Trauma & PTSD
Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation
This resource page is part of the following Online Courses
Crisis & Trauma: Identification, Assessment and Treatment for Acute and Prolonged Symptoms
Advanced Clinical Applications
Post-Traumatic Growth: Beyond Survival and Recovery
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Defined, Described, Detailed, Debated
Treating Trauma, PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury
Understanding And Treating Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma
Veterans: Assessment and Screening for PTSD & Suicidality
CE Credits for Psychologists. CE Credits (CEUs) for LMFTs, Social Workers, Counselors and Nurses.
CE Approvals by BBS-CA, ASWB, NBCC, NAADAC, CA-BRN & more.
Zur Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Zur Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
American Psychological Association (APA) Guidelines on PTSD (2/2017)
PTSD & TBI
What Makes Some People More Resilient to Trauma Than Others?
Psychomotor Therapy (Structure) for PTSD, as employed by Dr. Van der Kolk
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
National Center For Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
National Veterans' Foundation
Sidran Institute: Traumatic Stress Education & Advocacy
Gift from Within
Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Helpful Podcasts and Videos on PTSD
A New Workbook for People Suffering with PTSD: A Workbook on ACT for PTSD
The Guide to PTSD
Treatment Guide to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Addiction
Loma Linda University Brain Injury Program
The Brain Injury Recovery Network/
Traumatic Brain Injury Forum
Traumatic Brain Injury: Neurology Channel
Brain Injury Center: Legal support for those with TBI and their families
Traumatic Brain Injury: Information for those with TBI
TBI Resource Guide
Holocaust Survivors and Descendants:
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Psychomotor Therapy (Structure) for PTSD, as employed by Dr. Van der Kolk
Clinical Guidelines for the Treatment of PTSD
DoD Deployment Health Clinical Center
Using Virtual Reality to Treat PTSD
Development of a VR therapy application for Iraq war military personnel with PTSD
Virtual Iraq: initial results from a VR exposure therapy application for combat-related PTSD
David Baldwin's Trauma Information Pages
Anxiety Disorders Association of America
The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Healing Combat Trauma
Healing Those Who Serve: Education & Treatment
Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Treatment Algorithm
Studies Examining the Efficacy of EMDR in the Treatment of PTSD
Developmental Needs-Meeting Strategy (DNMS)
Rapid Eye Technology (RET)
Releasing PTSD: Steve Andreas Works With an Iraq Veteran
Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University
Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
CEMM Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Center for Disease Control and Prevention provider toolkit for concussion
Co-Occurring Conditions Toolkit: Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychological Health
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PTSD and Service Dogs
Sapir Weiss, Owner, Trainer and Leader of the Pack
New treatment for a war that never ends
The use of psychiatric service dogs in the treatment of veterans with PTSD: A study proposal and abstract
Dogs and PTSD U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Canines 4 Hope
SERVICE DOG TASKS for PSYCHIATRIC DISABILITIES, Tasks to mitigate certain disabling illnesses classified as mental impairments under The Americans with Disabilities Act
How Dogs Can Help Veterans Overcome PTSD, New research finds that "man's best friend" could be lifesavers for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Smithsonian Magazine.
Service Dogs Can Reduce PTSD Symptoms in Veterans
Service Dog Helps Veteran with PTSD, Video
PTSD Service Dog - task related training, Video
Wounded Warriors, Healing Hounds , Video Documentary
Rebecca’s War Dog of the Week: A Veteran and His Therapy Dog, Iris
Psychiatric Service Dogs and PTSD Legislation proposing a pilot program that would provide service dogs to veterans with PTSD.
Four-Legged Therapy for Military Veterans with PTSD Pairing specially trained therapy dogs with PTSD vets.
Animal-assisted therapy can help
How Dogs Can Help Veterans Overcome PTSD Paws for Purple Hearts, one of four experimental programs nationwide that pair veterans afflicted by PTSD with Labrador and golden retrievers.
Therapy dogs helping with more than PTSD, TBI Veterans Moving Forward provides service dogs, at no cost, to veterans with physical and mental health challenges, including those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.
Canine Therapy for Military PTSD The US Army is using canine therapy to help solders recovery from PTSD.
Dogs go the distance: Program provides service to veterans with PTSD Operation Wolfhound
Post Traumatic Growth
Post-Traumatic Growth This video introduces Post-Traumatic Growth fundamental concepts, clinical implications, and current research. By first describing what classifies as a traumatic event and then processing the ways in which trauma can be growth producing, this video present the general process model for Post-Traumatic Growth as well as the different forms of growth that occur post trauma.
Post Traumatic Growth Inventory (by APA)
Posttraumatic Growth Research Group, The University of North Carolina
Challenging the Stereotype of the Paralyzed Trauma Victim
What Doesn't Kill Us: The new psychology of posttraumatic growth
What is PTG (PostTraumatic Growth)?
Post-Traumatic Stress's Surprisingly Positive Flip Side
What is Post Traumatic Growth (PTG)?
The Upside of Trauma?
The Foundations of Postraumatic Growth: New Considerations
Posttraumatic Growth: Conceptual Foundations and Empirical Evidence
Vicarious Posttraumatic Growth in Psychotherapy
A Correlational Test of the Relationship Between Posttraumatic Growth, Religion, and Cognitive Processing
Examining posttraumatic growth among Japanese university students
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TBI References & Research
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Critique of Current Attitudes and Approaches to PTSD
Critique of PTSD Diagnosis by Dr. Ofer Zur, interview with Dr. Van Nuys Transcript
Misguided use of meds with War Veterans
Dr. Martin Williams' critique of the use, overuse and abuse of PTSD diagnosis
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January 2015: "After PTSD, More Trauma"
2014: Expressive writing and post-traumatic growth
In the journal Traumatology, authors Hannah Stockton, Stephen Joseph, and Nigel Hunt describe an Internet-based study using expressive writing to facilitate post-traumatic growth. They find that 10 participants who wrote for 15 minutes on three separate occasions three days apart showed a significant decrease over a control group in intrusive thoughts and avoidant cognitions. The complete study may be found here:
Stockton, Hannah; Joseph, Stephen; Hunt, Nigel
Traumatology: An International Journal, Vol 20(2), Jun 2014, 75-83. doi: 10.1037/h0099377
2014: DSM-5 Updates
In the DSM-5, PTSD has become part of a larger section on Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders. While the specific changes to the criteria for PTSD have been provided in another document, changes to the other diagnostic categories in this section follow:
“For a diagnosis of acute stress disorder, qualifying traumatic events are now explicit as to whether they were experienced directly, witnessed, or experienced indirectly. Also, the DSM-IV Criterion A2 regarding the subjective reaction to the traumatic event (e.g., experiencing “fear, helplessness, or horror") has been eliminated. Adjustment disorders are reconceptualised as a heterogeneous array of stress-response syndromes that occur after exposure to a distressing (traumatic or nontraumatic) event, rather than as a residual category for individuals who exhibit clinically significant distress but whose symptoms do not meet criteria for a more discrete disorder (as in DSM-IV).
DSM-5 criteria for PTSD differ significantly from the DSM-IV criteria. The stressor criterion (Criteria A) is more explicit with regard to events that qualify as 'traumatic' experiences. Also, DSM-IV Criterion A2 (subjective reaction) has been eliminated. Whereas there were three major symptom clusters in DSM-IV – reexperiencing, avoidance/numbing, and arousal – there are now four symptom clusters in DSM-5, because the avoidance/numbing cluster is divided into two distinct clusters: avoidance and persistent negative alterations in cognitions and mood. This latter category, which retains most of the DSM-IV numbing symptoms, also includes new or reconceptualised symptoms, such as persistent negative emotional states. The final cluster – alterations in arousal and reactivity – retains most of the DSM-IV arousal symptoms. It also includes irritable behavior or angry outbursts and reckless or self-destructive behavior. PTSD is now developmentally sensitive in that diagnostic thresholds have been lowered for children and adolescents. Furthermore, separate criteria have been added for children age 6 years or younger with this disorder.
The DSM-IV childhood diagnosis reactive attachment disorder had two subtypes: emotionally withdrawn/inhibited and indiscriminately social/disinhibited. In DSM-5, these subtypes are defined as distinct disorders: reactive attachment disorder and disinhibited social engagement disorder."
Acute Stress Disorder Diagnostic Criteria, DSM-5
- Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violation in one (or more) of the following ways:
- Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s).
- Witnessing, in person, the event(s) as it occurred to others.
- Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend. In cases of actual or threatened death of a family member or friend, the event(s) must have been violent or accidental.
- Experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic event(s) (e.g., first responders collecting human remains; police officers repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse).
Note: This does not apply to exposure through electronic media, television, movies, or pictures, unless this exposure is work related.
- Presence of nine (or more) of the following symptoms from any of the five categories of intrusion, negative mood, dissociation, avoidance, and arousal, beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred:
- Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s). Note: In children, repetitive play may occur in which themes or aspects of the traumatic event(s) are expressed.
- Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the event(s). Note: In children, there may be frightening dreams without recognizable content.
- Dissociative reactions (e.g., flashbacks) in which the individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event(s) were recurring. (Such reactions may occur on a continuum, with the most extreme expression being a complete loss of awareness of present surroundings.) Note: In children, trauma-specific re-enactment may occur in play.
- Intense or prolonged psychological distress or marked physiological reactions in response to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s).
- Persistent inability to experience positive emotions (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction, or loving feelings).
- An altered sense of the reality of one's surroundings or oneself (e.g., seeing oneself from another's perspective, being in a daze, time slowing).
- Inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event(s) (typically due to dissociative amnesia and not to other factors such as head injury, alcohol, or drugs).
- Efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s).
- Efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s).
- Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep, restless sleep).
- Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation), typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects.
- Problems with concentration.
- Exaggerated startle response.
- Duration of the disturbance (symptoms in Criterion B) is 3 days to 1 month after trauma exposure.
Note: Symptoms typically begin immediately after the trauma, but persistence for at least 3 days and up to a month is needed to meet disorder criteria.
- The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
- The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication or alcohol) or another medical condition (e.g., mild traumatic brain injury) and is not better explained by brief psychotic disorder.
Reactive Attachment Disorder, DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria
- A consistent pattern of inhibited, emotionally withdrawn behavior toward adult caregivers, manifested by both of the following:
- The child rarely or minimally seeks comfort when distressed.
- The child rarely or minimally responds to comfort when distressed.
- A persistent social and emotional disturbance characterized by at least two of the following:
- Minimal social and emotional responsiveness to others.
- Limited positive affect.
- Episodes of unexplained irritability, sadness, or fearfulness that are evident even during nonthreatening interactions with adult caregivers.
- The child has experienced a pattern of extremes of insufficient care as evidenced by at least one of the following:
- Social neglect or deprivation in the form of persistent lack of having basic emotional needs for comfort, stimulation, and affection met by caregiving adults.
- Repeated changes of primary caregivers that limit opportunities to form stable attachments (e.g. frequent changes in foster care).
- Rearing in unusual settings that severely limit opportunities to form selective attachments (e.g., institutions with high child-to-caregiver ratios).
- The care in Criterion C is presumed to be responsible for the disturbed behavior in Criterion A (e.g., the disturbances in Criterion A began following the lack of adequate care in Criterion C).
- The criteria are not met for autism spectrum disorder.
- The disturbance is evident before age 5 years.
- The child has a developmental age of at least 9 months.
Persistent: The disorder has been present for more than 12 months.
Specify current severity:
Reactive attachment disorder is specified as severe when a child exhibits all symptoms of the disorder, with each symptom manifesting at relatively high levels.
Why Some Soldiers Develop PTSD While Others Don't
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Crisis & Trauma
Treatment for Trauma
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American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC)
American Red Cross
American Trauma Society (ATS)
An organization supporting trauma care and trauma prevention in the United States as well as advocate for trauma victims and their families.
Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA)
Brain Trauma Foundation (BTF)
Mission is to improve the outcome of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) patients by developing best practice guidelines, conducting clinical research and educating medical personnel.
Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture
Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
Child Trauma Academy (CTA)
Helps improve the lives of traumatized and maltreated children - through education, service delivery and program consultation.
Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking
Crisis Care Network
European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS )
Gift from Within
Human Rights Watch
International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF)
International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)
Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma
National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)
National Center for PTSD
Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA)
Promotes excellence in care for the injured patient, through provision of scientific forums and support of musculoskeletal research and education of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the public.
Rural Emergency Medical Services & Trauma Technical Assistance Center(REMSTTAC)
Serves as a national focal point for the dissemination of information on rural and frontier emergency medical services (EMS) and trauma care. REMSTTAC can be accessed by a broad range of rural and frontier EMS providers including federal grant recipients, state EMS and rural health offices, and their constituencies including rural hospitals and communities.
Swiss Foundation of Terre des Hommes (Child Trafficking)
Other Resources for Trauma Survivors
- Emotional and Psychological Trauma:
Nice explanation of the causes, symptoms, effects, & treatments of psychological or emotional trauma -- broader than PTSD.
- APA Topics: Trauma:
American Psychological Association webpage offers information on emotional trauma.
- Trauma Central:
Hope Morrow provides a thorough collection of links to trauma related articles across the web.
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Information on Critical Incident Stress Debriefing: CISD
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Resources Provided by Types of Trauma
For Those Suffering with Combat Trauma
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For Survivors of Sexual Abuse
- Rape Trauma Syndrome
Brief article by Amy Menna on rape trauma describes the symptoms and negative beliefs that may follow sexual assault.
- Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP is a self-help organization of men and women sexually abused by spiritual elders; provides support to all victims of clergy abuse.
- Generation Five
Generation Five's mission is ending child sexual abuse within five generations.
- Sex Abuse of Males: Prevalence, Lasting Effects, and Resources
Extended excerpts from a masters thesis on sexual abuse in males, written by Jim Hopper at U. Massachusetts at Boston.
- NOMSV: Male Survivor
Site focused on overcoming sexual victimization of boys and men: lots of information here.
Sasian focuses on sibling abuse, including sibling sexual abuse; extensive useful information at this organization's website.
- Self Defense Tips & Tricks for Women
This site offers information for women about being aware and prepared for violence or assault.
- Dancing in the Darkness
An informative web resource for sexual abuse survivors; includes much useful information and a support chat room.
- What's Your Fear? - For Abuse Survivors and Their Dentists
Practical article on dental fears common among survivors of childhood abuse, with good suggestions for dentists and their patients.
- SurvivorShip Home Page
An international forum on survival of sadistic sexual abuse, ritualistic abuse, mind control & torture.
- Articles: Sexual Abuse, Lesbians, Relationships, Gay Survivors, etc.
Kali Munro's collection of online self-help articles concern sexual abuse, emotions, lesbian & gay relationships, etc.
- Sexual Abuse Treatment: Referral, Resource, and Research
Matthew Rosenberg's site focuses on prevention, treatment and education re: sexual offending.
- Women Veterans: Sexual Harrassment and Assault
Captain Barb's page on PTSD among women who experienced sexual trauma while in the military, and what to do.
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For Crime Victims
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PTSD in Police, Fire & EMS Workers
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For Survivors of Holocaust & Torture
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References & Research
- American Psychiatric Association (APA), DIAGNOSTIC AND STATISTICAL MANUAL OF MENTAL DISORDERS, Fourth Edition, 1994.
- Auerbach, S. & Kilmann, P. (1997). Crisis intervention: A review of outcome research. Psychological Bulletin, 84,1189-1217.
- Bentzen, Marianne; Jorgensen, Steen; and Marcher, Lisbeth, "The Bodynamic Character Structure Model", Energy and Character, Vol. 20, No. 1, 1989.
- Bisson, J., Jenkins, P., Alexander, J., & Bannister, C. (1997). Randomized controlled trial of psychological debriefing for victims of acute burn trauma. British Journal of Psychiatry, 171, 78-81.
- Bloch, George, Ph.D., BODY AND SELF: Elements of Human Biology, Behavior, and Health. William Kaufmann, Inc., California, USA 1985.
- Bohl, N. (1991). The effectiveness of brief psychological interventions in police officers after critical incidents. In Reese, J., Horn, J., & Dunning, C. (Eds.). Critical incidents in policing. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 31-88.
- Bordow, S. & Porritt, D. (1979). An experimental evaluation of crisis intervention. Social Science and Medicine, 13, 251- 256.
- Bowenkamp, CD (2000). "Coordination of Mental Health and Community Agencies in Disaster Response." International Journal of Emergency Mental Health, 2(3), 159-165. http://www.icisf.us/images/pdfs/rar/Coordination%20of%20Mental%20Health %20&%20Community%20Agencies%20in%20Disaster%20Response.pdf Retrieved 3-24-11.
- Braun, Bennett G., M.D., "The BASK Model of Dissociation", Dissociation, 1:1, March 1988.
- Bremmer, JD, Southwick, S, Brett, E, Fontana, A, Rosenheck, R & Charney, DS, "Dissociation and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Vietnam Combat Veterans," American Journal of Psychiatry , 149, 1992.
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