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Does Trauma-focused Exposure Therapy Exacerbate Symptoms Among Patients With Comorbid PTSD and Substance Use Disorders?

About the Course

This study compared the exacerbation of psychological symptoms among participants with comorbid PTSD and SUD who received either SUD treatment alone or SUD treatment integrated with exposure therapy for PTSD. The results showed that symptom exacerbation was minimal and generally equally likely in either treatment group. These results support existing research that trauma-focused, exposure-based therapy does not increase the risk of symptom exacerbation.

This course is based on the reading-based online article, Does Trauma-focused Exposure Therapy Exacerbate Symptoms Among Patients With Comorbid PTSD and Substance Use Disorders? created by Cynthia L. Lancaster, PhD. et al. in 2020.

Publication Date:

Behav Cogn Psychother. 2020 January ; 48(1): 38–53. doi:10.1017/S1352465819000304. Jan 2020

Course Material Authors

Course Material Authors authored the material only, and were not involved in creating this CE course. They are identified here for your own evaluation of the relevancy of the material this course is based on.

Cynthia L. Lancaster, PhD.

Dr. Lancaster is an assistant professor of clinical psychology at the University of Nevada. Her research focuses the development of PTSD and other anxiety-related disorders, treatment of anxiety-related disorders, exposure-based therapies and military psychology. She has had multiple works published in peer reviewed journals.

Daniel F. Gros, PhD

Dr. Gros is an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina, and psychology program manager and research and development principal investigator at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, SC. He has published more than one hundred research articles, completed more than fifty conference presentations and workshops,

Course Creator


Hana Kuc is a Licensed Mental Heath counselor and a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor who has been working in the field for 13 years. In that time she has worked as a counselor, therapist, educator and director. Hana has specialized in working with clients on medication assisted treatment, who are in recovery from opiates, and are also diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

Recommended For:

Counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists and social workers. This course is appropriate for all levels of knowledge.

Course Objectives:

After taking this course, you should be able to:

  1. Describe purpose of this study and summarize existing research on prolonged exposure therapy.
  2. Outline study methods, results and conclusions.
  3. Describe limitations of the current study and suggestions for future research.

Disclosure to Learners

Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships

CE Learning Systems adheres to the ACCME's Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Medical Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CE activity – including faculty, planners, reviewers, or others ― are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with ineligible entities (formerly known as commercial interests).

The following relevant financial relationships have been disclosed by this activity's planners, faculty, and the reviewer:

Planners and Reviewers

The planners of this activity have reported that they have no relevant financial relationships.

Commercial support

There is no commercial support for this distance-learning course.

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Course Number 103387
1 CE credit hour
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  • Reading-Based Online
Exam Fee $5.97
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