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Treatment of Stress Response Syndromes, Second Edition

Mardi J. Horowitz, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-61537-367-3
  • Item #37367

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Stress is a universal condition. However, severe stress related to loss, trauma, and/or terror necessitates an integrated approach, one that was pioneered nearly 20 years ago with the publication of Treatment of Stress Response Syndromes. This classic text has been updated and revised for our times, reflecting changes in DSM-5, which introduced a new category of diagnoses called trauma- and stressor-related disorders. This new edition updates treatment recommendations for these disorders and emphasizes formulation for determining appropriate therapeutic strategies. The author's method is assessment-based and does not compartmentalize its recommendations into treatment modalities such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, prolonged exposure, or cognitive processing therapy. Instead, the book takes an integrative and transtheoretical approach that emphasizes repeated assessments, resulting in treatment plans that are individualized, flexible, and more responsive to patient changes. Clinicians plan interventions based on the current state of mind of patients as they progress through the processing of traumatic events.

The new edition reflects evolution in the field, including the following:

  • The cross-theoretical approach helps practitioners integrate previously acquired clinical concepts without limiting them to one treatment modality or school of thought, enhancing their ability to respond to patient needs.
  • Assessment can be used throughout all phases of treatment, which leads to the possibility of enhancing emotional control, advancing attachment models, and consolidating identity.
  • Because of the financial constraints of insurance coverage or military troop availability, many treatment guidelines for PTSD focus on brief therapy; however, this book stresses the need for therapies of the length required to provide full benefit to patients and to lead to personality growth.

In addition, the inclusion of illustrative cases anchors techniques to pragmatic actions, engaging readers and focusing them on the most critically important concepts. End-of-chapter summaries allow review of key principles, and pertinent tables and figures condense essential information for easy understanding and retrieval.

Of great practical value for psychotherapists and other mental health professionals working with patients experiencing the effects of serious life events, Treatment of Stress Response Syndromes is the definitive guide to the psychotherapy and management of acute stress and PTSD, combining clear and compelling case descriptions with the eloquent presentation of therapeutic technique.


  • Chapter 1. Principles of Psychological Responses to Stressor Events
  • Chapter 2. Assessment and Treatment Planning
  • Chapter 3. Providing Support
  • Chapter 4. Linking the Meanings of Stressor Events to the Self
  • Chapter 5. Improving Coping Skills
  • Chapter 6. Renarration and Reschematization
  • Chapter 7. Terminating
  • Chapter 8. Assessing Change
  • Chapter 9. Conclusion
  • Recommended Readings
  • References

About the Authors

Mardi J. Horowitz, M.D., is Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. He is past president of the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute, the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, and the Society for Psychotherapy Research.

In Treatment of Stress Response Syndromes, Marti Horowitz, the greatest living pioneer in the area of traumatic stress, provides us with lucid, wise and comprehensive approaches to treat the ravages of trauma. Abundant clinical examples illustrate Horowitz' systematic analyses of people's character styles, self-regulation capacities and ability for introspection necessary to assimilate traumatic memories, and to deal with the accompanying anxiety, shame, guilt and disturbances of identity and relationships. A must read for everybody dedicated to healing traumatic stress.—Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D.

This book is of high quality and useful for learning to better manage stress response syndromes. The author is a highly regarded expert in the field and provides a unique transtheoretical approach to treatment. The author does not suggest any specific type of therapeutic modality; rather the book focuses on developing a solid biopsychosocial formulation for each patient and using that as a guide for which specific techniques to use. This approach, which focuses on flexibility of the clinician in order to better provide care for the patient, is a strength of this book. Furthermore, the book has several helpful case examples that support individual strategies or ideas discussed by the author.—Chad R. Percifield, D.O., Doody's Book Reviews

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