Rapid Exposure Supporting Trauma Recovery trial

The Rapid Exposure Supporting Trauma Recovery (RESTORE) trial investigated one of the most effective treatments for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – prolonged exposure. Prolonged exposure therapy is a gold standard evidence-based treatment best described as a type of trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy. The aim of prolonged exposure therapy is to reduce the distress associated with reminders of the traumatic event and improve quality of life.

Prolonged exposure assists patients to:

  • deal with traumatic memories in a gradual, safe and supportive manner - a process known as imaginal exposure
  • gradually and slowly learning to confront the places and activities that are being avoided - a process known as in vivo exposure
  • address unhelpful thoughts and interpretations of the traumatic event, oneself, others and the world - a process known as cognitive therapy
  • prolonged exposure requires weekly treatment for 10 weeks, however this period of time can be difficult for current and ex-serving ADF members. A new intensive form (daily sessions for two weeks) was also tested to determine effectiveness when compared to the standard form (one session a week for 10 weeks).

The trial was conducted from Open Arms (formerly VVCS) offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, and Townsville. It was also conducted at Defence sites HMAS Stirling and the ADF Centre for Mental Health in Sydney.


Rapid Exposure Supporting Trauma Recovery trial summary (2021) (PDF, 930.83 KB)

Rapid Exposure Supporting Trauma Recovery trial report (2021) (PDF, 1.29 MB)


Effect of massed v. standard prolonged exposure therapy on PTSD in military personnel and veterans: a non-inferiority randomised controlled trial – Cambridge University Press