Trauma Assessments : A Clinician's Guide book cover
1st Edition

Trauma Assessments
A Clinician's Guide

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ISBN 9781572302518
Published October 15, 1997 by Guilford Press
307 Pages

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Book Description

Providing the information and guidance clinicians need to understand and assess psychological trauma and its effects, this book presents a step-by-step approach to conducting careful, appropriate, and accurate trauma assessments. From the initial screening, to the selection and administration of more in-depth measures for particular clients, to evaluating results and making a diagnosis, the author helps readers maximize their time and resources and brings much-needed clarity to what can be a confusing and difficult process. Instruments covered include self-report measures and structured interviews of trauma and trauma responses for adults and children. Detailed profiles of 36 measures recommended by the author--many not previously described in the clinical literature, and many available at low or no cost--identify each instrument's suggested uses, special features, format, and psychometric properties, as well as how it can be obtained.

Table of Contents

I. Understanding the Impact of Trauma
1. The Importance of Understanding Responses to Trauma
2. A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Responses to Trauma
3. Common Responses to Traumatic Experiences
4. Factors That Influence the Responses to Traumatic Experiences
5. Understanding Responses to Discrete and Chronic Traumatic Experiences
II. Planning and Implementing Assessments
6. Challenges to Assessing Trauma and Trauma Responses
7. Developing an Assessment Strategy
8. Selecting and Administering Measures
III. Making Use of Assessment Results
9. Interpreting the Results and Making a Diagnosis
10. Where to Go from Here: Treatment Options
11. Future Directions
Measure Profiles
Section A: Measures of Traumatic Experiences
Section B: Self-Report Measures of Responses to Trauma
Section C: Structured Interviews for Posttraumatic and Dissociative Disorders
Section D: Measures of Trauma and Trauma Responses for Children
Appendix: Resources on Trauma and Trauma-Related Disorders

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Eve B. Carlson, PhD, is a clinical psychologist with the National Center for PTSD--Menlo Park. She conducts research on the psychological impact of traumatic experiences and provides training in trauma research methodology and assessment of traumatic experiences and trauma-related symptoms and disorders. Her previous publications include an edited volume, Trauma Research Methodology, as well as numerous articles and book chapters. She has collaborated on the development of several measures of the effects of trauma, including the Dissociative Experiences Scale. Dr. Carlson's research, work on measurement development, and professional leadership have been honored by awards from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and the International Society for the Study of Dissociation.


Eve Carlson, already celebrated as coauthor of the Dissociative Experiences Scale, has now written an eminently accessible, cogent clinical guide to the assessment of trauma and posttraumatic states. Especially recommended for those new to the study and treatment of trauma, this book has much to offer the seasoned trauma specialist as well. --John Briere, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Southern California School of Medicine

This volume is a major contribution to the growing literature on the assessment of trauma and posttraumatic responses. Dr. Eve Carlson provides clinicians with an up-to-date and comprehensive resource on psychological trauma, its symptoms, and the various factors related to severity and outcome. Of particular value are the sensitivity with which Dr. Carlson approaches the topic and the clinical wisdom she imparts regarding the necessity and difficulty of assessing trauma responses. This book will benefit both clinicians and their clients. --Christine A. Courtois, PhD, Clinical Director, The CENTER: Posttraumatic Disorders Program, The Psychiatric Institute of Washington, Washington, DC, Author, Healing the Incest Wound: Adult Survivors in Therapy

Effective psychological intervention with children and adults who have experienced trauma involves far more than identification of a trauma history. Eve Carlson makes the very important contribution of reminding clinicians that there are complex pathways between potentially traumatic experiences and negative outcomes in individuals. This guide offers specific and clinically useful ways to assess trauma impact in everyday practice. --Lucy Berliner, MSW, Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress