Course Description


Dr. Megan McElheran will provide intensive instruction in the use of Prolonged Exposure Therapy for survivors of trauma, covering the basics of all components of PE and how to modify PE procedures in order to tailor the treatment to the client’s response to exposure.   Maintaining focus on treatment of PTSD while maintaining flexibility in following the manual will be emphasized.  The training will use lecture, discussion, videotaped therapy sessions, and participant role plays.

Learning Objectives:

The participants will be able to:

  • Describe the diagnosis and psychopathology of PTSD
  • Discuss emotional processing theory as it relates to Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD
  • Discuss empirically-supported, psychotherapeutic treatments for chronic PTSD and the comparative efficacy of these treatment approaches
  • Explain how clients can be helped to emotionally engage in and process traumatic memories, with the aim of reducing trauma-related symptoms and difficulties
  • Implement psychoeducational treatment components of Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD
  • Construct an in-vivo exposure hierarchy that includes a range of situations that safely and effectively promote learning while expanding the client’s world.
  • Implement in-vivo exposure to safe but avoided trauma reminders with patients
  • Help patients choose an appropriate index trauma to focus on in Prolonged Exposure Therapy for PTSD
  • Conduct imaginal exposure to memories of traumatic events
  • Choose hot spots with patients and implement hot spots procedures
  • Identify and address avoidance in PE sessions
  • Identify and address over- and under-engagement in imaginal exposure

This training qualifies towards Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety certification as a PE therapist for participants who complete the required additional case consultation.  Dr. McElheran can advise on the PE consultation opportunities.

Course Details

Dr. Megan McElheran is a Clinical Psychologist and Executive Director of WGM Psychological Services, practicing in Calgary, AB.  She completed graduate training at the Stanford University clinical psychology consortium, during which she obtained specialized training in the treatment of PTSD through National Center for PTSD in Menlo Park, CA.  She is a certified practitioner in all empirically-supported treatments for PTSD and is one of a handful of Canadian clinicians trained as a trainer in Prolonged Exposure therapy by the Centre for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety. 

Dr. McElheran works with active-duty members of the Canadian Forces, members of the RCMP, Calgary Firefighters Department, medical personnel and others who are directly or vicariously impacted by traumatic events.  She routinely engages in teaching and supervisory activity to ensure sound dissemination of empirically-grounded interventions for trauma.  She is regularly engaged for speaking events, both locally and internationally.


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