Guided imagery as a therapeutic tool in post-traumatic stress disorder
Guided imagery is a behavioral technique used to direct individuals to effectively create and manipulate mental representations to produce therapeutic changes. A growing empirical literature supports the use of these techniques in a variety of physical and emotional conditions. The focus of our research program is on applying these techniques to the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We have developed and piloted a clinician-facilitated, self-management intervention for PTSD called guided imagery for trauma (GIFT). We describe the rationale for this approach, its conceptual framework, and the treatment protocol. We present preliminary findings in a sample of women with PTSD related to military sexual trauma, which demonstrate feasibility, tolerability, and a large effect on PTSD symptoms. We also describe our current research efforts, including a randomized controlled trial of the GIFT intervention in women survivors of military sexual trauma, and the extension of this intervention to the treatment of combat-related PTSD. © 2009 Humana Press.
Strauss, JL; Calhoun, PS; Marx, CE
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