Authored by two experienced clinicians, this insightful guide provides a pragmatic roadmap for treating adult survivors of complex psychological trauma. Christine Courtois and Julian Ford present their effective, research-based approach for helping clients move through three clearly defined phases of posttraumatic recovery. Two detailed case examples run throughout the book, illustrating how to plan and implement strengths-based interventions that use a secure therapeutic alliance as a catalyst for change. Essential topics include managing crises, treating severe affect dysregulation and dissociation, and dealing with the emotional impact of this type of work. The companion Web page offers downloadable reflection questions for clinicians and extensive listings of professional and self-help resources.See also Drs. Courtois and Ford's edited volume, Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders, which presents research on the nature of complex trauma and reviews a range of evidence-based treatment models for adults.
Reviews and Endorsements:
"The state of the art of treating complex trauma, both the basics and the nuances, as summarized by two wise and sophisticated experts."--Judith Lewis Herman, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
"Courtois and Ford, two internationally acknowledged experts, have written a magnificent book on the nature and phase-oriented treatment of complex trauma. Destined to become an instant classic, the book is illustrated throughout with instructive case material. It is at once an excellent guide for the uninitiated and an outstanding resource for experienced clinicians in the field. As most forms of complex trauma occur in interpersonal relationships, the book's emphasis on the therapeutic relationship as the vehicle for healing contributes to its importance."--Onno van der Hart, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Psychopathology of Chronic Traumatization, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
"Finally! We have long needed a clinical guidebook that takes treatment providers through the process of therapy for complex posttraumatic stress syndromes, which are among the greatest challenges that professionals encounter. Courtois and Ford's broad and deep clinical experience shines through in their discussion of assessment, engagement, and treatment--as does their optimism, passion, and hope."--Sandra L. Bloom, MD, founder, The Sanctuary Model
"Courtois and Ford provide detailed guidelines for conducting their sequenced treatment approach, from preparation, assessment, and planning, to each of the phases of therapy. The book covers the 'meat and potatoes' of trauma therapy: ensuring client safety, cultivating the therapeutic relationship, and processing trauma memories. It includes strategies from different theoretical approaches and treatment modalities and addresses more complex processes, such as psychic emptiness and dissociation. Written with exceptional clarity, compassion, and respect, and richly illustrated with clinical material, this is an invaluable resource for clinicians."--Sandra C. Paivio, PhD, CPsych, Department of Psychology, University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
"Both authors have worked extensively with survivors of complex trauma, and share their wisdom and experience in this book. At a time when this clinical population is becoming more visible to clinicians, this thoughtful, extensively documented work is a real treasure. The emphasis on therapist self-care and the ways in which the authors underscore the central importance of therapist self-awareness and self-regulation are particularly valuable. This book will be required reading for all of my interns."--Laura S. Brown, PhD, ABPP, Director, Fremont Community Therapy Project, Seattle, Washington