PEWeb is an online, interactive, training program designed to teach mental health providers how to implement Prolonged Exposure therapy, one of the most highly effective treatments for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This site has a particular focus on the treatment of military and combat-related PTSD although the principles and methods described work well for any type of traumatic event that results in PTSD.

This course was developed to complement other methods of clinical learning, such as reading a book or manual or attending a workshop or training course. However, unlike most workshops and manuals, this site includes specific, step-by-step instructions for each component of therapy, printable sample scripts for introducing concepts and techniques to clients, and flash video demonstrations of the therapy procedures conducted by expert clinicians. The web site is also developed so that you can proceed at your own pace and use the learning experiences when it is convenient for you. Of note, PEWeb is NOT sufficient training for providers to be able to deliver Prolonged Exposure proficiently.

What is Prolonged Exposure (PE)?

Prolonged Exposure is:

  • An effective treatment for PTSD and related symptoms. Based on behavioral learning principles, PE is an 8 to 15 session intervention that targets symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, anger, and guilt.
  • Intuitive and straightforward. Most people understand that the best way to get over fears is to confront them. In this way, PE relies on two primary therapeutic tools: In vivo exposure (doing it) and imaginal exposure (talking about it). During in vivo exposure, the patient directly confronts feared, but safe, situations and activities that cue trauma-related distress. During imaginal exposure, patients "revisit" the index event, providing a detailed verbal account of the trauma that includes sensory information, thoughts, feelings, and reactions.
  • Effective. Over 20 years of empirical research suggests that PE is a best practice intervention for PTSD. Numerous clinical trials have shown that PE leads to significant reductions in PTSD symptoms, co-morbid depressive symptoms, and associated symptoms such anger and guilt.
  • Adaptable. Although PE is a manualized treatment, it’s flexible. Research and experience suggest that PE can be effectively implemented in a variety of clinical settings and adapted to meet the needs of diverse patient populations including patients with co-morbid mental health conditions.
  • A best practice intervention. PE has been identified by Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Institute of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as a "go to" treatment for people with PTSD.
  • Inspiring. PE helps trauma survivors get their lives back. Patients who complete PE learn that:
    • They can confront the situations and memories that scare them.
    • They can think about the trauma without it ruining their day
    • They can once again engage in valued activities and relationships they have avoided since the trauma.
  • Catching on. Practitioners throughout the United States and the world currently use PE to successfully treat survivors of rape, assault, child abuse, combat, motor vehicle accidents and natural disasters. As of July 2012, the Prolonged Exposure Dissemination Initiative alone has trained thousands of psychologists, social workers, counselors, and psychiatrists to become proficient in PE therapy.

Who should take PEWeb?

  • Mental health professionals and clinicians who treat people with PTSD.

How to use PEWeb?

PEWeb is intended to complement formal training and supervision in Prolonged Exposure. We recommend that you use this course in a couple of different ways:

  • To prepare for an upcoming Prolonged Exposure training workshop. PEWeb can help you get the most out of your learning experience! Use PEWeb to familiarize yourself with the theoretical foundation and therapeutic techniques of Prolonged Exposure prior to attending a formal training workshop.
  • As an ongoing support or refresher resource. PEWeb provides step-by-step instruction in each of the core therapeutic techniques of Prolonged Exposure and easy-to-follow session scripts, forms, and handouts. Review relevant modules and demonstration videos to help you prepare for sessions.