Reference Work Entry

Handbook of Clinical Psychology Competencies

pp 785-810

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Daniel F. GrosAffiliated withRalph H. Johnson VAMC
  • , Peter W. TuerkAffiliated withRalph H. Johnson VAMC
  • , Matthew YoderAffiliated withRalph H. Johnson VAMC
  • , Ron AciernoAffiliated withRalph H. Johnson VAMC


From its initial definition and frequent revisions in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, assessing and treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has presented many challenges to clinicians and researchers alike. However, through advances in cognitive and behavioral theory and practice, a number of evidence-based assessments (EBAs) and evidence-supported treatments (ESTs) have been developed to address this complex disorder. In this chapter, we briefly review the diagnostic features and EBA practices for PTSD. We also detail the mechanisms involved in the maintenance and treatment of PTSD and the EST approaches for the disorder. Finally, we outline the basic and expert clinician competencies involved in the treatment of PTSD from an evidence-based, cognitive-behavioral perspective.