Treating PTSD presents a comprehensive, compassion-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approach that provides therapists with the evidence-based information they need to understand trauma’s effects on the mind and body as well as the phases of healing. Chapters offer discussion, practical tools, and interventions that therapists can use with clients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to reduce feelings of distress and increase their sense of safety. Readers are introduced to the metaphor of "the valley of the shadow of death" to explain the experience of PTSD; they’re also shown how to identify the work they’ll need to do as therapists to accompany clients on their healing journey. Two new compassion-focused CBT interventions for trauma processing are also introduced.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. A Brief History of Our Understanding of Trauma 2. Trauma Foundations 3. Traumatic Stress Responses 4. Complex Trauma 5. Recommended Evidence-Based Approaches for Treating PTSD 6. Clinical Foundations for Working with Clients Suffering from PTSD 7. Therapist Self-Care 8. First Things First 9. Gathering Tools for the Journey 10. Beginning the Climb – Trauma Processing 11. Preparing for Counseling Termination: Living with the Scars Appendix 1. Traumatic Stress Symptom Screening Checklist (TSSSC) Appendix 2. Suicide Risk Assessment Appendix 3. Safety Plan Appendix 4. Understanding Your Window of Tolerance Appendix 5. Individual Distress Tolerance Plan Appendix 6. Sample Referral Letter to Physician Appendix 7. Sample Therapist Letter to Client Appendix 8. Negative Cognitions Questionnaire – Initial Form (NCQ-IF) Appendix 9. Compassion-Focused CBT - Summary
Shirley Porter, MEd, RSW, CCC, is a registered psychotherapist who has been providing trauma counseling for more than 25 years. She currently works in the counseling department at Fanshawe College and is an adjunct clinical professor at Western University, both in Ontario, Canada.
"Traumatic life events and traumatic relationships create darkness; one feels lost, vulnerable, and alone in the ‘valley of the shadow of death.’ But through self-compassion, borne of the experience of a compassionate other, Shirley Porter shows us how therapy can help the trauma survivor find the warrior spirit within. Shirley Porter’s approach to trauma therapy moves us beyond the limits of the cognitive-behavioral to the humanistic, spiritual, and existential; the therapist's task is primarily to bear witness, and hold hope, with compassion and reverence."
Paul Frewen, PhD, CPsych, associate professor, Department of Psychiatry, Western University, Canada
"Few disclosures shake a mental health practitioner more than when a client says, ‘You see, I had this thing happen years ago, and I can’t seem to get back on my game.’ Never has there been more of a need for trauma-informed care for our clients, and never has there been more of a need for a useful, evidence-based and experientially informed guide in the hands of a practitioner such as Treating PTSD."
Alan W. Leschied, PhD, C. Psych, professor and psychologist, University of Western Ontario, Canada
"’Our clients have allowed us a tremendous honor.’ With that necessary understanding, Porter provides the reader a seasoned guide to the complex treatment of extensive traumatic wounding. Treating PTSD is an invaluable and respectful resource for both clinician and client."
Sandra Butler, MA, author of It Never Ends; Mothering Middle-Aged Daughters