Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: a short theoretical review

Author: Elena Buneru
Private Practice, Clinical Psychology, Călăraşi, Romania

DSM-5 includes the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the category of Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders. This category includes disorders where an unfavorable event, of traumatic nature or not, precedes the mental disorder. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is triggered by exposure to such stimuli as death, death threats, and serious injuries to one’s person or sexual assault. It is either the direct experience of a traumatic event or witnessing one. However, the realization that a traumatic event occurred to a close family member or close friend (such as the threat of death, violent death or accident) might trigger PTSD. Moreover, PTSD is maintained by repeatedly reliving the trauma or even exposure to adversive stimuli of the traumatic event through media, images, pictures, videos, TV reports and movies. From a clinical point of view, the disorder causes significant stress with consequences in terms of changes in the individual’s social interactions, work capacity and other functions.
Keywords: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, traumatic event, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, narrative trauma