Changes in PTSD patients' narratives during prolonged exposure therapy: a replication and extension

J Trauma Stress. 2002 Jun;15(3):255-8. doi: 10.1023/A:1015263513654.


Following E. B. Foa, C. Molnar, and L. Cashman (1995), narrative changes from the first to the last exposure session were compared for improved and nonimproved PTSD patients on fragmentation, organization, internal, and external events. Improved (n = 8) and nonimproved (n = 12) patients did not differ regarding changes in fragmentation or organized thoughts. However, improved patients showed a greater decrease in disorganized thoughts during treatment. Furthermore, all patients, independent of improvement, showed significant changes in the same direction; a decrease in disorganized thoughts and external events and an increase in internal events. Although previous results were partly replicated, it is concluded that narrative changes may be due to exposure treatment itself rather than to changes in memory representation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Desensitization, Psychologic / methods*
  • Desensitization, Psychologic / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy / standards
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Narration*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / classification
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome