Early Intervention for Trauma and Traumatic Loss

Overview

Few would dispute the importance of intervening quickly to help people recover in the aftermath of personal or collective tragedies. Communities, organizations, and governmental agencies increasingly fund and mandate early intervention for individuals in their charge, hoping to facilitate healing and reduce the risks for chronic posttraumatic problems. Yet how effective are existing services, and when, how, and with whom should interventions take place? This authoritative volume explores the full range of ...
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Overview

Few would dispute the importance of intervening quickly to help people recover in the aftermath of personal or collective tragedies. Communities, organizations, and governmental agencies increasingly fund and mandate early intervention for individuals in their charge, hoping to facilitate healing and reduce the risks for chronic posttraumatic problems. Yet how effective are existing services, and when, how, and with whom should interventions take place? This authoritative volume explores the full range of conceptual, clinical, and empirical issues surrounding early intervention for trauma survivors across the lifespan. Synthesizing the available knowledge to provide much-needed recommendations for evidence-based practice, the volume also sets forth a critical agenda for future research in the field. Part I lays the groundwork for understanding the psychological demands of trauma and traumatic loss and the epidemiology, course, and predictors of acute stress disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and traumatic grief. A major focus is on ways that emerging knowledge about risk and resilience may be used to direct early intervention resources toward the relatively small percentage of survivors likely to have difficulty recovering on their own.

In Part II, the volume reviews the evidence for early intervention models designed for very young children, older children and adolescents, and adults, differentiating practices that are known to work from those that are unproven or even potentially harmful. Contributors offer guidelines for interventing responsibly where gaps in the knowledge base exist, emphasizing the importance of clinical judgment, and describe the major challenges facing researchers, program developers, and evaluators. Chapters in Part III share the lessons learned from early intervention with specific populations: 9-11 survivors, combat veterans, emergency services personnel, survivors of sexual violence, and others. The first comprehensive analysis of where the field of early intervention is and where it needs to go, this volume belongs on the desks of clinicians and researchers working with trauma survivors; students, interns, and residents across the mental health disciplines; and early intervention planners and policymakers. It is a uniquely informative text for courses in stress and trauma, early intervention, and abnormal psychology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this post-9/11 age, unpredictable, traumatic life events lead to the risk of chronic mental health problems around the world. Dr. Brett Litz has cleverly brought together an outstanding team of trauma experts to explore the efficacy of early intervention strategies in trauma cases. This book stresses the need for timely preparation to meet the challenges of future traumatic events."—Muriel Prince Warren, DSW, ACSW

"Addressing an urgent public health problem, Litz has assembled an outstanding group of seasoned clinicians and investigators to help us understand the process and goals of early intervention following trauma, terrorism, and mass disasters. This book establishes the roadmap for clinicians, researchers, policymakers, and government officials involved in planning mental health responses for the coming decade. Focusing on evidence-based principles, the volume outlines a theoretical model, a sensible strategy for implementation of interventions, and a method to measure their impact. The work of these leaders will shape the nature and scope of future models of mental healthcare for those who survive tragic events."—Terence M. Keane, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, and National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System

"This book is a milestone because there is so little solid empirical data about evidence-based early interventions for survivors of mass casualties and other traumas. It clarifies what little is known, how much we need to learn, and what we need to do to get there. It should be mandatory reading for all who seek to improve early intervention services for acutely traumatized survivors, including emergency personnel, professional care providers, policymakers, advocacy groups, students, and trainees."—Matthew J. Friedman, MD, PhD, National Center for PTSD, VA Medical Center, White River Junction, VT

"A comprehensive book on a topic of critical concern; especially timely given the increase in disasters in the United States and internationally. Would be valuable to service providers from diverse disciplines."—Fariyal Ross-Sheriff, PhD, School of Social Work, Howard University

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Book Reviews
"Rigorous and timely....Litz and his contributors provide a great service to clinicians, researchers, and policy-makers alike."—Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Book Reviews
PsycCRITIQUES
"This book is nicely written and does not waste words. It flows smoothly and can be read straight through or as freestanding chapters....Litz did a praiseworthy job of stitching together the various contributions into a coherent whole that is well worth the read. This book fills an important niche."—PsycCRITIQUES
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Nicholas Greco IV, MS, BCETS, CATSM (Columbia College of Missouri)
Description: This book beautifully discusses the complexity of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the benefits of early intervention for various types of trauma. Beyond the strong empirical literature is also the timely discussion of trauma resulting from terrorism, trauma of emergency personnel, and those in the military.
Purpose: The purpose of this book is to explore the various facets of early intervention for trauma survivors through strong empirical research data, conceptual and clinical issues, as well as recognizing and dispelling misconceived and outdated notions of PTSD. Considering the state of affairs, this book is quite timely and sets forth worthy objectives.
Audience: Mental health professionals who specialize and work with traumatized individuals would find this book of most benefit. Additionally, those in academia, the military, and potentially relief organizations (American Red Cross) would benefit from this book. The contributing authors are well-versed in trauma and are credible members of the mental health field.
Features: The book is quite detailed yet very well organized and discusses the similarities between PTSD, Acute Stress Disorder, and Traumatic Grief. I especially enjoyed the chapter on Acute Stress Disorder as this is an area in need of more research and discussion. This chapter alone would make for an excellent psychopathology class discussion. Early intervention is discussed separately for adults, infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The chapter on September 11 is a definite must-read. Overall, the book is brimming with relevant data and provides a tremendous amount of information.
Assessment: Having read and reviewed a number of books dealing with trauma, few are able to cover so much material and yet maintain the reader's attention and interest. This book achieves just that, capturing the reader's attention and interest while comprehensively addressing a timely and important topic. I strongly recommend this title.

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572309531
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/29/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 325
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Brett T. Litz, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine and the Department of Psychology at Boston University. He is also Associate Director of the Behavioral Sciences Division of the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder at the Boston Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Litz is Principal Investigator on several research studies funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense to explore the efficacy of early intervention strategies in trauma, and he is currently studying adaptation to traumatic loss as a result of 9-11. In addition to conducting research on early intervention for trauma, Dr. Litz studies the mental health adaptation of U.S. military personnel across the lifespan, the assessment and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder, and emotional numbing in trauma.

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Read an Excerpt

Contents
I. Chapter 1. Introduction
Brett T. Litz
I. Predictors and Course of Acute Stress Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Traumatic Grief
Chapter 2. Acute Stress Disorder: Course, Epidemiology, Assessment, and Treatment
Richard A. Bryant
Chapter 3. Risk and Resilience Factors in the Etiology of Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Daniel W. King, Dawne S. Vogt, and Lynda A. King
Chapter 4. Conceptual and Definitional Issues in Complicated Grief
Matt J. Gray, Holly G. Prigerson, and Brett T. Litz
II. Empirical Research on Early Interventions for Trauma and Traumatic Loss
Chapter 5. Early Intervention for Trauma in Adults: A Framework for First Aid and Secondary Prevention
Brett T. Litz and Matt J. Gray
Chapter 6. Early Intervention with Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers
Patricia Van Horn and Alicia F. Lieberman
Chapter 7. Early Mental Health Interventions for Trauma and Traumatic Loss in Children and Adolescents
Judith A. Cohen
Chapter 8. Early Mental Health Interventions for Traumatic Loss in Adults
Beverley Raphael and Sally Wooding
Chapter 9. Methodological and Ethical Issues in Early Intervention Research
Matt J. Gray, Brett T. Litz, and Amy R. Olson
III. Special Topics
Chapter 10. The Professional Response in the Aftermath of September 11, 2001, in New York City: Lessons Learned from Treating Victims of the World Trade Center Attacks
Yuval Neria, Eun Jung Suh, and Randall D. Marshall
Chapter 11. Sexual Trauma: Impact and Recovery
Sheila A. M. Rauch and Edna B. Foa
Chapter 12. When the Helpers Need Help: Early Intervention for Emergency and Relief Services Personnel
Cynthia B. Eriksson, David W. Foy, and Linnea C. Larson
Chapter 13. Evaluating and Treating Injured Trauma Survivors in Trauma Care Systems
Douglas Zatzick and Amy Wagner
Chapter 14. Early Intervention for Psychological Consequences of Personal Injury Motor Vehicle Accidents
Edward B. Blanchard, Edward J. Hickling, Eric Kuhn, and John Broderick
Chapter 15. The Challenge of Providing Mental Health Prevention and Early Intervention in the U.S. Military
Carl Andrew Castro, Charles C. Engel, Jr., and Amy B. Adler
Chapter 16. Closing Remarks
Brett T. Litz
Index
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction, Litz

I. Predictors and Course of Acute Stress Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, and Traumatic Grief

2. Acute Stress Disorder: Course, Epidemiology, Assessment, and Treatment, Bryant

3. Risk and Resilience Factors in the Etiology of Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, D. W. King, Vogt and L. A. King

4. Conceptual and Definitional Issues in Complicated Grief, Gray, Prigerson, and Litz

II. Empirical Research on Early Interventions for Trauma and Traumatic Loss

5. Early Intervention for Trauma in Adults: A Framework for First Aid and Secondary Prevention, Litz and Gray

6. Early Intervention with Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers, Van Horn and Lieberman

7. Early Mental Health Interventions for Trauma and Traumatic Loss in Children and Adolescents, Cohen

8. Early Mental Health Interventions for Traumatic Loss in Adults, Raphael and Wooding

9. Methodological and Ethical Issues in Early Intervention Research, Gray, Litz, and Olson

III. Special Topics

10. The Professional Response to the Aftermath of September 11, 2001, in New York City: Lessons Learned from Treating Victims of the World Trade Center Attacks, Neria, Suh, and Marshall

11. Sexual Trauma: Impact and Recovery, Rauch and Foa

12. When the Helpers Need Help: Early Intervention for Emergency and Relief Services Personnel, Eriksson, Foy, and Larson

13. Evaluating and Treating Injured Trauma Survivors in Trauma Care Systems, Zatzick and Wagner

14. Early Intervention for Psychological Consequences of Personal Injury Motor Vehicle Accidents, Blanchard, Hickling, Kuhn, and Broderick

15. The Challenge of Providing Mental Health Prevention and Early Intervention in the U.S. Military, Castro, Engel, and Adler

16. Closing Remarks, Litz

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