This best-selling classic presents seminal theory and research on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Together, the leading editors and contributors comprehensively examine how trauma affects an individual's biology, conceptions of the world, and psychological functioning. Key topics include why certain people cope successfully with traumatic experiences while others do not, the neurobiological processes underlying PTSD symptomatology, enduring questions surrounding traumatic memories and dissociation, and the core components of effective interventions. A highly influential work that laid the foundation for many of the field's continuing advances, this volume remains an immensely informative and thought-provoking clinical reference.
©1996 The Guilford Press; Preface to the Paperback Edition copyright 2007 by The Guilford Press (P)2017 Tantor
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Critic reviews

"It is impossible to capture the richness, breadth of perspective, and sheer clinical wisdom that van der Kolk and his colleagues bring to this volume." ( Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Terence Alan Browning on 05-09-17

Solid science, but for practitioners only

If you could sum up Traumatic Stress in three words, what would they be?

The book is a good primer and reference for practitioners. There are a large number of studies to back up the points made in each chapter. The sources are mostly drawn from studies of military veterans and survivors of natural disasters or rape.
Lay readers, especially those without knowledge of medical jargon, will find the book incomprehensible. It contains no self-help advice.

I have 2 reservations:
1. The theory is Freudian. These days, I would expect a migration to a neuroscience approach to theory; however, this is a minor part of the book and does not detract from the main content.
2. The authors idealize religion. While some practitioners and patients may gain much from faith, some people (myself included) have been traumatized in the name of religion. Were I given a religious treatment, that would serve only to re-traumatize me. Practitioners should beware of blindly assuming that particular beliefs or practices are universally good.

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