Coping with Unwanted Thoughts: RESET for Active Duty Soldiers - PTSD: National Center for PTSD
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Coping with Unwanted Thoughts: RESET for Active Duty Soldiers

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Coping with Unwanted Thoughts: RESET for Active Duty Soldiers

After a traumatic event, like combat, it is common to have unwanted thoughts or memories about what happened. These are called intrusive thoughts. Because these thoughts can happen at any time and can be upsetting, they can affect daily life. Learning to manage unwanted or intrusive thoughts can improve overall well-being.

What Is RESET Training?

RESET is a one-hour video training that aims to help Soldiers cope with intrusive thoughts following deployment. The approach RESET uses focuses on teaching the most effective strategies to manage unwanted thoughts.

Topics include:

  • Remember it is normal to have intrusive or unwanted thoughts.
  • Ease up on control, it doesn't always work well with thoughts.
  • See and accept your thoughts: You are more than just your thoughts.
  • Experience thoughts as they happen: Don't judge them.
  • Train your skills: Practice is important!


Watch the RESET Training Video

To begin, watch the video to understand more about how RESET can help you with your unwanted thoughts. When you are done, you can listen to the audio links below to review topics you are most interested in.

Practice what you've learned

The short audio exercises below will help you to practice the skills you learned in the RESET training. During the RESET training, we focused on strategies for managing your unwanted thoughts of deployment. However, the kinds of skills we presented can be used with lots of different types of thoughts, both pleasant and unpleasant. Use these exercises however you like. You may want to apply them when you're having unwanted thoughts of deployment, or you may want to use them for other types of thoughts.

Additional Information

This video was a joint effort by the National Center for PTSD and the Department of Defense. While this training is geared toward Soldiers who have returned from deployment, the skills taught in this training may be useful to a wide range of people, including those who have experienced other kinds of traumatic events.


  1. Shipherd, J. C., Salters-Pedneault, K., & Fordiani, J. (2016). Evaluating postdeployment training for coping with intrusive cognition: A comparison of training approaches. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 84, 960-971. doi:10.1037/ccp0000136
  2. Shipherd, J.C., Salters-Pedneault, K., & Matza, A. (2016). Intrusive cognitive content and post-deployment distress. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 29, 301-308. doi:10.1002/jts.22113
  3. Shipherd, J.C. & Salters-Pedneault, K (2018). Do acceptance and mindfulness moderate the relationship between maladaptive beliefs and posttraumatic distress? Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy, 10, 95-102. doi:10.1037/tra0000248

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