College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Treatment of Children with Complicated Posttraumatic Stress Reactions.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2004

Publication Title

Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training.

ISSN

0033-3204

Volume

41

Issue/No.

4

Abstract

Complicated or complex posttraumatic stress reactions in children typically indicate a history of protracted trauma and often include both a greater number of symptoms with heightened severity as compared with children experiencing single-incident traumas. Complicated traumatic stress responses in childhood are usually more difficult to treat than less complex ones. Characteristics of the traumatic event as well as mediating and moderating variables, which can render the child susceptible to a complicated trauma reaction, are delineated in this article. Interventions are presented to address the diverse difficulties presented by children with a complicated trauma reaction, including safety planning, grief work, family therapy, cognitive-behavioral individual treatment, and utilization of various systems of childhood (e.g., school).

DOI

10.1037/0033-3204.41.4.426