Many women seeking treatment for depression, suicidal feelings, substance use problems, difficult or abusive relationships and self-inflicted harm are actually experiencing complex post-traumatic stress. While post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been recognized for some time, complex post-traumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD) is a recently recognized diagnostic category that better captures the range of adaptations and effects of trauma resulting from early and/or chronic childhood abuse -- abuse usually perpetrated in a larger context of neglect and deprivation.
Most mental health professionals recognize the challenges in offering help when a client's problems seem to be both complex and overwhelming, but they are often unsure of how first to intervene. First Stage Trauma Treatment: A Guide for Therapists Working with Women provides a conceptual framework for understanding women's experience of trauma, the basic components of treatment, and specific tools and strategies to use in beginning this work.
First Stage Trauma Treatment is written for a diverse audience: mental health and addiction professionals who actively treat women who are abuse survivors, and related caregivers who wish to understand more about the clients they serve. All readers will learn ways of increasing safety and reducing and stabilizing symptoms in the lives of the women abuse survivors with whom they work.