Prolonged exposure versus dynamic therapy for adolescent PTSD: A pilot randomized controlled trial

Eva Gilboa-Schechtman, Edna B. Foa, Naama Shafran, Idan M. Aderka, Mark B. Powers, Lilach Rachamim, Lea Rosenbach, Elna Yadin, Alan Apter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To examine the efficacy and maintenance of developmentally adapted prolonged exposure therapy for adolescents (PE-A) compared with active control time-limited dynamic therapy (TLDP-A) for decreasing posttraumatic and depressive symptoms in adolescent victims of single-event traumas. Method Thirty-eight adolescents (12 to 18 years old) were randomly assigned to receive PE-A or TLDP-A. Results Both treatments resulted in decreased posttraumatic stress disorder and depression and increased functioning. PE-A exhibited a greater decrease of posttraumatic stress disorder and depression symptom severity and a greater increase in global functioning than did TDLP-A. After treatment, 68.4% of adolescents beginning treatment with PE-A and 36.8% of those beginning treatment with TLDP-A no longer met diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder. Treatment gains were maintained at 6- and 17-month follow-ups. Conclusions Brief individual therapy is effective in decreasing posttraumatic distress and behavioral trauma-focused components enhance efficacy. Clinical trial registry information Prolonged Exposure Therapy Versus Active Psychotherapy in Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Adolescents, URL:, unique identifier: NCT00183690.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1034-1042
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by grant NIMH R34 MH71660-01 awarded to Dr. Gilboa-Schechtman.


  • adolescence
  • cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • dynamic therapy
  • posttraumatic stress disorder
  • treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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