Couples that include a partner with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may someday have access to a faster, more efficient therapy that treats the disorder and simultaneously improves their relationships.
A new study published by the journal Behavior Therapy demonstrated that an established treatment that typically involves 15 weekly sessions could be shortened to one weekend and delivered to multiple couples at once and still yield improvements in patient, partner and relationship outcomes.
The pilot study offered a condensed version of cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (CBCT for PTSD) to military and veteran couples through the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD (CAP).
The CAP is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional research consortium funded jointly by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to advance the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of PTSD among post-9/11 service members and veterans.
“In addition to 100% treatment retention, there were large reductions in patients’ PTSD symptoms, along with significant improvements in co-occurring symptoms like depression, anxiety and anger. Partners also reported improvements in their own mental health and relationship satisfaction,” according to study lead Steffany Fredman, associate professor of human development and family studies at Penn State.