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

Christine A. Courtois , Julian D. Ford , Bessel A. van der Kolk , Judith L. Herman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 5, 2009 1606230395 978-1606230398 1
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

Review

"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


"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)
(Trauma Psychology Newsletter (APA Division 56) 2009-02-07)

"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
(Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy 2009-02-07)

"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
(Clinical Social Work Journal 2009-02-07)

"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
(Child and Family Behavior Therapy 2009-02-07)

"Presents a well-researched, comprehensive source for clinical expertise in the area of complex traumatic stress disorder—specifically PTSD."--EABP Newsletter
(EABP Newsletter 2009-02-07)

"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
(Healthcare, Counselling, and Psychotherapy Journal 2009-02-07)

"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
(Journal of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy 2009-02-07)

"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
(Addiction Today 2010-02-14)

"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
(MIWatch.org 2009-02-07)

About 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.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 488 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (February 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606230395
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606230398
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
89 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read! February 28, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a psychotherapist, I've struggled to treat various forms of Complex PTSD, in children & adults, for over 20 years, including borderline personality disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and current forms of multi-deployment Combat PTSD.

This recent collection of 20 articles from over 30 leading scholars, researchers and clinicians in the field will doubtless be the standard reference for Complex PTSD for many years. If you want to know more about how to understand, diagnose and treat Complex PTSD, START HERE! The articles are divided into three sections: overview, individual treatment approaches and strategies and - what a relief! - systemic treatment approaches and strategies. I say, "What a relief!", as often in reviews of treatment approaches, systemic approaches are given short shrift. And in my experience, systemic approaches are often VERY much needed, in some cases indispensible, for healing Complex PTSD, especially with children & teens, and especially with major problems with attachment - one sadly common hallmark of Complex PTSD. Each article has an extensive bibliography for those who want to know more.

The "Overview" section covers a satisfyingly large number of topics, including current approaches to understanding & defining Complex PTSD, overviews on best Practices with children & teens and with adults, cultural issues, risk management/treatment alliance and compassion fatigue/vicarious traumatizing. I want to compliment the editors for this last article. Few areas of psychotherapy are more prone to therapist burnout via PTSD by association than Complex PTSD. I strongly recommend that all clinicians who work significantly in this area become competent in assessing their own risks to compassion fatigue and take regular steps to manage this.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Desperately Needed! March 23, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is THE ultimate resource and current "How To" for trauma work that does Not fit neatly into a (now outdated) definition of "trauma". Complex trauma is a much more realistic picture of what we have been seeing in today's world. Thanks to the humility, dedication, and commitment of this remarkable list of contributors to share information, this specialty is in top form. I have been privileged to work with trauma survivors for many years and how wonderful to have the "creme de la creme" at my fingertips...How wonderful to have this extraordinary field of work given it's due. By the way, the chapter on Internal Family Systems Therapy is a real bonus.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Half Trauma Theory, Half Therapy Technique, All Good November 25, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a master's level social work class. It's the first textbook I've ever read cover to cover.

The first half gives in depth trauma theory, including the neurological components, multicultural treatment, and trauma theory development. This will either present you with new and necessary ideas, or a solid reminder of the foundation of trauma work. The second half consists of several chapters that outline specific types of trauma treatments, including transcripts from real therapy sessions. As a student, I appreciated reading about the variety of treatment methods that I can later pursue in post-grad training. I also think it would be good to know what other people are doing, even if I opt not to.

One warning, this book is specifically catered to complex traumatic stress disorder, not PTSD. Although, it does point out the connections and similarities.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtois and Ford have hit a grand slam home run May 24, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Is complex PTSD real? Of course! No matter what DSM5 says, patients cPTSD and other complex traumatic stress disorders need our help! This book, as its title proclaims, is a guide for clinicians and covers most evidence-based interventions
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative July 1, 2010
By K
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book by a skilled group of authors/clinicians. The study of complex trauma is an important one. Much is yet to be learned. The authors provide important up to date information about this field of study.
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