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This study examined the potential contributions of individual treatment components within one inpatient posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD) program. Fifteen treatment components were assessed by a self-report instrument administered to a cohort of veterans just before and immediately after each session approximately halfway through the program. Components with an external focus, action modality, and, secondarily, little Vietnam content were associated with more improvement than components with an internal focus, verbal modality, or high Vietnam content. Improvement was greatest in veterans with fewer PTSD symptoms. Short-term improvement was not correlated with veterans' ratings at discharge of component effectiveness. These results were later confirmed on a second cohort. This study supports the potential roles of distraction and physical release, as opposed to exploratory verbal discussion, in the treatment of chronic combat-related PTSD.