The Use of Both Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy in the Treatment of a Person with PTSD, Multiple Traumas, Depression, and Suicidality

Kayla K. Gurak, Blanche Freund, Gail Ironson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Despite a high prevalence of comorbid disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD), the empirical guidelines for how to manage co-occurring conditions in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are lacking. In the context of a complicated presentation of PTSD, this case illustration demonstrates the application of an integrated treatment approach with "Amanda," a 28-year-old female with a history of multiple traumas, undiagnosed PTSD for 10 years, and comorbid MDD. In addition, Amanda began having suicidal thoughts mid-treatment. This case study demonstrates how the integration of coping skills training and cognitive processing therapy, in conjunction with prolonged exposure, helped Amanda successfully complete treatment and be able to discuss her traumatic events with minimal distress. At discharge, Amanda no longer met criteria for PTSD, had experienced significant improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms, and was no longer experiencing suicidal thoughts. These improvements were maintained at both 3 and 6 months post treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-312
Number of pages18
JournalClinical Case Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016



  • cognitive processing therapy
  • comorbid depression
  • prolonged exposure
  • suicidal ideations
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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