Posted 1 October 2001 in StressPoints by Onno van der Hart, Kathy Steele, and Julian D. Ford
Compared with the growing base of efficacy research on short-term cognitive behavioral and exposure treatments for PTSD and acute stress disorder (cf, Bryant et al., 1999; Foa et al., 2000), there is a dearth of outcome research on treatment of complex PTSD. Yet, many trauma survivors experience pervasive polysymptomatic impairments that go beyond PTSD. ISTSS recognizes the need for further clinical study and research into the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of complex PTSD. ISTSS President Bonnie Green formed the Complex Trauma Task Force (CTTF) in November 2000-consisting of John Briere, Christine Courtois, Julian Ford, Laurie Pearlman, Onno van der Hart and Bessel van der Kolk. The CTTF will make recommendations for further study of complex PTSD based upon a summary of literature that will be presented in a special issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress. This article introduces issues in the treatment of complex PTSD.