PTSD diagnosis and treatment for mental health clinicians


This chapter focuses on four issues: PTSD assessment, treatment approaches, therapist issues, and current controversies. Important assessment issues include the trauma history, co-morbid disorders, and chronicity of PTSD. Effective intervention for acute trauma usually requires a variant of critical incident stress debriefing. Available treatments for chronic PTSD include group, cognitive-behavioural, psychodynamic, and pharmacological therapy. Therapist self-care is essential when working with PTSD patients since this work may be functionally disruptive and psychologically destabilizing. Current controversies include advocacy versus therapeutic neutrality, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), the so-called false memory syndrome, and the legitimacy of complex PTSD as a unique diagnostic entity.


Book Section




Matthew J. Friedman

Original Work Citation

Friedman, M. J. (2000). PTSD diagnosis and treatment for mental health clinicians. In M. J. Scott & S. Palmer (Eds.),Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (pp. 1-14). New York, NY: Cassell Books



“PTSD diagnosis and treatment for mental health clinicians,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed July 9, 2020,

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