Deputy Director since 2008. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee (Psychology) and has his Master's and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL (1998). He is a graduate of the Wilford Hall (USAF) Medical Center Psychology Residency Program (1998) and the Wilford Hall Clinical Health Psychology Post-doctoral Fellowship Program (2001). Dr. Brim served on Active Duty as a psychologist in the United States Air Force from 1997 to 2007.  Disclosure: William Brim, Psy.D. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Instructor: David Riggs, Ph.D.
David Riggs, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Center for Deployment Psychology, is a clinical psychologist and Research Associate Professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Dr. Riggs has served as the Executive Director of the CDP since its founding in 2006. He received his B.A. (Psychology) from the University of Kansas and earned his Ph.D. at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1990). He completed a clinical psychology internship at the Medical University of South Carolina (1989). Prior to taking the Director position at the CDP, Dr. Riggs held clinical research positions at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety and the National Center for PTSD at the Boston VA Medical Center. He has previously held academic appointments at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Tufts University, Boston University and the University of Pennsylvania. As a clinical and research psychologist, much of Dr. Riggs’ work has focused on trauma, violence and anxiety with a particular interest in the impact of PTSD and other anxiety disorders on the families of those directly affected. He has trained numerous student and mental health professionals from the United States and other countries in techniques for treating PTSD, OCD and other anxiety disorders. This included training professionals in ways to address the needs of survivors of international terror, natural disasters, military trauma, and sexual and physical assault. Dr. Riggs has published over 60 articles and book chapters and presented over 200 papers and workshops on topics including posttraumatic disorder, domestic violence, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and behavioral therapy. Disclosure: David Riggs, Ph.D. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Staff Writer: Naju Madra, M.A.

Naju Madra, M.A. is an internal subject matter expert and clinical content writer for Relias' Health & Human Services library. She earned her Master's degree in Psychology with specific study in neuropsychological assessment for children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. She brings with her a wealth of experience in clinical assessment, along with expertise in large-scale clinical research project management, recruitment, training, as well as in-person and web-based curriculum development. In addition to scholarly activities such as writing manuals and preparing manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals, Ms. Madra has over 15 years of behavioral healthcare experience ranging from crisis counseling and job coaching for individuals with severe mental illness, to community college instruction and trauma specialist at the Veterans Health Administration. In her current role, Ms. Madra has contributed authorship to over 100 behavioral health course offerings for both licensed and non-licensed professionals in the Health & Human Services market.

 Disclosure: Naju Madra, M.A. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: entry and intermediate level Marriage and Family Therapists; entry and intermediate level Professional Counselors; entry and intermediate level Social Workers; entry level Psychologists; intermediate level Alcohol and Drug Counselors; in the following settings: Hospital, Long-term Care, Public Health Facilities; and the following practice categories: Addictions, General Nursing, Gerontology, Mental Health, Pain Management.
Relias Learning will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Relias Learning has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias Learning will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias Learning at
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous Distance Learning with interactivity which includes quizzes with questions/answers, and posttests.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Learning Customer Support by calling (800) 381-2321 or emailing