Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders (Adults): An Evidence-Based Guide

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Overview

Combining scientific and clinical perspectives, this volume brings together leading authorities on complex traumatic stress and its treatment in adults. Contributors review the research that supports the conceptualization of complex traumatic stress as distinct from PTSD. They explore the pathways by which chronic trauma can affect psychological development, attachment security, and adult relationships. Chapters describe evidence-based assessment tools and an array of treatment models for individuals, couples, families, and groups.

See also Drs. Courtois and Ford's authored book, Treatment of Complex Trauma, which presents their own therapeutic approach for adult clients in depth, and their edited volume Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders in Children and Adolescents.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy
"This book is likely to appeal to clinicians who are eager to learn more about the area of complex traumatic stress and novel approaches to treating associated problems. The text is well-written and organized, making it easy to follow."—Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy
Clinical Social Work Journal
"Will surely become a classic textbook on complex traumatic stress. This book is appropriate for students, clinicians, and academics alike. Because the concept of complex trauma is still evolving, this text can educate and inform students in training as well as seasoned clinicians....The authors of the book are leaders in the field of trauma and they artfully illustrate the nuances of the disorder as well as subsequent treatment through rich case examples....In our current mental health climate, there exists a psychiatric debate about formally establishing Complex PTSD as a disorder. In such a climate this book documents the current knowledge and evidence supporting the disorder and will surely help to shift the paradigm of how complex trauma is understood, assessed for, and ultimately healed from."—Clinical Social Work Journal
Addiction Today
"A valuable addition to understanding and treating complex traumatic stress disorders, this book will enhance the knowledge and therapeutic toolbox of any practitioner working with clients who have had complex psychological traumas....I really appreciated the insights offered by the contributors and the wealth of experience and knowledge assembled by the editors."—Addiction Today
Healthcare and Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal
The book has a compelling philosophical unity about it - essentially humanistic, and broadly cognitive and behavioural. Among all this solid evidence-based theory and practice, I also felt uplifted by a sense of optimism....I heartily recommend this book to any psychological therapist or medical practitioner who is called upon to help those whose life experiences have resulted in intransigent mental health issues that may thus far have been diagnosed as a developmental disorder, personality disorder (particularly borderline), or post-traumatic stress disorder.—Healthcare and Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal
Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
This book is welcome as it pulls together theoretical and clinical approaches to understanding and helping people with difficulties following multiple and prolonged traumatic experiences....This book addresses important issues and was stimulating both academically and clinically....The book will be useful to most therapists, but especially those who regularly work with people whose main problems are associated with abusive or neglectful experiences in early childhood.—Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
Child and Family Behavior Therapy
"Editors Courtois and Ford unite to provide a thorough, stimulating, and current text on treating a very challenging population of individuals with complex trauma....This is an important and highly relevant book, addressing a complex problem, organizing what empirical support there is for the many approaches which are currently utilized and expanded for this population. Even if you do not work with traumatized individuals, there is much to learn from this book. It can be therapeutically profitable. Well-written, it has an impressive list of contributors, and Ford has a hand in many of the chapters. This book is highly recommended and well-worth its asking price."—Child and Family Behavior Therapy
EABP Newsletter
"Presents a well-researched, comprehensive source for clinical expertise in the area of complex traumatic stress disorder—specifically PTSD."—EABP Newsletter
Journal of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
"This book is welcome as it pulls together theoretical and clinical approaches to understanding and helping people with difficulties following multiple and prolonged traumatic experiences....This book addresses important issues and was stimulating both academically and clinically....The book will be useful to most therapists, but especially those who regularly work with people whose main problems are associated with abusive or neglectful experiences in early childhood."—Journal of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
Trauma Psychology Newsletter (APA Division 56)
"A valuable addition to the libraries of both novice and experienced clinicians who treat patients with disorders as varied as reactive attachment disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, dissociative disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder....An unparalleled contribution to the existing literature on assessment and intervention with survivors of complex trauma. There are few existing compilations that have collected such a wide variety of treatment approaches from such prominent authors, and it is probable that this is the most comprehensive and current review to date. While multiple evidence-based treatment strategies are given attention in this book, it is detailed enough so that the reader is able to make an informed decision about whether to pursue an approach. In addition, several chapters describe essential understanding required for working with any survivor of complex trauma regardless of the particular intervention style....One of the book's highlights is its thoughtful and comprehensive summary of assessment tools for the clinician treating survivors of complex traumatic stress....Courtois and Ford have assembled an impressive volume of empirically-informed assessment and treatment approaches that 'honor and support the resilience of trauma survivors as they carry on with their lives and enrich the lives of their families and communities.'"—Trauma Psychology Newsletter (APA Division 56)
From the Publisher
"Courtois and Ford present an essential, comprehensive work for clinicians and researchers. Evidence-based practice recommendations for psychotherapeutic and pharmacological treatment are presented—carefully adapted for those suffering from complex traumatic stress disorders—and a range of treatment models are clearly described. Rich clinical material, and attention to management of the therapeutic alliance, therapist self-care, and other key challenges in working with these clients, make this a most useful and innovative resource."—Josef I. Ruzek, PhD, Director, Dissemination and Training Division, National Center for PTSD

"This is the single best source for clinical expertise in complex traumatic stress disorders. Leading clinicians and researchers share a rich array of individual, couple, family, and group therapy models that illustrate basic treatment principles and best practices. Informed by recent research, the contributors cover the developmental and neurobiological background against which to frame essential assessment and treatment issues. Chapters on such pragmatic topics as vicarious traumatization and risk management offer advice on reducing stress for therapists working with these challenging cases."—Frank W. Putnam, MD, Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

"Treatments based on a traditional conceptualization of PTSD are frequently insufficient to address the diverse, long-lasting, and pervasive effects of complex trauma. This book offers a comprehensive review of treatment considerations, assessment measures, best practices, and evidence-based treatment approaches specifically tailored for psychotherapy with people who have experienced prolonged abuse and neglect by caregivers. An indispensable guide for any mental health professional who works with trauma survivors."—Pamela C. Alexander, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Wellesley Centers for Women

Healthcare
"The book has a compelling philosophical unity about it - essentially humanistic, and broadly cognitive and behavioural. Among all this solid evidence-based theory and practice, I also felt uplifted by a sense of optimism....I heartily recommend this book to any psychological therapist or medical practitioner who is called upon to help those whose life experiences have resulted in intransigent mental health issues that may thus far have been diagnosed as a developmental disorder, personality disorder (particularly borderline), or post-traumatic stress disorder."—Healthcare, Counselling, and Psychotherapy Journal
MIWatch.org
"The first comprehensive overview on assessment and treatment of complex traumatic stress disorders. Both authors are experts in the field and have worked as clinicians with trauma survivors facing the clinical reality of complex manifestations of trauma....All the chapters are extremely well written and very informative. Each chapter makes a significant contribution to this important, fast-developing field....This important text is a clear contribution to the position that complex traumatic stress disorders can be conceptualized as a separate clinical entity....This book provides a complete overview over the current thinking regarding complex trauma disorders and should be required reading for all researchers and clinicians working with this population."—MIWatch.org
Addiction Today

"A valuable addition to understanding and treating complex traumatic stress disorders, this book will enhance the knowledge and therapeutic toolbox of any practitioner working with clients who have had complex psychological traumas....I really appreciated the insights offered by the contributors and the wealth of experience and knowledge assembled by the editors."--Addiction Today

Healthcare and Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal

"The book has a compelling philosophical unity about it - essentially humanistic, and broadly cognitive and behavioural. Among all this solid evidence-based theory and practice, I also felt uplifted by a sense of optimism....I heartily recommend this book to any psychological therapist or medical practitioner who is called upon to help those whose life experiences have resulted in intransigent mental health issues that may thus far have been diagnosed as a developmental disorder, personality disorder (particularly borderline), or post-traumatic stress disorder."--Healthcare and Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal

Trauma Psychology Newsletter (APA Division 56)

"A valuable addition to the libraries of both novice and experienced clinicians who treat patients with disorders as varied as reactive attachment disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, dissociative disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder....An unparalleled contribution to the existing literature on assessment and intervention with survivors of complex trauma. There are few existing compilations that have collected such a wide variety of treatment approaches from such prominent authors, and it is probable that this is the most comprehensive and current review to date. While multiple evidence-based treatment strategies are given attention in this book, it is detailed enough so that the reader is able to make an informed decision about whether to pursue an approach. In addition, several chapters describe essential understanding required for working with any survivor of complex trauma regardless of the particular intervention style....One of the book''s highlights is its thoughtful and comprehensive summary of assessment tools for the clinician treating survivors of complex traumatic stress....Courtois and Ford have assembled an impressive volume of empirically-informed assessment and treatment approaches that ''honor and support the resilience of trauma survivors as they carry on with their lives and enrich the lives of their families and communities.''"--Trauma Psychology Newsletter (APA Division 56)

Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

"This book is likely to appeal to clinicians who are eager to learn more about the area of complex traumatic stress and novel approaches to treating associated problems. The text is well-written and organized, making it easy to follow."--Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

Clinical Social Work Journal

"Will surely become a classic textbook on complex traumatic stress. This book is appropriate for students, clinicians, and academics alike. Because the concept of complex trauma is still evolving, this text can educate and inform students in training as well as seasoned clinicians....The authors of the book are leaders in the field of trauma and they artfully illustrate the nuances of the disorder as well as subsequent treatment through rich case examples....In our current mental health climate, there exists a psychiatric debate about formally establishing Complex PTSD as a disorder. In such a climate this book documents the current knowledge and evidence supporting the disorder and will surely help to shift the paradigm of how complex trauma is understood, assessed for, and ultimately healed from."--Clinical Social Work Journal

Addiction Today

"A valuable addition to understanding and treating complex traumatic stress disorders, this book will enhance the knowledge and therapeutic toolbox of any practitioner working with clients who have had complex psychological traumas....I really appreciated the insights offered by the contributors and the wealth of experience and knowledge assembled by the editors."--Addiction Today

Healthcare and Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal

"The book has a compelling philosophical unity about it - essentially humanistic, and broadly cognitive and behavioural. Among all this solid evidence-based theory and practice, I also felt uplifted by a sense of optimism....I heartily recommend this book to any psychological therapist or medical practitioner who is called upon to help those whose life experiences have resulted in intransigent mental health issues that may thus far have been diagnosed as a developmental disorder, personality disorder (particularly borderline), or post-traumatic stress disorder."--Healthcare and Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal

Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

"This book is welcome as it pulls together theoretical and clinical approaches to understanding and helping people with difficulties following multiple and prolonged traumatic experiences....This book addresses important issues and was stimulating both academically and clinically....The book will be useful to most therapists, but especially those who regularly work with people whose main problems are associated with abusive or neglectful experiences in early childhood."--Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Child and Family Behavior Therapy

"Editors Courtois and Ford unite to provide a thorough, stimulating, and current text on treating a very challenging population of individuals with complex trauma....This is an important and highly relevant book, addressing a complex problem, organizing what empirical support there is for the many approaches which are currently utilized and expanded for this population. Even if you do not work with traumatized individuals, there is much to learn from this book. It can be therapeutically profitable. Well-written, it has an impressive list of contributors, and Ford has a hand in many of the chapters. This book is highly recommended and well-worth its asking price."--Child and Family Behavior Therapy

EABP Newsletter

"Presents a well-researched, comprehensive source for clinical expertise in the area of complex traumatic stress disorder--specifically PTSD."--EABP Newsletter

Journal of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

"This book is welcome as it pulls together theoretical and clinical approaches to understanding and helping people with difficulties following multiple and prolonged traumatic experiences....This book addresses important issues and was stimulating both academically and clinically....The book will be useful to most therapists, but especially those who regularly work with people whose main problems are associated with abusive or neglectful experiences in early childhood."--Journal of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

Trauma Psychology Newsletter (APA Division 56)

"A valuable addition to the libraries of both novice and experienced clinicians who treat patients with disorders as varied as reactive attachment disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, dissociative disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder....An unparalleled contribution to the existing literature on assessment and intervention with survivors of complex trauma. There are few existing compilations that have collected such a wide variety of treatment approaches from such prominent authors, and it is probable that this is the most comprehensive and current review to date. While multiple evidence-based treatment strategies are given attention in this book, it is detailed enough so that the reader is able to make an informed decision about whether to pursue an approach. In addition, several chapters describe essential understanding required for working with any survivor of complex trauma regardless of the particular intervention style....One of the book's highlights is its thoughtful and comprehensive summary of assessment tools for the clinician treating survivors of complex traumatic stress....Courtois and Ford have assembled an impressive volume of empirically-informed assessment and treatment approaches that 'honor and support the resilience of trauma survivors as they carry on with their lives and enrich the lives of their families and communities.'"--Trauma Psychology Newsletter (APA Division 56)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606230398
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/11/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 514
  • Sales rank: 494,297
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Christine A. Courtois, PhD, is a psychologist in private practice in Washington, DC. She is cofounder and past Clinical and Training Director of The Center: Posttraumatic Disorders Program at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington, and past Codirector of the Maryland Psychological Association’s Post-Doctoral Institute on Psychological Trauma. Dr. Courtois has authored three books, including Healing the Incest Wound, as well as numerous articles and book chapters. Among her most recent awards are the Outstanding Contributions to Professional Practice Award from Division 56 (Psychological Trauma) of the American Psychological Association and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD). Dr. Courtois routinely conducts professional training locally, nationally, and internationally on topics related to traumatic stress.

Julian D. Ford, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Director of the University of Connecticut Health Center Child Trauma Clinic and Center for Trauma Response Recovery and Preparedness. He has developed the Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy (TARGET) treatment model for adult, adolescent, and child traumatic stress disorders, and conducts research on psychotherapy and family therapy, health services utilization, psychometric screening and assessment, and psychiatric epidemiology. Dr. Ford has coedited two other recent books, Treating Traumatized Children: Risk, Resilience, and Recovery and The Encyclopedia of Psychological Trauma.

Dr. Courtois and Dr. Ford are co-recipients of the ISSTD's Print Media Award for this book.

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Table of Contents

Foreword, Judith Lewis Herman

Introduction, Christine A. Courtois and Julian D. Ford

I. Overview

1. Defining and Understanding Complex Trauma and Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders, Julian D. Ford and Christine A. Courtois

2. Neurobiological and Developmental Research: Clinical Implications, Julian D. Ford

3. Best Practices in Psychotherapy for Children and Adolescents, Julian D. Ford and Marylene Cloitre

4. Best Practices in Psychotherapy for Adults, Christine A. Courtois, Julian D. Ford, and Marylene Cloitre

5. Assessment of the Sequelae of Complex Trauma: Evidence-Based Measures, John Briere and Joseph Spinazzola

6. Assessment of Attachment and Abuse History, and Adult Attachment Style, Daniel Brown

7. Treating Dissociation, Kathy Steele and Onno van der Hart

8. Cultural Competence, Laura S. Brown

9. Therapeutic Alliance and Risk Management, Philip J. Kinsler, Christine A. Courtois, and A. Steven Frankel

10. Living and Working Self-Reflectively to Address Vicarious Trauma, Laurie Anne Pearlman and James Caringi

II. Individual Treatment Approaches and Strategies

11. Contextual Therapy, Steven N. Gold

12. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Christie Jackson, Kore Nissenson, and Marylene Cloitre

13. Contextual Behavior Trauma Therapy, Victoria M. Follette, Katherine M. Iverson, and Julian D. Ford

14. Experiential and Emotion-Focused Therapy, Diana Fosha, Sandra Paivio, Kari Gleiser, and Julian D. Ford

15. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Janina Fisher and Pat Ogden

16. Pharmacotherapy, Lewis A. Opler, Michelle S. Grennan, and Julian D. Ford

III. Systemic Treatment Approaches and Strategies

17. Internal Family Systems Therapy, Richard C. Schwartz, Mark F. Schwartz, and Lori Galperin

18. Couple Therapy, Susan M. Johnson and Christine A. Courtois

19. Family Systems Therapy, Julian D. Ford and William Saltzman

20. Group Therapy, Julian D. Ford, Roger D. Fallot, and Maxine Harris

Conclusion: The Clinical Utility of a Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders Framework, Julian D. Ford and Christine A. Courtois

Afterword, Bessel A. van der Kolk

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