Over the past two decades there have been many important advances in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Psychosocial treatments, particularly behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapy, are among the most effective interventions. Although these treatments are useful, they are not universally efficacious. Some PTSD patients find these treatments to be too distressing to tolerate. Some endure treatment but fail to benefit, and some show only a partial or incomplete response. Thus, it is important to discover ways of improving treatment tolerability and outcome. Another important issue concerns the breadth of treatment effects. Are behavioral and cognitive-behavioral therapies sufficiently broad in their effects on trauma-related psychopathology and related factors? PTSD is commonly comorbid with various clinical problems, including co-occurring mental disorders and such psychosocial problems as poor quality of life. Therefore it is important to consider whether our treatments are addressing all the important trauma-related problems in people suffering from PTSD. This book strives to address these issues.
This book grew from a special issue for the Journal of Cognitive Psychother apy, titled [Current Directions in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.] Given the clinical importance of PTSD, the journal editor, Robert L. Leahy, suggested that it would be useful to expand the special issue into an edited book by adding additional papers and by expanding existing ones. The appeal of such a book is that it would provide practitioners with a single volume that describes many of the latest advances and new directions in treating PTSD. This is what we have attempted to do. Although a single volume does not provide enough space to discuss every new development in treating PTSD, we have nevertheless sought to address many of the most promising and exciting advances in treating this common, costly, and often chronic disorder. We hope that this volume will not only be a useful resource to practicing clinicians and trainees, but also to clinical investigators actively engaged in research into the treatment of PTSD. To this end it is noteworthy that the people contributing chapters are scientist-practitioners; all are clinicians who both study and treat PTSD. As a result, the contributors to this volume seek to blend science and practice.