Participants : We are presently recruiting participants with trauma related to deployment in either Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.
Purpose : The purpose of this study is to treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from exposure to the current Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Participants will randomly be assigned to receive traditional prolonged exposure therapy or prolonged exposure therapy combined with Virtual Reality. We will also be examining the effects of using D-Cycloserine (DCS) in conjunction with treatment.
Details : Treatment is offered on an individual basis for 9 weekly treatment sessions lasting approximately 90 minutes each, along with a 3-month follow-up session that allows us to track your progress after the study has been completed.
Prolonged exposure therapy consists of cognitive-behavioral treatment, which aims to introduce skills and techniques that will reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. One essential component of the treatment includes describing one's traumatic experiences. Some participants will be treated with traditional techniques, while others' treatment will incorporate virtual reality therapy to enhance the ability to retell their experiences. These participants will be presented with a computerized Virtual Reality Iraq/Afghanistan combat scenario, in which they will see and hear a "virtual environment" through a headset. In addition, participants will be randomly assigned to take either a low dose of D-Cycloserine (DCS; a broad-spectrum antibiotic) or a placebo (sugar) pill prior to their weekly session to examine the effects of DCS on treatment. Thus, treatment incorporates traditional techniques that have been shown to be effective in treating PTSD, with cutting edge technology and pharmacology to enhance the treatment. Treating clinicians are all highly experienced in working with PTSD and with military personnel.
Participants will be compensated for all completed assessments, up to a total of $350. As per Department of Defense regulations, current Active Duty military personnel cannot be reimbursed for participation, unless they are on official military leave status at the time of participation. Instead, Active Duty military will be asked to choose a charity to which we will donate this money.
To schedule a free evaluation or to learn more about our studies, please call (212) 821-0783.
Interested in participating but not located in the New York area?
Contact our collaborators at one of the following locations:
Los Angeles area: 562-826-5784 or visit the Southern California Institute for Research and Education webpage
Washington, D.C. area: 240-507-6339