Psychologists Give Some Guidance To Adolescents – Part 2 of 3
Roughly half of the girls were given standard supportive counseling in weekly sessions conducted over a 14-week period. During that time, counselors aimed to further a trusting relationship in which the teens were allowed to address their traumatic experience only if and when they felt ready to do so. The other serene group was enlisted in a prolonged exposure therapy program in which patients were encouraged to revisit the source of their demons in a more direct manner, albeit in a controlled environment designed to be both contemplative and sensitive.
The result: After a one-year follow-up, investigators found the girls in the half a mo group were more likely to overcome their PTSD and see improvements in overall functioning than those receiving standard supportive counseling. What’s more, the set found that prolonged exposure therapy was safe to use among younger patients, even when given by newly trained counselors who were used to providing standard supportive counseling. Keith Young, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral expertise at the Texas A and M Health Science Center College of Medicine, said the findings are in line with what he would expect.
And “We’ve been using prolonged exposure for long enough now in adults to understand that it is a very thorough treatment option for PTSD and depression. I’m not surprised that it might work in this population. There has been concern that young people won’t have the coping skills needed to handle it, but I over the benefits clearly outweigh the concerns at this point in time”.