Science and non-science based treatments for trauma related stress disorders



Publication Details

Lohr, J. M., Gist, R., Deacon, B., Devilly, G. J. & Varker, T. (2015). Science and non-science based treatments for trauma related stress disorders. In S. O. Lilienfeld, S. J. Lynn & J. M. Lohr (Eds.), Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology (pp. 277-321). New York, United States: The Guilford Press.


In this chapter we critically examine widely promoted interventions for psychological trauma and its sequelae. Because the field of trauma treatment has been fertile ground for treatments with questionable claims of efficacy and effectiveness, careful scrutiny of all trauma treatments is warranted. We begin by discussing the features of psychological trawna and its prevalence. We next describe the two major diagnostic disorders that are reactions to traumatic events: posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and acute stress disorder (ASD). We then address the nature of treatment efficacy research on trauma and its relation to treatment effectiveness. In doing so, we outline contemporary cognitive-behavioral theories of anxiety disorders and describe empirically supported psychosocial treatments for those conditions. We next discuss promising psychosocial procedures for pre-event and postevent prevention of the disorders. Finally, we discuss the professional and social implications of the implementation of science-based interventions for trauma.

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