Trauma Management Therapy
Troop deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan has been extensive and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common among our returning veterans. PTSD is associated with poor quality of life, guilt, anger, and unemployment, among other life challenges. The Trauma Management Therapy program, a division of the UCF Center for RESearch and Treatment On Response to Extreme Stressors, is offering a treatment program that uses the most effective treatments for combat-related PTSD. Click here for more information
Exposure Therapy is a treatment that reduces anxiety by exposing an individual to a feared situation for a prolonged period of time. Although the individual initially may experience an increase in anxiety and distress, these symptoms are followed by decreases in arousal and fear. With repeated contact with a fearful situation, there is a reduction in anxiety and the fear loses its ability to elicit an anxious response. Exposure Therapy can be conducted in many different formats depending upon the patient’s particular situation, and will vary depending upon the disorder being treated. Exposure can be administered indifferent formats (intensive or graded) and through imagery and/or real life contact (in vivo). Finally this treatment can be therapist accompanied or unaccompanied. This treatment involves the use of homework assignments involving real life (in vivo exposure) experiences.
Social Skills Training
The goal of social skills training is to teach the verbal and non-verbal skills necessary for effective social interaction. Many individuals, particularly those with social phobia, express difficulty “knowing what to say” in social situations such as parties, meetings, or job interviews. Some individuals do not have problems in every day social encounters but do have difficulty in situations such as dating or job interview. Social skills training, usually conducted in groups, teaches both the verbal content and non-verbal behaviors to allow the individual to interact appropriately in a variety of social situations. Assertiveness training, one aspect of social skills training, may be useful for individuals with any type of anxiety disorders.
The goal of relaxation training is to decrease general physical or cognitive arousal that often is part of anxiety disorders. There are many forms of relaxation training. Progressive muscle relaxation training involves teaching a person to tense and then relax various muscle groups such as the arms, legs, shoulders, neck and face.
Programmed practice is usually consists of homework assignments that the individual carries out in the “real world”. Homework assignments are carefully planned so that individuals are challenged, but to a level where they will have a high probability of success.