Treating Trauma, PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury
Online Course Materials: Articles
This course was produced in collaboration between Taylor & Francis, PLC and the Zur Institute. The Zur Institute maintains responsibility for this continuing education program and its content.
General Course Description
Traumatic disorders have sometimes become fuzzy, catch-all diagnoses, and this severely affects treatment. Trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bereavement require different treatments, both psychotherapeutically and psychopharmacologically. And when depression and anxiety are co-morbid with any of these — which is often the case — the best treatment decisions can be even more difficult to make. The treatment picture becomes still more confusing with the increasing awareness and diagnosis of traumatic brain injury (TBI), heightened by the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the growing awareness of head injuries in both school and professional sports. Not only can choosing the wrong treatment result in ineffective therapy, but in some cases the wrong treatment can exacerbate the primary disorder. Effective treatments for each of these conditions exist; it is essential for clinicians to choose the right treatments and to be as informed about medication choices as various psychotherapy treatments.
This intermediate course helps pull together the rapidly growing body of research on therapy interventions. Section One provides a general perspective on trauma treatment guidelines. Should trauma teams rush right in and provide blanket services, or should they wait? What general treatment principles seem to help trauma victims the most? Section Two examines specific group interventions for various populations, including adolescents in Gaza and Anatolian women who have suffered multiple traumas. The importance of adapting general treatment principles to specific cultural groups is examined. Section Three looks at specific interventions for combat veterans. Section Four examines the psychopharmacology of treating trauma, PTSD, TBI and traumatic bereavement, and it also covers when psychopharmacology is not indicated. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.
Disclaimer: This course is purely educational and does not intend to serve as a license (or permission) to mental health professionals to prescribe or practice any of the approaches discussed in this course unless they fall within the scope of practice of your profession. Check with your licensing board about the scope of practice of your profession to make sure you practice within that scope. It also does not serve as a permission to title yourself in any specific way.
This course will teach the participant to:
- Contrast bereavement with traumatic bereavement.
- Distinguish PTSD from other traumatic reactions.
- Describe promising psychological interventions for traumatic disorders.
- Identify evidence-based treatments for traumatic disorders.
- Demonstrate how and why to adapttreatment for different cultural groups.
- Describe effective psychopharmacological interventions for PTSD.
- Distinguish PTSD treatments from traumatic brain injury treatments.
- Integrate an overall understanding of the etiology of traumatic disorders with concepts of resilience and treatment.
- Discuss the advantages of group treatment and individual treatment for traumatized people.
- Describe meaning-making in trauma as part of treatment.
- The importance of meaning-making in trauma
- How trauma undermines our sense of meaning
- How to restore a sense of meaning
- Trauma in relation to sense of belief in fairness, just world, control, coherence and benevolence
- Immediate response of clinicians to traumatic incident
- Listening to survivors’ stories
- Identifying and interpreting survivors’ emotions
- Distinguishing appropriate stress reactions from mental illness
- Transforming traumatic experience into positive growth experience
- Taking history of past experiences and mental health
- Distinguishing bereavement from traumatic bereavement
- Determining cause and circumstance of the loss
- Not mistaking normal intense reaction from mental disorder
- Group work with combat veterans to prepare them for further trauma work
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy
- Awareness of each client’s position in the Stages of Change
- Transforming disordered narrative into coherent story
- Paraprofessional facilitation of journaling groups
- Multicultural and gender specific trauma groups
- Importance of structuring group in accordance with cultural norms
- Different reactions to and symptoms of trauma between men and women
- Intensive military outpatient treatment for PTSD
- Exposure therapy
- Complementary therapies
- Psychopharmacology treatment
- For traumatic bereavement
- For grief
- For PTSD
- For TBI