VISTAS Trauma, Grief, Disaster, and Crisis Counseling

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Current Topics in Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Rose McMahill


Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (cPTSD), a diagnostic category which addresses the characterological changes that may occur in a survivor of chronic, prolonged abuse, has been proposed for inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., text rev.; DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000). In this paper, the author examines 1) the research that has been conducted thus far to determine if cPTSD has clinical usefulness and relevance, 2) gaps in the extant research which may impact this usefulness, and 3) how the concept of cPTSD may be applied in a therapeutic setting, taking cultural variables into account.

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