Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) poses significant challenges in mental health treatment. The pursuit of therapies aligned with recent neuroscientific insights has led to the emergence of Deep Brain Reorienting (DBR). DBR is a psychotherapeutic approach grounded in our understanding of brain responses during trauma. Given the limitations of existing treatments, including high dropout rates and incomplete success, DBR represents a potential solution for individuals with PTSD.
A clinical trial investigated the effectiveness of an eight-session clinical trial comparing videoconference-based DBR to a waitlist (WL) control for individuals with PTSD. Fifty-four individuals with PTSD were randomly assigned to either DBR (29 participants) or WL (25 participants). PTSD symptom severity was assessed at baseline, post-treatment, and during a three-month follow-up using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale.
The researchers observed significant differences between the DBR and WL groups in CAPS-total and all subscale scores post-treatment and at three-month follow-up. Within the DBR group, substantial reductions in CAPS scores were noted from pre- to post-treatment (36.6% reduction) and from pre-treatment to the three-month follow-up (48.6% reduction). Conversely, the WL group did not experience significant decreases. Following DBR treatment, 48.3% of participants at post-treatment and 52.0% at the three-month follow-up no longer met PTSD criteria. Attrition was minimal, with only one participant failing to complete treatment and eight participants lost to the three-month follow-up.
These findings present encouraging evidence for the effectiveness and tolerance of DBR as a treatment option for PTSD. DBR's foundation in contemporary neuroscientific theories related to subcortical mechanisms in PTSD suggests promise. Further research, with expanded sample sizes, neuroimaging data, and comparisons to other psychotherapeutic approaches, is warranted to advance our understanding of this innovative therapy.