Learning from each other: Comparison of Three Effective Interventions for PTSD (CBT, EMDR & IPT)

About this course

This one day conference will provide an opportunity for cross modality discussion about evidence- based psychotherapy approaches for PTSD in adults and the role of exposure in three approaches: EMDR, IPT and Trauma Focused CBT.

Three experts will present the current state of the evidence for their intervention and discuss possible mechanisms of change. Augmenting this will be presentations from three experts by experience (also known as service users) who will describe their experience of the intervention. The experts will then discuss a hypothetical case example to dissect the differences and similarities of the three approaches. Attendees will be invited and encouraged to join the discussion on how to make evidence based decisions in the treatments they offer.   


Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) for PTSD: John Markowitz, M.D. 

This presentation will discuss the adaptation of Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), a non-exposure therapy, to the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).The treatment of PTSD has been dominated by the theory of fear extinction and the protocol of exposing patients to reminders of their traumas. Exposure-based treatments work, but like all treatments they have limitations: not all patients benefit, and some refuse the grueling task of facing their worst fears. IPT, an affect- and interpersonally-based treatment, has demonstrated efficacy in mood and eating disorders. Eschewing exposure techniques, we adapted IPT to treat PTSD and tested it, first in an open trial and then, in comparison to Prolonged Exposure and to Relaxation Therapy in a 14 week randomized controlled trial of 110 unmediated patients with chronic DSM-IV PTSD. Our study found IPT equivalent to Prolonged Exposure overall, with advantages in treating the half of the sample of patients who had comorbid major depression disorder. Moreover, patients preferred IPT to the better tested exposure therapy.

TF-CBT for PTSD: Nick Grey

Guidelines from around the world for the treatment of PTSD in adults recommend trauma-focused CBT as a first line treatment. There are a number of ‘brands’ of TF-CBT including Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Cognitive Therapy for PTSD. This talk summarises the approaches used in Cognitive Therapy for PTSD, the treatment based on Ehlers and Clark’s (2000) cognitive model for PTSD. The treatment focuses in three key areas: addressing the nature of the trauma memory; tackling negative appraisals and meanings; and developing more helpful coping strategies, overcoming avoidance. The memory-focused techniques include reliving/exposure, written narratives, stimulus discrimination, and site visits. The talk will also examine evidence on the mechanisms of change across TF-CBTs and commonalties and differences between treatments.

EMDR for PTSD: Maeve Crowley

EMDR is a recommended treatment for PTSD across the world. The talk will explore the many influences on the development of EMDR, the Adaptive Information Processing model as defined by Francine Shapiro , an outline of the 8 Phase model, new developments in the use of EMDR with Complex PTSD with clinical examples and an exploration of the mechanism of action.

Who is this conference suitable for? 

The day will be of interest to clinicians and researchers, from all training backgrounds, working with PTSD. 

Aims of the conference? 

  • Provide an up to date overview of research evidence for EMDR, IPT and TF CBT for PTSD
  • Provide the views of service users who have experience of these treatment approaches
  • Provide an opportunity for discussion and debate about mechanism of change in different effective approaches to PTSD


This one-day conference will be followed by a two-day training in IPT for PTSD (Thursday, 25th - Friday, 26th February 2016) which will be led by John Markowitz. 

For more information or to book a place, please visit: IPT for PTSD