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Principles and Techniques of Trauma-Centered Psychotherapy

David Read Johnson, Ph.D., and Hadar Lubin, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-514-7
  • Item #62514

Description

Principles and Techniques of Trauma-Centered Psychotherapy integrates cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, and humanistic methods of trauma treatment into a psychotherapeutic context. Rather than presenting a unique form of intervention or technique, the authors present methods that have been used successfully, some of which are supported by evidence-based research and some by broad clinical experience. This is not a general text, then, but one focused on building competence and confidence in trauma-centered interventions, providing methods that should be readily and widely applicable to clinical practice. The authors recognize that asking a client about the details of a traumatic event is an intimate act that calls upon the therapist to be both compassionate and dispassionate in the service of the client’s well-being. Accordingly, the book functions as a guide, instructing and supporting the clinician through this demanding and necessary work.

The book has many useful features:

  • The book stresses technique, not theory, and is appropriate for clinicians of any theoretical orientation, including cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, humanistic, and sociocultural. Similarly, the book will be useful to a range of clinicians, from psychiatrists and psychologists to social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors.
  • Dozens of detailed clinical case examples are included that illustrate what to say and what not to say in the wide variety of situations that clinicians are likely to encounter.
  • Down-to-earth strategies are included for setting up the proper trauma-centered frame for the therapeutic work, conducting a detailed trauma history, exploring the effects of the trauma on present-day behavior, and handling the inevitable disruptions in the therapeutic relationship.
  • Valuable features include study questions, which conclude each chapter, and appendices, which provide a template for a consent-to-treatment form, a traumatic life events questionnaire, and a clinical assessment interview.


In many long-term therapies, regardless of therapeutic orientation, a moment comes when the clinician or client realizes it is time to engage in a detailed exploration of traumatic events. Principles and Techniques of Trauma-Centered Psychotherapy is for that moment, and its rich clinical transcripts and vast detailed techniques will equip the therapist to embark on that process confidently, humanely, and effectively.

Contents

About the Authors
Acknowledgments
Preface
Chapter 1. The Developing Cultural Context of Trauma-Centered Psychotherapy
Chapter 2. Axioms of Trauma-Centered Psychotherapy
Chapter 3. Establishing the Trauma-Centered Frame
Chapter 4. Principles of Trauma-Centered Psychotherapy
Chapter 5. The Four Main Techniques
Chapter 6. The First Session
Chapter 7. Continuing the Trauma History: Getting the Details and Formulating the Trauma Schema
Chapter 8. Conducting Ongoing Treatment: Decoding the Trauma Schema in Current Behaviors
Chapter 9. The Gap: When the Trauma Schema Emerges in the Therapeutic Relationship
Chapter 10. Long-Term Process in Treatment
Chapter 11. Handling the Edges
Chapter 12. Working With Clients With Dissociative Identity Disorder
Chapter 13. Working With Clients With Borderline Personality Disorder
Chapter 14. Trauma-Centered Group Psychotherapy
Chapter 15. Trauma-Centered Couples and Family Psychotherapy
Chapter 16. Adjunctive Methods
Chapter 17. Strains on the Therapist
Chapter 18. Limits to the Trauma-Centered Approach
Chapter 19. Conclusion
References
Answers to Study Questions
Appendix A: Consent to Treatment
Appendix B: Traumatic Life Events Questionnaire
Appendix C: Clinical Interview for Assessment of Trauma History
Index

About the Authors

David Read Johnson, Ph.D., is Co-director of the Post Traumatic Stress Center in New Haven, Connecticut and Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. He was formerly the Unit Chief of the Specialized Inpatient PTSD Unit at the National Center for PTSD, VA Medical Center, in West Haven, Connecticut. He is the co-author (with H. Lubin) of Trauma-Centered Group Psychotherapy for Women (Francis & Taylor, 2008), and co-editor (with N. Sajnani) of Trauma-Informed Drama Therapy: Transforming Clinics, Classrooms, and Communities (Charles C Thomas, 2014), as well as numerous articles on trauma treatment.

Hadar Lubin, M.D., is Co-director of the Post Traumatic Stress Center in New Haven, Connecticut and Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. She was formerly the Unit Chief of the Specialized Inpatient PTSD Unit at the National Center for PTSD, VA Medical Center, in West Haven, Connecticut. She is the co-author (with D. Johnson) of Trauma-Centered Group Psychotherapy for Women (Francis & Taylor, 2008), as well as numerous articles on trauma treatment.

Principles and Techniques of Trauma-Centered Psychotherapy, by David Read Johnson, Ph.D. and Hadar Lubin, M.D. makes an impact. In this book, two very thoughtful and experienced clinicians and teachers convey incisive perspectives on social and psychological contexts that shape the psychological responses to extremely stressful life events. Then, in successive chapters, they lead the reader through the process of applying trauma-centered psychotherapy in individual, group, and couples therapy. In so doing, they clearly articulate basic techniques as well as typical challenges faced in therapy with traumatized individuals.—John H. Krystal, M.D., Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Professor of Translational Research Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Professor of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine
Chief of Psychiatry, Yale-New Haven Hospital


Principles and Techniques of Trauma-Centered Psychotherapy is a must read for students, practitioners, educators, and even for experts in the field . . . I believe I have already added to my “tool-kit” and improved my approach thanks to this well presented, authentic, and authoritative volume.—Frank M. Ochberg, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Michigan State University, Former Associate Director, NIMH, Recipient, Lifetime Achievement Award, ISTSS


In Principles and Techniques of Trauma-Centered Psychotherapy, the authors provide an important and needed addition to the trauma treatment literature. They expertly guide the clinician through the nuances and challenges of asking directly and in detail about traumatic events and experiences. As Lubin and Read note, this approach is not for the faint-hearted. They offer clear rationale for trauma-centered psychotherapy whether it is used as a freestanding approach or is part of a sequenced treatment.—Christine A. Courtois, PhD, ABPP, Psychologist, Independent Practice, Washington, DC, National Clinical Trauma Consultant, Elements Behavioral Health/Promises, Malibu, CA and Brightwater, Landing, Wrightsville, PA, Author, Healing the Incest Wound; Treating Complex Trauma: A Sequenced, Relationship-based Approach (with Julian Ford, PhD)

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