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PTSD I: Describing and diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder

Consistent with the literature on PTSD, there are several books available to clinicians that mirror the state of the research and as such, do little to help synthesize the research into a practical and pragmatic tool for clinicians. Taylor's book is, thankfully, not one of those books.

APA guideline on posttraumatic stress disorder aims to help clinicians treating patients

The Clinician 's Guide to PTSD is a concise yet thorough examination of the research related to treating traumatized individuals. The result is a timely, well written, and accessible book that will be a valuable resource to clinicians who treat people with PTSD. The book is divided into two sections: conceptual and empirical foundations, and treatment methods and protocols.


  • A Clinician's Guide to Medications for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
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What is particularly helpful is that Taylor expands on the DSM definition of PTSD by examining in a comprehensive manner the research on the specific symptoms and clusters of symptoms, and he augments the research with clinical examples. Also included in the first section is a particularly informative chapter that discusses the cognitive features of PTSD combined with a review of four cognitive theories of PTSD.


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  4. Each of the cognitive theories of PTSD attempts to provide a comprehensive account for why it is that certain individuals develop PTSD when others who experience similar events do not, and each model also attempts to explain factors that maintain the symptoms. Taylor reviews each theory and then comments on the utility of the theories; parsimony is one criterion the book uses to judge each of the four theories reviewed.

    The use of parsimony is an interesting choice as what becomes clear especially considering the section on risk factors for PTSD is that the reasons why people develop PTSD are complex, and as Taylor points out, there are few well-tested comprehensive theories. Obviously, choosing a theory is important in die context of treatment and Taylor states in the book that he relies primarily on the work of Ehlers and Clark, which is the most complex and thorough of the theories presented, to inform his treatment model.

    Clinician's Guide to PTSD: A Cognitive-Behavioural Approach

    In the first section of the book, Taylor includes a chapter on the neurobiology of fear and stress, and he reviews several of the better-known theories such as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal model, and he also reviews the research on neurotransmitters, genetics, and brain structures in the context of PTSD. Also included in the chapter is a section that reviews the literature on tonic immobility as an evolutionary response to being attacked.

    Grounded in current clinical and neurobiological research, this book provides both an understanding of posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD and a guide to empirically supported treatment. The author offers well-documented, practical recommendations for planning and implementing cognitive-behavioral therapy with people who have experienced different types of trauma?

    Coverage includes different conceptual models of PTSD, approaches to integrating psychopharmacology into treatment, and strategies for addressing frequently encountered comorbid conditions. Illustrated with helpful case examples, the book features over a dozen reproducible handouts and forms.

    Related books and articles

    For 10 years he was Associate Editor of Behaviour Research and Therapy and now is Associate Editor of the Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy , as well as being on the editorial boards of several journals.