Study Compares Two Types of Couples Retreats for PTSD, RelationshipsClinical trial evaluates a novel, multi-couple, group therapy versus an established relationship education program
A pilot study by our group showed benefits of delivering an evidence-based treatment called Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy (CBCT) for PTSD in the condensed format of a multi-couple, group-style, two-day retreat. This novel, retreat format for therapy delivery overcame many of the logistical barriers of the traditional 15-session, months-long treatment; it also captured a majority of its benefits for reducing PTSD and co-occurring symptoms and improving relationship satisfaction.
Now the STRONG STAR Consortium based at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is running a large-scale, randomized clinical trial to evaluate this format as a stand-alone treatment.
The trial will compare the multi-couple, retreat-style CBCT to the Prevention and Relationship Education Program (PREP). PREP is a well-established, group-based, relationship education program that also involves couples going away together to work on their relationship, and research has shown it to enhance couples’ psychological and relational well-being. It has been adapted for military couples and disseminated in a weekend workshop format through the Army Chaplain Corps.
We are currently recruiting military and veteran couples for this trial, with retreats to be held in-person at a hotel in San Antonio, Texas. There is no charge for the retreats, and food and lodging will be provided.
-- A military service member or veteran who is married or in a serious relationship?
-- Troubled by traumatic memories, nightmares, or flashbacks?
-- Experiencing mood swings, irritability, a need to be always alert, or sleep difficulties?
-- Avoiding things that remind you of your trauma?
-- Able to get away for two days with your partner to focus on treatment?