Skip to main content

Group Therapy for PTSD

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • 1452 Accesses

Abstract

Group therapy has a long and rich history of use in treating PTSD. This is due in part to its lower cost and effort required but is also due to its value in providing a social structure for individuals with a diagnosis known to negatively affect support systems. Despite wide use, few clinical trials have addressed the potential value of PTSD group therapy so that only a few limited studies support the possibility that group approaches might be able to provide care equivalent to that obtained in individual therapy. The strongest evidence for the potential benefits of group therapy in PTSD comes from comparisons to groupings that receive no treatment at all. Despite minimal supportive evidence as to efficacy, classic cognitive behavioral therapy and prolonged exposure are often provided in groups. The best evidence supporting the value of PTSD group therapy is in the treatment for associated substance abuse. Group therapy is also an excellent way to provide adjunctive social support for individuals utilizing individual therapies of more proven value in the treatment of PTSD.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  1. APA. Clinical practice guideline for the treatment of posttraumatic stress … 2017. https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/.

  2. Armour MP. Journal of family members of homicide victims: a qualitative study of their post-homicide experience. Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2002;72(3):277–92.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Beck JG, Coffey SF, Foy DW, Keane TM, Blanchard EB. Group cognitive behavior therapy for chronic posttraumatic stress disorder: an initial randomized pilot study. Behav Ther. 2009;40(1):82–92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2008.01.003.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Blanco C, Xu Y, Brady KT, Pérez-Fuentes G, Okuda M, Wang S. Comorbidity of posttraumatic stress disorder with alcohol dependence among US adults: results from National Epidemiological Survey on alcohol and related conditions. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013;132(3):630–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Chard KM. An evaluation of cognitive processing therapy for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder related to childhood sexual abuse. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2005;73:965–71. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.73.5.965.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Charney ME, Hellberg SN, Bui E, Simon NM. Evidenced-based treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder: an updated review of validated psychotherapeutic and pharmacological approaches. Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2018;26:99.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Classen CC, Palesh OG, Cavanaugh CE, Koopman C, Kaupp JW, Kraemer HC, Aggarwal R, Spiegel D. A comparison of trauma-focused and present-focused group therapy for survivors of childhood sexual abuse: a randomized controlled trial. Psychol Trauma. 2011;3(1):84–93. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0020096.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Foa EB, Hembree EA, Rothbaum BO. Treatments that work. Prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD: Emotional processing of traumatic experiences: Therapist guide. Oxford University Press. 2007.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Foy DW, Glynn SM, Schnurr PP, Jankowski MK, Wattenberg MS, Weiss DS, Gusman FD. Group therapy. In: Foa E, Keane T, Friedman M, editors. Effective treatments for PTSD: practice guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. New York: Guilford Press; 2000. p. 155–75.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Friedman M. Posttraumatic and acute stress disorders. Cham: Springer; 2015.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  11. Hebert M, Rosenheck R, Drebing C, Young AL, Armstrong M. Integrating peer initiatives in a large healthcare organization. Psychol Serv. 2008;5:216–27. https://doi.org/10.1037/1541-1559.5.3.216.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Hundt NE, Robinson A, Arney J, Stanley MA, Cully JA. Veterans’ perspectives on benefits and drawbacks of peer support for posttraumatic stress disorder. Mil Med. 2015;180:851–6. https://doi.org/10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00536.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Krupnick JL, Green BL, Stockton P, Miranda J, Krause E, Mete M. Group interpersonal psychotherapy for low-income women with posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychother Res. 2008;18:497–501. https://doi.org/10.1080/10503300802183678.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Morland LA, Mackintosh MA, Greene CJ, Rosen CS, Chard KM, Resick P, Frueh BC. Cognitive processing therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder delivered to rural veterans via telemental health: a randomized noninferiority clinical trial. J Clin Psychiatry. 2014;75:470–6. https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.13m08842.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Najavits LM, Hien D. Helping vulnerable populations: a comprehensive review of the treatment outcome literature on substance use disorder and PTSD. J Clin Psychol. 2013;69:433–79. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.21980.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Plato. Laws, book 5. Plato in twelve volumes. Vols. 10 & 11 (trans: Bury RG). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1967.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Ready DJ, Thomas KR, Worley V, Backscheider AG, Harvey LAC, Baltzell D, Rothbaum BO. A field test of group based exposure therapy with 102 veterans with war-related posttraumatic stress disorder. J Trauma Stress. 2008;21(2):150–7. https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.20326.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Resick PA, Wachen JS, Mintz J, Young-McCaughan S, Roache JD, Borah AM, Peterson AL. A randomized clinical trial of group cognitive processing therapy compared with group present-centered therapy for PTSD among active duty military personnel. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2015;83:1058–68. https://doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000016.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Schnurr PP, Friedman MJ, Foy DW, Shea MT, Hsieh FY, Lavori PW, et al. Randomized trial of trauma-focused group therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003;60:481–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Schwartze D, Barkowski S, Strauss B, Knaevelsrud C, Rosendahl J. Efficacy of group psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Psychother Res. 2019;29(4):415–31.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Shea MT, McDevitt-Murphy M, Ready DJ, Schnurr PP. Group therapy. In: Foa E, Keane TM, Friedman MJ, Cohen JA, editors. Effective treatments for PTSD – practice guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. New York: The Guilford Press; 2009. p. 306–26.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Sloan DM, Feinstein BA, Gallagher MW, Beck JG, Keane TM. Efficacy of group treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms: a meta-analysis. Psychol Trauma Theory Res Pract Policy. 2013;5:176–83.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Sloan DM, Bovin MJ, Schnurr PP. Review of group treatment for PTSD. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2015;49(5):689–702.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Pagel, J.F. (2021). Group Therapy for PTSD. In: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder . Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-55909-0_9

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-55909-0_9

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-55908-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-55909-0

  • eBook Packages: MedicineMedicine (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics