Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Mary Beth Williams, Ph.D., LCSW, CTS
Soili Poijula, Ph.D.

Course Description

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Simple, Effective Techniques for
Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms

In The PTSD Workbook, two psychologists and trauma experts gather together techniques and interventions used by PTSD experts from around the world to offer trauma survivors the most effective tools available to conquer their most distressing trauma-related symptoms. Readers learn how to determine the type of trauma they experienced, identify their symptoms, and learn the most effective strategies they can use to overcome them.

About the Authors

Mary Beth Williams, Ph.D., LCSW, CTS, treats trauma survivors in private practice at Trauma Recovery Education & Counseling Center in Warrenton, Virginia. She also specialized in crisis intervention as a school social worker. Williams is well known in U.S. and international trauma circles as an author, researcher, lecturer, and social policy advisory. She is the past-president of the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists.

Soili Poijula, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and licensed psychotherapist at Oy Synolon Ltd., Center for Trauma Psychology in Finland. She has been a member of the Finnish Red Cross Catastrophe Group and Finland’s Ministry of Health Advisory Board.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course you’ll be able to:

1. State the first step in dealing with trauma.
2. Define disassociation.
3. List the three major types of factors that influence the development of PTSD.
4. Define the sense of “coherence.”
5. Define eustress and distress.
6. Define depersonalization.
7. State when PTSD symptoms are acute, chronic and delayed.
8. List the seven symptoms of complex PTSD.
9. Define psychoeducation.
10. Define grounded.
11. Describe the four types of safety.
12. Describe the SUDS scale.
13. Define a metaphor.
14. Define and abreaction.
15. Discuss the research of Matsakis (1998) regarding hyperarousal.
16. Define containment.
17. Define homeostasis.
18. Define shutdown.
19. Define how anger is a signal emotion and when it becomes rage.
20. List examples of affirmation.
21. Describe guilt.
22. Describe shame.
23. List several types of loss and its consequences experienced with trauma.
24. Describe a healing ritual.
25. Define learned helplessness.
26. State the most common form of self-mutilation.
27. Describe an emotional boundary.
28. State the most familiar kind of dissociation, according to Rothschild (2000,65).
29. Describe Levine’s SIBAM model of dissociation.
30. Define somatizaton and list conversion symptoms.
31. State the functions of the amygdale and hippocampus when describing chronic pain.
32. Define schemas.
33. List the five basic psychological needs that motivate behavior, according to McCann and Pearlman (1990).
34. Define forgiveness according to Enright and Fitzgibbons(2000).
35. List three ways you can forgive.
36. List three main aspects that the impact of trauma has on interpersonal relationships.
37. Define intimacy.
38. State the single most important predictor of who develops long-term PTSD and other traumatic reactions, according to Matsakis.
39. Compare physical and emotional boundary.
40. Describe “Our Relationship Contract.”
41. List the purpose of paraphrasing.
42. Describe a probing question.
43. Define “black humor.”
44. Describe the “I” messages.
45. Define control talk, fight talk and spite talk.
46. Compare search and straight talk.
47. Describe the “belief in a foreshortened future.”
48. List the three attitudes that help you have hope.
49. Define coherence, according to Antonovsky.
50. Define “Salutogenesis.”

Course Contents

1. A Look at Trauma: Simple and Complex
2. Before Doing the Work: Safety, Security, and Intention
3. Identifying and Writing about What Has Happened to You
4. Helping Yourself When You Reexperience a Trauma
5. Coping with Trauma with Less Avoidance and Denial
6. The Physical Side of PTSD
7. Dealing with Associated Symptoms of PTSD: Guilt, Survivor Guilt, Shame and Loss
8. Difficulty Regulating Emotion (Complex PTSD, Category 1)
9. Alterations in Attention or Consciousness: Dealing with Dissociation and Traumatic Amnesia (Complex PTSD, Category 2)
10. Somatization: How Trauma Impacts Your Body (Complex PTSD, Category 3)
11. How Trauma Impacts the Way You View Yourself (Complex PTSD, Category 4)
12. Dealing with Your Perpetrators (Complex PTSD, Category 5)
13. Alterations in Your Relationships with Others (Complex PTSD, Category 6)
14. Finding Meaning (Complex PTSD, Category 7)
15. Final Thoughts and Exercises


“This excellent workbook, based on a rich body of research, will be helpful to anyone who has experienced a sudden, incomprehensible event or suffered lifelong abuse. The authors have provided readers with a clear, comprehensive explanation of trauma, accompanied by practical yet creative exercises to help them manage their trauma symptoms. It’s also a valuable resource for clinicians as well as members of the general public striving to understand trauma and return to everyday functioning.” – Betty Stevens-Guille Ph.D. C. Psych., Trauma Specialist.

“For those who believe that they will never feel ‘normal’ after a traumatic event, this workbook provides many techniques that survivors can use to jump start their recovery… an extremely important tool for growth and strength.” – James D. Baxendale, Ph.D., CTS

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