War Veterans Treated by Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Write a 1500 word paper answering; There are different types of therapies available for these patients and most of them feature different approaches for recovery and treatment. This paper shall discuss the specific applications of the cognitive-behavioral therapy for these PTSD war veterans. This study is being carried out in order to establish a clear and comprehensive understanding of PTSD as it is seen among war veterans. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the different types of therapies for PTSD among war veterans. The Veterans’ Association recommends two types of cognitive behavioral therapy for veterans diagnosed with PTSD, and these therapies include the cognitive processing therapy and the prolonged exposure therapy (US Department of Veteran Affairs, 2007). Cognitive behavioral therapy is meant to help the patient understand and change how he thinks about the trauma and its results. The overall goal of the patient during this therapy is to understand how some thoughts on the trauma often lead to stress and how they can make the stress worse (Tarrier, Pilgrim, Sommerfield, Faragher, & Reynolds, 1999). This type of therapy is meant to assist the patient in identifying his thoughts about the outside world and the patient himself – thoughts that are making him feel afraid or stressed. With the therapist, the patient would learn to substitute his thoughts with less anxious and less stressful ones. In other words, the patient would learn how to cope with his feelings of anger and fear, and in many veterans, his feelings of guilt (Tarrier, et.al., 1999). For many veterans, that feeling of guilt often stems from the deaths of their comrades in the face of their survival. They often feel guilty about their decisions or actions which they associate with the death of their comrades. The CBT therapist often helps the patient come to terms with the fact that the traumatic event was not the patient’s fault. The prevalence of PTSD is often considered higher among women serving in the military, however, limited studies have been carried out within this population. Some studies however point out that cognitive behavioral therapy is effective in this population. A study by Shnurr, Friedman, Engel, Foa, and Shea (2007) sought to compare prolonged exposure which is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy with the present-centered therapy which is a supportive therapy in the management of PTSD. This was carried out as a randomized controlled trial on female veterans and active duty personnel with PTSD. The study revealed that women who were subjected to the cognitive behavioral therapy (prolonged exposure) manifested with an improved reduction of their PTSD symptoms as compared to women who were subjected to the present-centered therapy (Shnurr, et.al., 2007). There is also a higher possibility for those who underwent prolonged exposure therapy to totally be relieved of their PTSD. they were also less likely to go through a relapse in their symptoms. In effect, this study establishes strong support for cognitive behavioral therapy among PTSD war veteran patients.
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