The treatment of PTSD in an older adult Norwegian woman using narrative exposure therapy: a case report
The bulk of the literature on effective treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has focused on children, adolescents, and young adults. The evidence on treatments for older adults is sparse. This case report presents the application of narrative exposure therapy (NET) for a 70-year-old Norwegian woman suffering from PTSD as a result of multiple childhood and late life traumatic events. NET is a manualized, short-term, cognitive-behavioural therapy for PTSD, originally developed to meet the needs of survivors of war and organized violence. Some aspects of NET may be a good fit for older adults, including its brevity, simplicity, and concrete nature. The course of therapy included psychoeducation, a lifeline exercise, imaginal exposure, and the creation of a coherent narrative. Symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress showed improvement over the course of therapy and at follow-up. This suggests that NET may have potential as a trauma treatment for older adults.