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Are Cognitive Techniques and Interventions Necessary? A Case for the Utility of Cognitive Approaches in the Treatment of PTSD


Address correspondence to Christina M. Hassija, Department of Psychology, University of Wyoming, 1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071. E-mail:


[Clin Psychol Sci Prac 17: 112–127, 2010]

In a recent review, Longmore and Worrell (2007) concluded that interventions comprised of cognitive and behavioral techniques are no more effective than those relying exclusively on behavioral techniques, and thus cognitive techniques are unnecessary. This conclusion may be premature, as studies reviewed evaluated the additive impact of cognitive techniques as opposed to the relative efficacy of cognitive and behavioral treatment approaches. Further, it is unknown whether certain symptom domains are more readily addressed using cognitive approaches. Empirical findings regarding these issues have been mixed. The present review examines the utility of cognitive restructuring for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder. Methodological flaws that may have impacted the results of studies examining this issue, directions for future research, and treatment implications are presented.