Trauma Psychology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Scopus citations


The purpose of this chapter is to review research on the prevalence of traumatic life events, risk factors for exposure to traumatic events, the psychological effects of traumatic life events, risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the effectiveness of interventions for PTSD, and posttraumatic growth. This research suggests that virtually everyone experiences a traumatic event in their lifetime, although some individuals are more at risk for exposure than are others (e.g., members of racial minority groups). Although the vast majority of people exposed to traumatic events do not develop PTSD, several individual (e.g., gender), trauma-related (e.g., event type), and posttrauma (e.g., social support) factors are reliably associated with greater risk. There are several effective psychotherapeutic interventions for PTSD, including exposure therapies and cognitive-behavioral therapies (CBT). Most individuals who have experienced traumatic events report that the event led to positive changes in their lives, although recent evidence suggests that self-reported growth may not be associated with actual positive changes from pre- to posttrauma. Future research directions related to each of these topics are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Counseling Psychology
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940240
ISBN (Print)9780195342314
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press, 2014.


  • Posttraumatic growth
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Trauma


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