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Should We Keep Training Therapists in a Pandemic? An Example of a Virtual Facilitated Learning Collaborative for Written Exposure Therapy
Date posted: 10/5/2020
Topic: COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted daily life, and now may not seem like the ideal time to embark on training. However, ongoing training is essential to ensure adequate availability of evidence-based treatments. This article highlights elements of a program that proved durable as an example of how teams may continue to provide clinician training during this unprecedented time.
Implementing PE During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Tips and Adaptations
Date posted: 09/14/2020
Topic: COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new stressors and increased the potential for traumatic exposures. Home-based clinical videoconferencing allows patients to receive effective PTSD treatment that has been adapted for safe delivery during the pandemic. Clinical considerations when providing prolonged exposure therapy and suggestions for flexible adaptation are discussed. 
Should I initiate Cognitive Processing Therapy or Prolonged Exposure with my patient during the COVID-19 pandemic? Patient-, provider-, and system-level factors for consideration?
Date posted: 08/31/2020
Topic: COVID-19
Article outlines factors to consider when deciding whether and how to initiate Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) or Prolonged Exposure (PE) for the treatment of PTSD with a given patient-provider pair during the COVID-19 pandemic. Analysis suggests key factors fall under three categories: patient factors, provider factors, and system-level factors.
Biological Perspectives: Evolution and Alterations of the Stress Response: Brief Considerations in the Era of COVID-19
StressPoints
Date posted: 07/30/2020
Topic: COVID-19
Jane Wagner’s words, “reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it,” highlight the dire truth that day-to-day life is stressful and, all too often, traumatic. Stress and trauma are not rare and isolated events; it is estimated that 70% of the world’s population is exposed to trauma [1]. However, resilience is the norm rather than the exception. Approximately 6% of trauma-exposed individuals will develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Like all psychiatric symptomology, stress response symptoms occur along a continuum and many people will experience some level of symptoms with great variability across populations [2].
Enhancing Social Support May Improve Cognitive Processing Therapy Outcomes in Telemedicine for PTSD
Date posted: 07/13/2020
Topic: COVID-19
Telehealth-based delivery of gold-standard posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatments such as Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT; Resick et al., 2017) has been shown to be no less effective than in-person delivery of care (Morland et al., 2014, 2015). Yet providers may be curious about what might improve outcomes. Malleable characteristics, such as the amount of social support an individual perceives they have, are of special interest. Although some research has shown social support can encourage greater reductions in PTSD symptoms (Price et al., 2018), individuals living in rural areas might have important differences. Therefore, we set out to evaluate whether pre-existing perceived social support could enhance the effects of CPT for rural American military veterans participating in a pragmatic randomized effectiveness trial of telehealth-based collaborative care for PTSD (Fortney et al., 2015).
Media Matters: Social Media Exposure to COVID-19: How Misinformation Impacts Mental Health
StressPoints
Date posted: 07/30/2020
Topic: COVID-19
As the world remains in their homes in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the withdrawal from daily life has moved conversations about the illness to social media. Within weeks of scientists identifying COVID-19, rumors and misinformation spread faster than the illness itself. As the World Health Organization (WHO) Director General said at the Munich Security Conference, “We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic” (Hua & Shaw, 2020).
SIG Spotlight: Trauma and Substance Use Disorders
StressPoints
Date posted: 07/30/2020
Topic: COVID-19
A recent publication by the ISTSS Trauma and Substance Use Disorders (SUD) SIG co-chairs (Banducci & Weiss, in press) provides recommendations for caring for patients with co-occurring PTSD-SUD during the COVID-19 pandemic. We summarize these strategies here.
Student Perspectives: Psychological First Aid: An Adapted Approach for Managing the Mental Health of Health Care Workers During COVID-19
StressPoints
Date posted: 07/30/2020
Topic: COVID-19
Psychological first aid (PFA) is an evidenced-informed approach aimed at helping individuals affected in the immediate aftermath of a disaster or traumatic incident. It was first utilized by the military during World War II and has since been adapted and implemented in the United States in public health settings and by workplaces and organizations such as the National Center for PTSD, Red Cross and the American Psychological Association (Fox et al., 2012).
Clinician's Corner: How Trauma Specialists Can Care for Themselves and Support Colleagues During the COVID-19 Virus Outbreak
StressPoints
Date posted: 05/5/2020
Topic: COVID-19
The context of the COVID-19 pandemic places us in unique circumstances that call for flexible and creative ways to help ourselves and each other. Nearly half of Americans polled by Kaiser recently reported that the coronavirus crisis was harming their mental health, the disaster distress hotline had a 1,000% increase in number of calls in April compared with the same time last year, and the online therapy service Talkspace reported a 65% jump in clients, mostly dominated by COVID-19 anxiety (Wan, 2020).
Continuing to Deliver Gold-Standard Treatment: Cognitive Processing Therapy during COVID-19
Date posted: 05/17/2020
Topic: COVID-19
In response to COVID-19, mental health providers have had to quickly and creatively adapt treatment delivery, with many transitioning to telehealth. Like those in other professions, many clinicians have likely found the shift to video-based work challenging (e.g., Jiang, 2020; Skalar, 2020). With the stress of using a new treatment delivery format, there is a risk of drift from evidence-based practice. However, this need not be the case.
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