ISTSS Online Learning Library

Promoting the advancement and exchange of knowledge about traumatic stress is a core mission of ISTSS. Our online learning library contains video and audio recordings of conference presentations and recordings of past webinars.

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Early Intervention Following Trauma

Barbara Rothbaum, PhD
Recorded on January 15, 2014

WebinarAudio with synched slides

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PTSD can be viewed as a failure of recovery caused in part by a failure of fear extinction. This webinar will describe cognitive behavioral treatments for PTSD, including prolonged imaginal exposure (PE) and the course of PTSD following trauma. A randomized controlled study, based on translational models of the consolidation of fear memories, examining the effects of early intervention extinction training will be described. Emergency department (ED) patients were randomly assigned to receive a 3-session exposure-based intervention beginning in the ED or assessment only. This intervention and the results will be discussed.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe cognitive behavioral techniques (CBT) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) including prolonged exposure therapy.

  • Outline PTSD responses following trauma.

  • Identify early intervention following trauma.


About the Instructor

Barbara Olasov Rothbaum, PhD is a professor psychiatry and Associate Vice Chair of Clinical Research at the Emory School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and serves as the director of the Trauma and Anxiety Recovery Program at Emory. Dr. Rothbaum is on the Scientific Advisory Boards for the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), National Center for PTSD (NC-PTSD), McLean Hospital, the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation (OCF) and the Board of Directors for ADAA. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Study on Assessment of Ongoing Efforts in the Treatment of PTSD. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association’s Division 56 (Division of Trauma Psychology).

Dr. Rothbaum specializes in research on the treatment of individuals with anxiety disorders, focusing on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Her current NIMH grants focus on treating chronic PTSD in Iraq veterans using virtual reality exposure therapy combined with medication (d-cycloserine, alprazolam, or placebo), trying to prevent the development of PTSD in emergency room patients, and testing a CRF1 antagonist for the treatment of PTSD in females. She is a pioneer in the application of virtual reality to the treatment of psychological disorders.

Dr. Rothbaum has authored more than 200 scientific papers and chapters, published and edited books on the treatment of PTSD and anxiety. Her outreach efforts with Veterans include BraveHeart: Welcome Back Veterans Southeast Initiative ( and initiating a clinician outreach and training program with the Georgia National Guard.

Dr. Rothbaum received the Diplomate in Behavioral Psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology. She was awarded with her collaborating team the 2010 “Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Practice of Trauma Psychology” for APA Division 56 and received the Robert S. Laufer Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) where she was also a past president.