Brief eclectic psychotherapy for PTSD (BEP)


Brief eclectic psychotherapy for PTSD (BEP) is a trauma-focused treatment which has been shown to be equally effective for the treatment of PTSD as CBT/PE and EMDR. It is the treatment of choice if there is a need not only for decreasing anxiety but also for learning how the traumatic event has changed one's life and view on the world. It has been developed as a 16-session treatment manual for PTSD when CBT and EMDR were not available ( BEP consists of (1) psychoeducation, together with a partner or close friend; (2) imaginal exposure preceded by relaxation exercises, focused on catharsis of emotions of grief and helplessness; (3) writing tasks to express aggressive feelings and use of mementos; (4) domain of meaning, focused on learning from the trauma, oneself and the world; (5) farewell ritual, to end treatment. The BEP-protocol has proved to be effective in randomized controlled trials. Also psychobiological recovery has been demonstrated. In the workshop the different elements of BEP will be outlined and taught, also using a DVD. Similarities and differences between CBT and EMDR will be presented. To summarize, CBT, EMDR and BEP are equally effective in reducing PTSD by different forms of exposure. BEP also offers essential learning from the traumatizing events based on psychodynamic insights and stimulates posttraumatic growth. Clinical cases will be discussed.






Berthold Gersons

Original Work Citation

Gersons, B. (2013, June). Brief eclectic psychotherapy for PTSD (BEP). Presentation at the 13th European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS) Conference, Bologna, Italy



“Brief eclectic psychotherapy for PTSD (BEP),” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed February 25, 2021,

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