Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety

subpage feature

Provider Certification

Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) for PTSD

Coordinator: 

Sandy Capaldi, Psy.D.
Clinical Faculty; Practicum & Workshop Coordinator 
sandraca@mail.med.upenn.edu

 

Certification:

After completion of our 4-day Intensive Workshop in Prolonged Exposure Therapy, the CTSA offers a training program that leads to certification as a PE provider.

 

Benefits of the provider certification program:

  • Receive a formal certificate signed by Dr. Foa
  • Increase in competence and mastery of delivering PE to treat PTSD.
  • Certification in a treatment used throughout the world, with PE being the most extensively studied psychotherapy for PTSD.
  • Confidence in your skills and ability to deliver PE, which is highly effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD, depression, anger, and anxiety in trauma survivors.
  • The knowledge and experience to successfully treat individuals with PTSD resulting from a variety of traumas including rape, violent physical assault, childhood sexual abuse, terrorist attacks, combat, motor vehicle accidents and disasters.
  • Inclusion in our PE provider referral database, which will help to increase availability of evidence based psychotherapy for PTSD as well as result in referrals to your agency/practice.

 

Certification Process

After completing the 4 day Intensive Workshop in Prolonged Exposure Therapy, therapists will receive one-on-one consultation for 2 PE therapy cases. The cases should be completed in a linear fashion (i.e. completing the first case before starting the second), although some overlap is acceptable if the consultant and therapist deem appropriate.

 

The one-on-one consultation includes:

1.  Up to three 30-minute pre-PE consultation session via telephone or Skype for each PE case in order to determine appropriateness for treatment and prepare for PE Session 1.

 

2.  Consultant review of an average of 30 minutes of video recording for each PE session prior to the next session.

Note: 

This will require the therapist to videotape each session in its entirety and get it to the consultant in a timely fashion. We have found that the use of electronic media sharing sites, such as Dropbox, are most helpful in expediting review of sessions, but use of UPS or FedEx overnight services are acceptable.

Consultants will review the following portions of video, although more difficult cases may require more in-depth review.

  • Session 1:  Overall rationale, section of Standardized Trauma Interview where the beginning and end points of the index trauma are agreed upon (~30 minutes)
  • Session 2:  Rationale for in-vivo exposure, developing hierarchy, giving homework assignment (~40 minutes)
  • Session 3:  Rationale for imaginal exposure, instructions and first 10 minutes of imaginal, last 10 minutes of imaginal, 10 minutes of processing (~55 minutes)
  • First Hotspots session: Introduction to hotspots procedure, at least 10 minutes of imaginal exposure, at least 10 minutes of processing (~25 minutes)
  • All other sessions before final session:  at least 10 minutes of imaginal exposure, at least 10 minutes of processing (~20 minutes)
  • Last session:  10 minutes of imaginal exposure, discussion of what helped and what did not help, re-rating of in vivo hierarchy (~30 minutes)

 

3.  Thirty minute individual consultation sessions via telephone or Skype for each PE session prior to the next session, in which the consultant’s review of the session is discussed, therapist questions are answered, and the therapist is prepared for the next session.

Note: 

The number of sessions required for each particular patient will vary, but it is estimated that treatment will take approximately 10-15 sessions.

 

4.  Upon successful completion of 2 full PE cases, the consultant will recommend the therapist for certification as a PE therapist. Once the consultant recommends the therapist for certification, the CTSA will issue a certificate of “PE Therapist," signed by Dr. Foa.

Note:  

“Successful completion” of cases is at the discretion of the consultant. At times, a third PE case may be recommended in order to ensure mastery of skills. In general, full cases are considered to consist of at least 7 sessions with the same patient, in which the session protocols are followed, even if a patient terminates treatment prematurely. It is preferable, however, to have 2 cases in which treatment is mutually terminated and a final session is conducted.

 

Certification Costs

 

The total cost of certification will vary, depending on the number of consultation and therapy sessions required for each patient. The cost of consultation services is $185 per hour.

 

Sample certification cost:  Therapist A

 

Description

Time

Cost

Patient 1

1 pre-PE consultation session

30 minutes

$92.50

 

30 minute review of each of 10 PE sessions

5 hours

(30 minutes x 10 sessions)

$925

 

30 minute consultation sessions for 10 PE sessions

5 hours

(30 minutes x 10 sessions)

$925

Patient 2

1 pre-PE consultation session

30 minutes

$92.50

 

30 minute review of each of 10 PE sessions

5 hours

(30 minutes x 10 sessions)

$925

 

30 minute consultation sessions for 10 PE sessions

5 hours

(30 minutes x 10 sessions)

$925

Total Cost

 

 

$3885

 

Sample certification cost:  Therapist B

 

Description

Time

Cost

Patient 1

3 pre-PE consultation session

1.5 hours

(30 minutes x 3 sessions)

$277.50

 

30 minute review of each of 15 PE sessions

7.5 hours

(30 minutes x 15 sessions)

$1387.50

 

30 minute consultation sessions for 15 PE sessions

7.5 hours

(30 minutes x 15 sessions)

$1387.50

Patient 2

3 pre-PE consultation session

1.5 hours

(30 minutes x 3 sessions)

$277.50

 

30 minute review of each of 15 PE sessions

7.5 hours

(30 minutes x 15 sessions)

$1387.50

 

30 minute consultation sessions for 15 PE sessions

7.5 hours

(30 minutes x 15 sessions)

$1387.50

Total Cost

 

 

$6105

 

Note: 

For groups of 6 therapists or more from the same agency, consultation packages are available. Contact Dr. Sandy Capaldi at sandraca@mail.med.upenn.edu for more information.