Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Gosselin, Anik, Canadian Psychology
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, edited by Dan J. Stein, Matthew J.
Friedman, and Carlos Blanco. Chichester, West Sussex, England: Wiley, 2011, 304 Pages (ISBN 978-1-4443-3328-2,
Reviewed by ANIK GOSSEUN
Research on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has revealed much in recent decades about the kind of trauma typically associated with PTSD; about the natural course of symptoms in response to traumas; about optimal ways to evaluate and measure symptoms; and about the best pharmacological, psychotherapeutic, and community approaches to the prevention and management of PTSD. For these reasons, the authors state that their targeted audience is quite wide and not limited solely to specialists in the field.
The authors identified that specifically (a) the book aims at reviewing the many recent advances in empirical work on PTSD, (b) it attempts to negotiate a middle path through the multiple theoretical controversies, and (c) its goal is to provide clinicians and policymakers with a practical approach to clinical and community interventions.
The book contains six chapters. It is interesting to note that each chapter is organized such that the first part reviews the literature on the specific area targeted, followed by a Commentaries section that includes three to four subsections discussing a more specific aspect of the given chapter and providing additional evidence on a given controversial topic. For example, Chapter 1 offers an excellent description of the PTSD diagnosis and related disorders, covering the recent findings and guiding the reader to understand how the future Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-V) diagnostic criteria will change based on research findings. The subsection 1.1 commentaries pertain to the controversial difference between core features of PTSD and comprehensiveness; subsection 1.2 discusses trauma-related disorders in clinical and legal settings, whereas subsection 1.3 discusses the conundrums and potential risks in redefining PTSD in the DSM-V. It is a very original way of organizing the book, and it keeps the reader interested. …