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Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders

A Handbook for Clinicians

Edited by Patricia R. Casey, M.D., FRCPsych, and James J. Strain, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-61537-064-1
  • Item #37064

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Both academically rigorous and clinically practical, Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders is fully informed by the new DSM-5 category that includes adjustment disorders, acute stress disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Stress and trauma have long been recognized as playing a role in the etiology of certain psychiatric disorders, and this book delineates normal and pathological responses to stress, providing a conceptual framework for understanding trauma- and stressor-related disorders. An individual's response to stress depends on numerous genetic, developmental, cognitive, psychological, and neurobiological risk and protective factors, and these are examined from both a scientific and clinical perspective. Central to the book's utility is its presentation of clinical vignettes that help the reader to contextualize the information presented and model effective clinical skills.

Among the volume's critically important topics and features are

  • A robust section on assessing the psychosocial factors associated with resilience (e.g., optimism, cognitive flexibility, a social support network), encouraging and enhancing these factors, and implementing psychosocial interventions to aid patients who have experienced trauma to promote resilience by targeting these factors.
  • A comprehensive chapter on the medical-legal aspects of trauma- and stressor-related disorders because clinicians working with these patients frequently encounter situations that have legal implications (e.g., capacity evaluations, informed consent, confidentiality, serving as a witness in court proceedings).
  • Full coverage of controversies unique to this group of disorders. For example, because no other set of DSM-5 diagnoses require a stressor as an etiological agent, this dimension can add considerable controversy to these diagnoses.
  • Comprehensive overview of the development of the stress and trauma disorders chapter of the upcoming revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11, expected for 2017), including crosswalk tables to compare ICD-10, DSM-5, and the planned ICD-11 and featuring a summary of the evidence base for specific treatments for ICD-10 or ICD-11 stress and trauma disorder categories.

In addition, key points, informative Web sites, and recommended reading at the end of each chapter are designed to consolidate and extend the practitioner's knowledge base. Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders provides readers with the latest research and treatment recommendations in an expertly edited, easy-to-use format that will earn its place in the clinician's library.


  • Contributors
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Borderline Between Normal and Pathological Responses
  • Chapter 2. Limits to the Phenomenological Approach to the Diagnosis of Adjustment Disorders
  • Chapter 3. Conceptual Framework and Controversies in Adjustment Disorders
  • Chapter 4. Adjustment Disorders: Epidemiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment
  • Chapter 5. Acute Stress Disorder
  • Chapter 6. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Epidemiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment
  • Chapter 7. Disintegrated Experience: Dissociation and Stress
  • Chapter 8. Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder and Its Treatment
  • Chapter 9. Therapeutic Adaptations of Resilience: Helping Patients Overcome the Effects of Trauma and Stress
  • Chapter 10. Medical-Legal Aspects of Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders
  • Chapter 11. ICD-10, ICD-11, and DSM-5: New Developments and the Crosswalks
  • Epilogue
  • Index


    Richard Bryant, Ph.D.
    Patricia Casey, M.D.
    Dennis Charney, M.D.
    Colleen E. Gribbin, M.A.
    Brian M. Iacoviello, Ph.D.
    Amy L. Lehrner, Ph.D.
    Andreas Maercker, M.D., Ph.D.
    Axel Perkonigg, Ph.D.
    Laura Pratchett, Ph.D.
    P. Resnick, M.D.
    M. Katherine Shear M.D.
    David Spiegel, M.D.
    James J. Strain, M.D.
    Peter Tyrer, M.D.
    H. Weinstein, M.D.
    Rachel Yehuda, Ph.D.

About the Authors

Patricia R. Casey, M.D., F.R.C.Psych., is Professor of Psychiatry at University College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland.

James J. Strain, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Medical Education at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, New York.

The editors, Drs. Casey and Strain, have provided a concise pragmatic guide to stress-related mental disorders. Utilizing criteria from both DSM-5 and ICD-11 (for 2017), they provide lucid chapters that will quickly orient the reader to current diagnoses and treatments for recently traumatized patients. The book will be especially useful for clinicians seeking an orientation to the field for the first time and for those more experienced clinicians who want an updated overview of the diagnoses encompassed by the category of trauma- and stressor-related disorders.—Mardi Horowitz, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco; author of Stress Response Syndromes, fifth edition, and Assessment Guided Treatment of PTSD

This is a lovely book, well-written and packed with information. It starts out with an erudite discussion of the dimensional aspects of experience and trauma and is immediately engaging. All mental health professionals will find the discussions applicable to their daily practice. The book is dimensional in many respects, i.e., where appropriate the chapters start with the neurobiological aspects of the discussion, move to epidemiology, then diagnosis, and treatment. Whether one is a physician or not, these discussions are relevant to clinical practice. The book is eminently practical and provides the clinician with material useful in the care of patients. Unlike many books on trauma that speak only about disorders, the chapter on resilience is crucial for our understanding of how people cope with adverse events and do not develop a psychiatric disorder. Numerous clinical vignettes illustrate the material vividly. This is a book all clinicians will want to read.—Philip R. Muskin, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry at CUMC, Chief of Service: Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Scientific Program Committee for APA2016

This book represents an excellent up-to-date review of research and treatment of trauma and stress related disorders by leading experts in the field.... In contrast to other books in the field, this book also includes very thoughtful chapters addressing the complicated border between normal and pathological stress responses and the limits of phenomenological approaches and controversies in adjustment disorders.—Ulrik Fredrik Malt, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway

Stress and trauma are part of every life. Most individuals cope, and many even grow as a result. However some do not, and their pathologic responses have received increasing attention in modern psychiatry. Casey and Strain have assembled the world's experts to provide a clear, comprehensive and clinically relevant survey of the field, ranging from adjustment and stress disorders to complicated grief. They discuss epidemiology, diagnosis, phenomenology and treatment, and introduce us to the neurobioligic and psychosocial substrates of the disorders. This is a book for every mental health professional who sees patients coping with stress, and that means every mental health professional.—Robert Michels, M.D., Walsh McDermott University Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry, Cornell University

Expert witnesses provide opinions that assist the delivery of justice. They are often required to have regard to relevant research. In the field of trauma- and stress-related disorders, there have been considerable developments in recent years. This textbook will therefore be of enormous assistance to psychiatric expert witnesses. It thoroughly and comprehensively reviews the relevant research and assists as to the reliability and implications of many of the studies reported. It helpfully sets the disorders in the context of ICD-10 and DSM-5 and anticipates their treatment in ICD-11, which is particularly important in jurisdictions which expect psychiatric expert witnesses to refer to these internationally recognized systems of classification.—Professor Keith Rix, Honorary Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Visiting Professor of Medical Jurisprudence, Institute of Medicine, University of Chester, UK

Casey and Strain's Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders is the book for anyone, from first-year clinical students to seasoned clinical researchers, who wants to get beyond the DSM's symptom lists and understand the thinking behind the new DSM chapter devoted to the trauma- and stress-related disorders such as PTSD, adjustment disorder, and the new category of persistent complex bereavement-related disorder.—Jerome C. Wakefield, Ph.D., D.S.W., University Professor, Professor of Social Work, and Professor of Psychiatry, New York University

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