Written Exposure Therapy (WET) is one of the most promising new therapies for PTSD. It is designed to overcome the main barriers to accessing trauma therapy: it is quick (5 sessions), affordable, it can be done anywhere, it has a low dropout rate, and a clinical trial shows WET is as effective as traditional talk therapy in relieving the debilitating symptoms of trauma and PTSD. WET was developed by Denise M. Sloan and Brian P. Marx. The clinician’s WET manual published by the American Psychological Association can be found here: https://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4317524
Life in college can be stressful. In fact, 67-84% of students reported experiencing a traumatic event in their lives. 6-17% of those people experience symptoms of PTSD. These symptoms can make school even more stressful. Therapy is a time commitment, and having to balance school, work, and other extracurriculars can create a schedule that is unpredictable. How many people do YOU know who are available during work hours for an hour every week? Looking at the schedule posted by the school might seem light at first. Then everything else has to fit in those gaps somehow. It doesn’t help that most positions require time slots between 9-5.
“Stress is not what happens to us. It is our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose.” – Maureen Killoran
And now we also have a pandemic going in…
It may be significant that mental health becomes a campus-wide priority during the current pandemic. Lots of schools are still closing and plan to be shut down for the entire year due to the spread of COVID-19. Plenty of students are currently struggling to go if they need mental health services right away when they are off-campus. Even the ones that do exist, like telehealth, feel impersonal and distant. College students’ daily lives have been reshaped with necessary impositions of social distancing, self-isolation, and taking online courses.
Stress and PTSD increases
Quarantine has opened up more opportunities to encounter stress. Especially the emotional and physical stress that comes with a pandemic! Venting to friends through zoom or facetime calls just doesn’t feel the same. The frustrations that come with isolation might be harder to deal with symptoms of PTSD. It might be harder to avoid triggers when you are restricted to certain spaces and activities. Remember to take care of yourself during these stressful times, and to prioritize your mental and physical health!
Written Exposure Therapy can help!
Exposure therapy is creating a safe environment where an individual can face the object or thought they fear and through repeated exposure, can eventually learn that this object or thought is harmless. Written Exposure Therapy stems from this method and is a very accessible form of treatment. By writing the thoughts that an individual experiences when they are around or thinking of the feared stimulus, this is essentially the same as practicing exposure. Following a routine schedule of writing for 30 minutes each day, many people have found relief through implementing Written Exposure Therapy.
After trauma strikes, survivors often hear, “go get therapy!” But when they try, they’re put on a waiting list for weeks, months or even years. What can you do if you’re stuck on a long waiting list for trauma therapy, and can’t afford private PTSD treatments?
We developed Detrauma to make a highly-effective trauma therapy accessible to everyone who needs it. The five, 30-minute writing sessions help you tackle the traumatic memories that may be the root-cause of your distress.
Clinical studies show that Detrauma’s writing exercises relieve PTSD symptoms and are just as effective as face-to-face trauma-focused therapy. It’s affordable, private, and you can finish it in five days or five weeks. It won’t jeopardize your position on the therapy waiting list, and you can even bring your writing to your first therapy session to give your treatment a flying start. In the meantime, you can start healing and enjoying life again.
This combination of delivering users real relief from PTSD while being so easily accessible is why we think WET is a game-changer for trauma treatment. Detrauma’s mobile app puts WET’s five writing exercises into users’ own hands so they can tackle their trauma at home.
Written Exposure Therapy is fast
WET is quite simply five, 30-minute writing sessions. With a little extra set-up time for the first session, the entire process adds up to just three hours. There is no homework between sessions, and no talk therapy involved. Most PTSD therapy methods require twelve 60 to 90 minute sessions. That’s 12 to 18 hours of therapy, plus weekly homework. WET takes a fraction of the hours.
Psychotherapists typically schedule their clients weekly, meaning that twelve PE or CPT sessions would take three months, and WET would take five weeks. More frequent sessions result in substantially greater PTSD symptom reduction. This means that in just five days, clients can achieve real relief from PTSD symptoms with daily writing sessions like Detrauma.
Written Exposure Therapy is affordable
Psychotherapists charge around $200 per hour. Twelve, 90-minute sessions for a recommended treatment like Prolonged Exposure (PE) or CPT can therefore cost $3,600. This price point puts PTSD treatment out of reach for huge numbers of people.
Totaling just three hours of treatment, WET would cost around $600 to complete all sessions with a psychotherapist. That’s just 1/6th of the cost of PE or CPT.
Detrauma has digitized the therapist’s role in WET, rolling the writing instructions, assessments and feedback into a privacy-conscious mobile app. The user can self-administer the entire program. Digitization brings the price down under $10, making trauma relief available to everyone who needs it.
Written Exposure Therapy is accessible
Most PTSD treatments are not only expensive and time-consuming for clients, but also for psychologists. It can take months and significant financial resources for a psychologist to train and get certified in an evidence-based treatment like PE or CPT. So while these methods are highly recommended by the VA/DoD, only a small minority of psychologists use them to treat PTSD. Someone suffering from PTSD may want an evidence-based treatment like PE or CPT, but they may struggle to find someone to provide it to them.
WET overcomes these key barriers of availability, cost and time. Narrative writing treatments can be effectively delivered by laypersons, volunteers, and health care workers like nurses, and over the internet. WET’s instructions and process are easy to follow and use, both for the provider and the client. And WET is non-proprietary, so the writing exercises are even available in Detrauma’s mobile app.
Written Exposure Therapy is easy
WET is easy to follow and to finish, for people with diverse backgrounds, educations and traumas. Crucially, the dropout rate for WET is very low, probably because clients see positive improvements in their symptoms quickly, with so little time and effort invested. In one clinical trial, only 6% of WET participants dropped out of treatment compared to 39% of CPT participants.
Detrauma makes written exposure even easier by putting all five writing exercises into your hands on your mobile phone.
Written Exposure Therapy is effective
Developed and clinically validated by Dr. Denise M. Sloan and Dr. Brian P. Marx, two leading authorities at the National Center for PTSD, WET makes highly effective PTSD treatment accessible to anyone who needs it.
People who complete WET’s five 30-minute writing sessions see long-lasting, clinically significant and substantial reductions in their PTSD symptoms. All 20 WET participants in a 2012 clinical study achieved relief from their PTSD symptoms and reversed their PTSD diagnoses. As the results show below, their relief was long-lasting, persisting through the six-month study period.
Tackle PTSD with Detrauma
Detrauma is a new mobile app that puts Written Exposure’s five writing exercises, assessments and feedback into your own hands. Detrauma collects zero data from users, so it’s 100% private. It has no ads, no in-app purchases, and no subscription.