Dialectical Behavior Therapy Prolonged Exposure Protocol

DBT-PE was developed by Melanie Harned and is an evidenced based treatment used to treat PTSD among high risk individuals.  The protocol is based on Prolonged Exposure therapy and has been adapted to fit the needs of a multi diagnostic client population.  DBT used with DBT-PE is a complex treatment designed to help individuals who are suffering, build a life worth living.  DBT-PE is delivered during stage two of DBT treatment.  Client and therapist meet one to two times per week for 90-120 minutes. 

DBT-PE consists of two types of exposure; imaginal and invivo.  During imaginal exposure clients revisit traumatic experiences and describe the traumatic event to the therapist.  Sessions are taped and the client reviews the tape in between sessions.  Imaginal exposure is effective in reducing trauma related symptoms and helps clients gain a new perspective about the traumatic event.  Clients are also asked to use invivo exposure by gradually confronting real life situations they have avoided due to trauma.    Research demonstrates a significant decrease in PTSD within 13-20 sessions. 


AboutDialectical Behavior TherapyDBT-PEContact

Amy J. Hunter, Ed.D., LPC
​Specialty in DBT and DBT-PE