Bringing PTSD treatment guidelines to life

A new book, published by the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), provides the latest updates in the evidence about treatments that work for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and practical guidance for using those treatments in everyday clinical practice.


Effective Treatments for PTSD: Practice Guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies is lead edited by Director of Phoenix Australia, Professor David Forbes along with co-editors Professors Jon Bisson, Candice Monson and Lucy Berliner.


Professor Forbes, also Vice-Chair of the ISTSS Guidelines committee, says, “As clinicians and researchers, we know that treating PTSD is often not straightforward. As an editorial team we wanted this book to be a very practical tool that provides clinicians with a ‘how to’ guide for using evidence-based treatments in day-to-day practice, and advice for dealing with difficult presentations”.


The list of contributing authors is a roll call of clinicians and researchers at the forefront of the posttraumatic stress field. Their input provides in-depth insights into how to use recommended treatments in clinical practice.


The book includes the ISTSS guidelines for effective treatments for PTSD in children, adolescents and adults, but it is much more than a list of what treatments work. The authors of the recommended treatments discuss in detail how to apply the treatment, what complications may arise, and how to manage them. While not a replacement for completing training in a particular treatment or a treatment manual, the practical guidance will be invaluable in helping practitioners to increase their understanding of how to apply the theory in everyday practice.


Additionally, an illuminating chapter is devoted to exploring what are the core components that the recommended treatments have in common with each other. Experts in the field offer their opinions about what the unifying factors are that make the treatments effective.


The new diagnosis of Complex PTSD is also discussed in the book, including in the context of treating children and adolescents.


When considering the uptake of evidence-based treatments within healthcare systems, it is always helpful to understand the economic implications, and this is outlined in a chapter that discusses the health economics aspect of recommended treatments.


The final chapter looks to what the future holds in terms of treatment research in traumatic stress and expresses the view that it is time to grasp the opportunity. It suggests that with the advances that technology and personalised medicine offers, the future for the field of traumatic stress has never looked more promising.


Professor Forbes says, “We owe it to our clients and patients to ensure they receive evidence-based treatment to help them recover from trauma. I hope that practitioners will find this book to be a guiding hand to help them deliver effective treatments.  If practitioners feel confident in treating PTSD, then more people will receive effective treatment”.


Effective Treatments for PTSD: Practice Guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies is published by Guilford Publications and available in Australia from Woodslane. The book can be ordered from their website. Australian members of ISTSS can receive a 25% discount by visiting this link (available on all Guilford titles).