Affect Labeling: A Promising New Approach for Mitigating PTSD
Technical Report,14 Apr 2014,13 Nov 2015
Defense Group Inc. Santa Monica United States
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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder PTSD is a severe disorder that may develop after a person is exposed to one or more traumatic events. Research suggests that approximately 70 of U.S. Military Service Personnel will be exposed to at least one traumatic event during their active duty military service and a significant number of these individuals will develop PTSD as a result of this trauma exposure. Current treatments are effective for many individuals, however, there is a need for new treatment approaches to improve outcomes in PTSD and address the many existing barriers that prevent many individuals from seeking or completing treatment. In this seedling study, we tested a novel, brief, partially-automated, computer-based intervention for PTSD utilizing Affect Labeling that was inspired by recent advances in neuroscience research. We found that our affect labeling intervention reduced PTSD symptoms as well as hyperreactivity in fear-related brain regions in a sample of Veterans with combat-related PTSD. Results from the seedling study are compelling and suggest that affect labeling training offers significant potential as a novel, cost-effective, computer-based, intervention for PTSD. Specific next steps for further developing this affect labeling intervention are presented.
- Medicine and Medical Research