International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 15 Num. 1 - March 2015


Using Prolonged Exposure Therapy to Treat a Latina Female with a Complex Trauma History

Volume 15 Num. 1 - March 2015 - Pages 143-153


Lorraine T. Benuto , Natalie Bennett ,


Hispanics experience more severe and higher rates of PTSD than other ethnic groups. Despite the higher prevalence and more severe symptom presentation, few researchers have focused on the treatment of PTSD with Hispanics despite that the manner in which the disorder manifests may be related to ethnicity. We present the case of a 31 year-old Hispanic female who presented with PTSD. Prolonged Exposure (PE) Therapy was used to successfully treat the client. A number of factors were considered over the course of treatment including language, relevant Hispanic cultural factors, and the client’s undocumented status. From this case study we can deduce that 1) PE can be effectively used with Hispanics; 2) treatment should be provided in the client’s preferred language; 3) assessment should integrate cultural considerations; and 4) factors or characteristics that are related to culture may surface and the clinician should address these factors or characteristics as needed.

Key words:

PTSD, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Hispanics, Latinos, Cultural Sensitivity

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