To the Editor: The report by Weaver and colleagues (1) in the July issue on the use of the manualized treatment protocol, Seeking Safety, with men is excellent. It is a wonderful example of a thoughtful analysis blended with a solid empirical evaluation. However, one correction should be noted: the published manual (2) was actually designed for both genders. Although the first empirical paper on the model, published in 1998 (3), focused on its development for women, in subsequent years the draft manual was rewritten, and the final published version was designed for both genders. Also, two studies describing its successful use with men have been published (4,5).
Both men and women are subject to the tragic combination of posttraumatic stress disorder and substance abuse. The work of Weaver and colleagues and others is important because it offers empirical support to help guide treatment. It is also helpful in correcting the misperception that the model is for women only.
Dr. Najavits is professor of psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, and staff psychologist, National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System
1.Weaver CM, Trafton JA, Walser RD, et al: Pilot test of Seeking Safety treatment with male veterans. Psychiatric Services 58:1012—1013, 20072.Najavits LM: Seeking Safety: A Treatment Manual for PTSD and Substance Abuse. New York, Guilford, 20023.Najavits LM, Weiss RD, Shaw SR, et al: "Seeking Safety": outcome of a new cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy for women with posttraumatic stress disorder and substance dependence. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 11, 437—456, 19984.Cook JM, Walser RD, Kane V, et al: Dissemination and feasibility of a cognitive-behavioral treatment for substance use disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder in the Veterans Administration. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 38:89—92, 20065.Najavits LM, Schmitz M, Gotthardt S, et al: Seeking Safety plus exposure therapy: an outcome study of dual diagnosis men. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 37:425—435, 2005