Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders, 2014, edited by Christine A. Courtois and Julian D. Ford

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Photo credit: chronowizard via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

The Guildford Press, p. 101

Conclusion – Psychotherapy for adults with complex traumatic stress disorders is widely practiced but still in the early phases of scientific and clinical validation.  While awaiting the results of systematic clinical research, therapists can nevertheless benefit from the application of the practice principles and evolving treatment interventions developed specifically for complex stress disorders and dissociative disorders.

Guidelines and models for the treatment of PTSD are applicable to clients with complex traumatic stress disorders, but they cannot be assumed fully or even effectively to ameliorate or resolve the complex self-regulation problems and dissociation that originate when developmentally adverse interpersonal traumas derail or impair the growing child’s ability to function adaptively (Spinazzola et. al., 2005).  The extant clinical knowledge base suggests that safety-focused, strengths-based, self-defining, self-regulation enhancing, self-integrating, avoidance challenging, individualized approaches to treatment, delivered by emotionally healthy and professionally responsible therapists who have specialized training and professional resources to support this very demanding work, make an important difference in the lives of clients who have had substantial life adversity.”

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