Prolonged Exposure: Helping Clients Recover from PTSD

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Prolonged Exposure: Helping Clients Recover from PTSD

4 August, 2022 @ 1:00 pm 4:00 pm CDT

Data shows that up to 60% of the US population is exposed to at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. While many recover naturally, up to 10% of people will go on to develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following a traumatic event. Fortunately, decades of research have shown that Prolonged Exposure (PE) is a highly effective treatment for PTSD. However, despite its effectiveness, many therapists’ express concerns about utilizing PE with their clients. In this training, you will receive an overview of the underlying theories and procedures of Prolonged Exposure, identify individuals who may benefit from the treatment, and debunk myths about exposure treatment for PTSD.


After completing this program, social workers, program administrators, and other participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the underlying theories of Prolonged Exposure (PE)
  2. Determine which clients would be most appropriate for PE
  3. Explain the exposure procedures of PE
  4. Identify the structure of PE sessions
  5. Debunk myths about exposure treatment for PTSD


Emily Dreher LPC, NCC, DBT-LBC is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Linehan Board Certified DBT Clinician. She is currently a Training Associate at Illume: The Behavioral Health Center of Excellence which is powered by Places for People. Her primary role is to provide trainings, consultation, and mentorship around Evidenced Based Practices. As a DBT clinician she works primarily with individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder who struggle with chronic suicidal ideation, frequent psychiatric hospitalizations, nonsuicidal self-injurious behaviors and pervasive emotion dysregulation. She also specializes in treating Posttraumatic Stress Disorder by utilizing Prolonged Exposure therapy. Her background includes working in several settings with diverse populations, including providing intensive community-based crisis counseling.


1:00 – 2:00 pm 

*Introduction and objectives

*PTSD and Trauma review

*PE and a glance

*PE underlying theories: Exposure and Emotional Processing Theory

2:00 – 3:00 pm 

*Who is PE for?

*Other considerations

*Advantages of PE


*Components of PE

3:00 – 4:00 pm 

*Components of PE


*Breathing Retraining

*In Vivo Exposure

*Imaginal Exposure

*Session Structure

*Why don’t therapists use PE?

*Debunking myths