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Psychotherapy With Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders

Disorders resulting from trauma are significantly different from other psychiatric-mental health issues. Unlike disorders such as schizophrenia or major depressive disorder, trauma-related disorders do not occur randomly in the population. Instead, trauma is something that occurs as a result of the lived experience of a traumatic event. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (2017), more than half of the population will experience a traumatic event during their lifetime. Although most people will recover from the trauma on their own, some require therapeutic interventions. While there are medications that can help individuals with trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the foundation of treatment continues to be psychotherapy.

This week, you explore psychotherapy for trauma by assessing a case presentation for clients presenting with posttraumatic stress disorder. You also examine therapies for treating these clients and consider potential outcomes.

Reference: National Institute of Mental Health. (2017). Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Explain the neurobiological      basis for PTSD
  • Apply assessment and      diagnostic reasoning skills to clients presenting with posttraumatic      stress disorder
  • Recommend therapeutic      approaches for treating clients presenting with posttraumatic stress      disorder
  • Analyze the importance of      using evidence-based psychotherapy treatments for clients with      posttraumatic stress disorder

Learning Resources

Required Readings (click to expand/reduce)

Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2020). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (3rd ed.). Springer Publishing.

  • Chapter      3, “Assessment and Diagnosis” (Previously read in Week 2)
  • Chapter      7, “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy”
  • Chapter      11, “Trauma Resiliency Model Therapy”
  • Chapter      15, “Trauma-Informed Medication Management”
  • Chapter      17, “Stabilization for Trauma and Dissociation”
  • Chapter      18, “Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Complex Trauma”

Required Media (click to expand/reduce)

Assignment: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It is estimated that more almost 7% of the U.S. population will experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in their lifetime (National Institute of Mental Health, 2017). This debilitating disorder often interferes with an individual’s ability to function in daily life. Common symptoms of anxiousness and depression frequently lead to behavioral issues, adolescent substance abuse issues, and even physical ailments. For this Assignment, you examine a PTSD video case study and consider how you might assess and treat clients presenting with PTSD.

To prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning      Resources and reflect on the insights they provide about diagnosing and      treating PTSD.
  • View the media Presentation      Example: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and assess the      client in the case study.
  • For guidance on assessing      the client, refer to Chapter 3 of the Wheeler text.

Note: To complete this Assignment, you must assess the client, but you are not required to submit a formal comprehensive client assessment.

The Assignment

Succinctly, in 2 pages, address the following:

  • Briefly explain the      neurobiological basis for PTSD illness.
  • Discuss the DSM-5-TR diagnostic      criteria for PTSD and relate these criteria to the symptomology presented      in the case study. Does the video case presentation provide sufficient      information to derive a PTSD diagnosis? Justify your reasoning. Do you      agree with the other diagnoses in the case presentation? Why or why not?
  • Discuss one other      psychotherapy treatment option for the client in this case study. Explain      whether your treatment option is considered a “gold standard treatment”      from a clinical practice guideline perspective, and why using gold      standard, evidence-based treatments from clinical practice guidelines is      important for psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners.

Support your Assignment with specific examples from this week’s media and at least three peer-reviewed, evidence-based sources. Explain why each of your supporting sources is considered scholarly. Attach the PDFs of your sources.

Submit your Assignment. Also attach and submit PDFs of the sources you used.


You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

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