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Transcendental Meditation vs Present Centered Therapy for PTSD

Led By Yuval Neria, PhD
Research Sponsored by Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc.
Eligibility Criteria Checklist
Specific guidelines that determine who can or cannot participate in a clinical trial
Must have
Be older than 18 years old
Screening 3 weeks
Treatment Varies
Follow Up baseline, at 6 weeks, post-treatment: approximately 3 months and 6 months from intake
Awards & highlights


This trial is researching two treatments for PTSD in veterans and first responders: Transcendental Meditation and Present Centered Therapy. It will last 3 years and include assessments & MRI scans.

Who is the study for?
This trial is for right-handed veterans and first responders aged 18-80 with PTSD, who can consent and are English literate. They must have a CAPS-5 score ≥ 25 and symptoms for at least 3 months. Exclusions include severe substance use disorders (except nicotine), unstable medical conditions, certain metal implants, claustrophobia in MRI scanners, recent psychiatric hospitalization or medication changes, pregnancy/breastfeeding women, current psychotherapy or meditation therapy users.Check my eligibility
What is being tested?
The study compares Transcendental Meditation (TM) with Present Centered Therapy (PCT) in treating PTSD. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of the treatments and assessed five times over six months via videoconferencing. The New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia protocol includes pre-and post-treatment MRIs to study brain changes.See study design
What are the potential side effects?
While not explicitly stated for this trial, common side effects from meditation practices like TM may include discomfort during practice or increased awareness of negative feelings. PCT generally has minimal side effects but could potentially cause distress when discussing traumatic events.


Screening ~ 3 weeks
Treatment ~ Varies
Follow Up ~baseline, at 6 weeks, post-treatment: approximately 3 months and 6 months from intake
This trial's timeline: 3 weeks for screening, Varies for treatment, and baseline, at 6 weeks, post-treatment: approximately 3 months and 6 months from intake for reporting.

Treatment Details

Study Objectives

Outcome measures can provide a clearer picture of what you can expect from a treatment.
Primary outcome measures
Change in PTSD symptoms over time
Secondary outcome measures
Change in depressive symptoms over time

Trial Design

2Treatment groups
Active Control
Group I: Present Centered Therapy (PCT):Active Control1 Intervention
PCT is a focused time-limited treatment for PTSD that focuses on increasing adaptive responses to current life stressors and difficulties that are directly or indirectly related to trauma or PTSD symptoms. PCT was originally designed as a treatment comparator in trials evaluating the effectiveness of trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapies such as PE and CPT. Several clinical trials have indicated that PCT may be an effective treatment option for PTSD and that patients may drop out of PCT at lower rates relative to trauma focused forms of CBT.
Group II: Transcendental Meditation (TM):Active Control1 Intervention
TM treatment for PTSD is designed to reduce stress, facilitate deep rest, and increase well-being. It was originally conceptualized as an effortless technique to enable physical relaxation. The treatment will be delivered by experienced, certified TM instructors receiving weekly supervision.

Research Highlights

Information in this section is not a recommendation. We encourage patients to speak with their healthcare team when evaluating any treatment decision.
Mechanism Of Action
Side Effect Profile
Prior Approvals
Other Research
Common treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) include meditation and mindfulness-based therapies, such as Transcendental Meditation (TM), which focus on stress reduction and emotional regulation. These therapies work by promoting a state of relaxation and reducing the arousal of the sympathetic nervous system, thereby helping patients manage intrusive thoughts and emotional distress. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy are also widely used; they help patients reframe negative thought patterns and gradually confront traumatic memories in a controlled environment. These mechanisms are vital for PTSD patients as they address the core symptoms of hyperarousal, intrusive memories, and emotional dysregulation, ultimately improving their quality of life.
Non-trauma-focused meditation versus exposure therapy in veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder: a randomised controlled trial.The Effectiveness of Mindfulness Training in Improving the Quality of Life of the War Victims with Post Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Find a Location

Who is running the clinical trial?

Mount Sinai Hospital, New YorkOTHER
34 Previous Clinical Trials
891,238 Total Patients Enrolled
David Lynch FoundationOTHER
3 Previous Clinical Trials
580 Total Patients Enrolled
Stanford UniversityOTHER
2,411 Previous Clinical Trials
17,462,579 Total Patients Enrolled

Media Library

Present Centered Therapy (PCT) Clinical Trial Eligibility Overview. Trial Name: NCT05645042 — N/A
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Research Study Groups: Present Centered Therapy (PCT):, Transcendental Meditation (TM):
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinical Trial 2023: Present Centered Therapy (PCT) Highlights & Side Effects. Trial Name: NCT05645042 — N/A
Present Centered Therapy (PCT) 2023 Treatment Timeline for Medical Study. Trial Name: NCT05645042 — N/A
~170 spots leftby Dec 2025