Treating Psychological Trauma and PTSD

Treating Psychological Trauma and PTSD

Treating Psychological Trauma and PTSD

Treating Psychological Trauma and PTSD

Synopsis

This volume presents an innovative psychobiological framework for understanding and treating PTSD. A major emphasis is the need to reformulate diagnostic criteria and treatment goals to reflect emerging knowledge about the complex pathways by which trauma disrupts people's lives. Within a holistic, organismic framework, the editors identify sixty-five PTSD symptoms contained within five (rather than the traditional three) symptom clusters, and spell out eighty target objectives for treatment. Expert contributors then provide detailed presentations of core therapeutic approaches, including acute posttraumatic interventions, cognitive-behavioral approaches, pharmacotherapy, group psychotherapy, and psychodynamic techniques, as well as approaches to working with specific populations, including children, refugees, and the dually diagnosed. The concluding section reviews and synthesizes all case material presented, examining which symptoms are addressed by each of the core approaches, which treatment goals are met, and which clients can most effectively be helped. Combining cutting-edge theoretical exposition with clear-cut recommendations for practice, this is an ideal resource for clinicians, students, and researchers.

Excerpt

This book was born of a collaborative vision to create a reference volume on the treatment approaches for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within a contemporary psychobiological perspective of prolonged stress responses to traumatic events. The collaborative effort between the editors and contributors has been a richly rewarding endeavor. Together, the edi- tors attempted to build a new theoretical scaffold in Part I by which to un- derstand PTSD as an allostatic psychobiological process from which sound principles of clinical treatment could be established. The result of our effort was a holistic, dynamic, organismic approach to the therapeutic techniques for treating PTSD in its simple and complex forms. As a result of the collaboration, we have expanded the diagnostic criteria of PTSD to 65 symptoms within five clusters that define the syndrome dynamics. We have also identified 60 specific treatment objectives for the domain of PTSD symptoms that can be treated by 12 different psychotherapeutic ap- proaches. We believe that the theoretical models, level of specificity of the five domains of PTSD symptoms, and the clearly delineated treatment goals provide practitioners with useful knowledge and tools to assist them in their work with trauma clients. Chapter 3 presents 30 principles for the treatment of PTSD, reflecting the entire spectrum of issues that confront practitioners in the process of posttraumatic therapy. In Chapter 15, we present a meta-analysis of 25 case histories that were provided by the au- thors in their respective chapters. This meta-analysis provides "lessons learned" about each of the treatment approaches and their relative effec- tiveness in treating PTSD. In Chapter 16, we review and summarize each of the treatment modalities and organize them into a set of practical guidelines for the practitioner. As such, this chapter is a straightforward condensation of the treatment methods, goals, and clinical applications to trauma populations. It is our hope that this book will stimulate thoughtful examination of processes of posttraumatic therapies and be of use to clin-

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