Interoceptive exposure therapy for combat veterans: A group treatment approach


This paper explores the application of interoceptive exposure (IE) therapy to treat the arousal and avoidant symptoms in veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The historical background of PTSD and the functional impact of the disorder in veterans from Vietnam and Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom are discussed in the first chapter. Literature on romantic and family relationship impairment, employment challenges, decreased physical health and overall quality of life, and increased mental health issues in veterans of combat are presented. Following the introductory chapter is a brief description of the history of treatment for combat trauma and a detailed review of the most common treatments for PTSD in their application to the veteran population. Research on psychophysiological approaches to treatment, pharmacotherapy, and EMDR is discussed. The extensive literature on cognitive behavioral treatment approaches for combat trauma is reviewed. As noted, exposure therapy appears to be the treatment approach with the most scientific support. A relatively new form of exposure therapy known as IE, as well as the small but promising body of research on the potential to augment conventional long-term exposure therapy with IE, are also addressed here. A new treatment protocol proposed here is built upon the foundation of empirical support for cognitive behavioral therapy for PTSD. It is intended to incorporate trauma-informed best practices and exposure therapy tenets through the implementation of group based IE for individuals with combat-related PTSD. Outlines of the following two sections will provide detailed descriptions of the group design and the specific treatment modules, the first of which addresses therapeutic rationale and group composition, and the second lists the specific twelve treatment modules.






Jennifer Scagliotti

Original Work Citation

Scagliotti, J. (2012). Interoceptive exposure therapy for combat veterans: A group treatment approach. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 72(7-B), 4330



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