Diagnosing and Treating Complex Trauma  book cover
1st Edition

Diagnosing and Treating Complex Trauma

ISBN 9780415821148
Published August 26, 2014 by Routledge
234 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations

SAVE ~ $10.59
was $52.95
USD $42.36

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The term complex trauma refers to a broad range of symptoms resulting from exposure to prolonged or repeated severely traumatizing events. This broad spectrum of psychological symptoms complicates the formulation of an all-encompassing explicit definition, which in turn complicates the creation of specific treatment guidelines. In Diagnosing and Treating Complex Trauma, Trudy Mooren and Martijn Stöfsel explore the concept of complex trauma with reference to severely traumatised people including refugees, asylum seekers, war veterans, people with severe occupational trauma and childhood trauma and others who have dealt with severe violence.

The book introduces a layered model for diagnosing and treating complex trauma in four parts. Part One introduces the concept of complex trauma, its historical development and the various theories about trauma. The authors introduce a layered model that describes the symptoms of complex trauma, and conclude with a discussion on the three-phase model. Part Two describes the diagnostic options available that make use of a layered model of complex trauma. Part Three discusses the treatment of complex trauma using the three-phase model as an umbrella model that encompasses the entire treatment. Chapters cover a multitude of stabilization techniques crucial to the treatment of every client group regardless of the therapeutic expectations. This part also contains an overview of the general and specific trauma processing techniques. The last chapter in this part covers the third phase of the treatment: integration. Part Four addresses the characteristics of different groups of clients who are affected by complex trauma, the components that affect their treatment and the suggested qualities required of a therapist to deal with each group. The book concludes with a chapter discussing the consequences for therapists providing treatment to people afflicted by complex trauma.

Developed from the authors’ own clinical experiences, Diagnosing and Treating Complex Trauma is a key guide and reference for healthcare professionals working with severely traumatised adults, including psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, social-psychiatric nurses, and case managers.

Table of Contents

Contents. Preface. Part I: Definition and Treatment Models 1. Complex Trauma Defined 2. Treatment Models Part II: Diagnostics and Indication Assessment 3. Psychodiagnostics 4. Treatment Design. Part III: Treatments 5. Phase 1 – The stabilization phase 6. Phase 1 – Psychoeducation 7. Phase 1 – Control techniques 8. Phase 1 – Relaxation techniques 9. Phase 1 – Regulating trauma symptoms 10. Phase 2 – General aspects of therapeutic processing 11. Phase 2 – General trauma processing techniques 12. Phase 2 – Specific trauma processing techniques 13. Phase 3 – Integration. Part IV: Client and Therapist 14. Client Groups with Complex Trauma 15. Therapist Boundaries. References. Appendices.

View More



Trudy Mooren, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and senior researcher in Foundation Centrum ’45, a national institute for specialised diagnostics and treatment of psychotraumatic problems in the Netherlands. She is a licensed CBT, EMDR and family therapist and publishes in the field of complex trauma.

Martijn Stöfsel, MSc, is a clinical psychologist at Sinai Centrum, a Jewish specialized institute for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder and comorbidity. He also runs a private practice for psychotherapy and is a lecturer and supervisor at the Dutch Society for CBT (VGcT). He publishes in the field of complex trauma.


"The book is clearly organised and well indexed. It has a useful appendix and a comprehensive reference section which points readers to further articles and texts. The authors walk the reader through their process in a logical way, which makes the information contained in this book very accessible. There is a breadth of information here rather than a deep exploration of trauma, its aftermath and possible treatment options." – Wendy Thurling, Counsellor and Clinical Supervisor, The Australian Journal of Grief and Bereavement for Diagnosing and Treating Complex Trauma

"This is a most comprehensive, yet concise and pragmatic, introduction to therapeutic work with traumatized individuals and their families. The authors do not just embrace one treatment model but demonstrate how drawing from different theories it is possible to arrive at an integrative approach, with clear principles of how to apply general and specific trauma processing techniques. Many excellent case examples illustrate the authors’ multi-modal approach. There are also fascinating and unusual chapters on client groups with complex trauma which includes people affected by the Second World War, refugees, war veterans and job-related traumatization." –  Professor Dr Eia Asen, Anna Freud Centre and University College London

"This is a state of the art book about a multidimensional framework and approaches towards those who still suffer from tragic and traumatic events in their lives. Martijn Stöfsel and Trudy Mooren, both clinical psychologists, share their wealth of clinical wisdom about trauma and cognitive approaches to diminishing suffering. The book is excellent ‘food for thought’, not presented as ‘the solution’ towards complex trauma but with respect for the mosaic puzzle therapists are confronted with." –  Emeritus Professor Berthold Gersons, former president of the European Society for Traumatic Stress and former distinguished chair of psychiatry at the University of Amsterdam and senior scientific adviser of the Arq Psychotrauma Expert Group in the Netherlands