This site uses cookies.

Book Reviews: Assessing and Treating Post Traumatic Stress - Professor Hugh Koch

31/03/20.Two publications are ‘hot off the press’ which bring lawyers and clinicians up to date with the latest guidance and research in how to formulate/assess a case of PTSD and how, then, to treat this using a cognitive behavioural approach. A timely duo for a review publication in PIBULJ to accompany another article outlining evidential issues in a recent case of trauma.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for PTSD: Zayfert C and Becher C.B (2020) Guilford Press London.

This excellent text bridged research and clinical practice in the field of trauma. It contains case study examples, therapist-client dialogues, and downloadable handouts which illustrate how to establish and implement treatment. Although designed for mental health clinicians, it is also accessible to other professionals including lawyers who operate in a personal injury or medical negligence context. It provides an up-to-date review of relevant trauma literature and debates the complex clinical (and by implication, medico-legal) picture of trauma and stress.

Different trauma histories, co-occurring morbidity (problems) and complex life circumstances present the assessor, both clinical and legal, with a complicated set of questions surrounding diagnosis, causation and prognosis. Zayfert and Becher tackle these complex areas in a highly competent way, making continuous references as appropriate to current research and DSM-5 diagnostic changes.

Whether you are new to PTSD assessment and treatment or an experienced clinician or litigator, this text provides a realistic context for understanding the concepts surrounding traumatic stress and its successful treatment.

Clinicians Guide to PTSD: A Cognitive-Behavioural Approach (2017) Taylor S. Guilford Press London.

For those who have experience of assessing and debating Post Traumatic Stress, this thorough and comprehensive text provides a clear review of the latest evidence for the benefits and limitations of CBT, covering several different populations including children, older adults and those with substance abuse problems. It provides an excellent framework for planning and implementing CBT, addressing the many complexities of different types of trauma. Excellent case examples bring the reader up to date in many advances in assessment and treatment techniques and outcome research including the joint use of CBT and drug therapy. They conclude by stating: “A governing body of research suggests that CBT is a biological intervention and has the capacity for normalising activity and connectivity among brain regions – the search for optimal ways of integrating CBT with other biological interventions holds great promise for treating PTSD”.

A bold and challenging final statement in an in-depth text on PTSD.

Image ©

All information on this site was believed to be correct by the relevant authors at the time of writing. All content is for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. No liability is accepted by either the publisher or the author(s) for any errors or omissions (whether negligent or not) that it may contain. 

The opinions expressed in the articles are the authors' own, not those of Law Brief Publishing Ltd, and are not necessarily commensurate with general legal or medico-legal expert consensus of opinion and/or literature. Any medical content is not exhaustive but at a level for the non-medical reader to understand. 

Professional advice should always be obtained before applying any information to particular circumstances.

Excerpts from judgments and statutes are Crown copyright. Any Crown Copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of OPSI and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland under the Open Government Licence.