Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

Living Edition
| Editors: Jay Lebow, Anthony Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Couple and Family Therapy

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-15877-8_453-1

Name of Concept

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Couple and Family Therapy


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a prevalent and pernicious disorder characterized by intrusion symptoms (e.g., flashbacks); persistent avoidance of stimuli, emotions, and thoughts associated with the traumatic event; negative alterations in cognitions and moods (e.g., persistent negative emotional state); and alterations in arousal and reactivity (e.g., sleep disturbances; American Psychiatric Association 2013). PTSD is strongly associated with intimate relationship and family relationship problems. In addition, PTSD in one intimate partner is associated with psychological problems and caregiver burden in the other partner. In consideration of these associations, and of the potent role of social support in trauma recovery (e.g., Ozer et al. 2003), efforts have been made to develop couple- and family-based interventions for the treatment of PTSD. Couple- and family-based interventions for...


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Family Therapy PTSD Symptoms Intimate Relationship Problems Behavioral Couple Therapy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington: American Psychiatric Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fredman, S. J., Vorstenbosch, V., Wagner, A. C., Macdonald, A., & Monson, C. M. (2014). Partner accommodation in posttraumatic stress disorder: Initial testing of the Significant Others’ Response to Trauma Scale (SORTS). Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 28, 372–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Macdonald, A., Pukay-Martin, N. D., Wagner, A. C., Fredman, S. J., & Monson, C. M. (2015). Cognitive–behavioral conjoint therapy for PTSD improves various PTSD symptoms and trauma-related cognitions: Results from a randomized controlled Trial. Journal of Family Psychology, 30, 157–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Monson, C. M., & Fredman, S. J. (2012). Cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy for PTSD: Harnessing the healing power of relationships. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  5. Monson, C. M., Fredman, S. J., & Dekel, R. (2010). Posttraumatic stress disorder in an interpersonal context. In J. G. Beck (Ed.), Interpersonal processes in the anxiety disorders: Implications for understanding psychopathology and treatment (pp. 179–208). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Monson, C. M., Fredman, S. J., Macdonald, A., Pukay-Martin, N. D., Resick, P. A., & Schnurr, P. P. (2012). Effects of a cognitive-behavioral couple therapy for PTSD: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 308, 700–709.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ozer, E. J., Best, S. R., Lipsey, T. L., Tami, L., & Weiss, D. S. (2003). Predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder and symptoms in adults: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 52–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Rothbaum, B. O., Foa, E. B., Riggs, D. S., Murdock, T., & Walsh, W. (1992). A prospective examination of post-traumatic stress disorder in rape victims. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 5, 455–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Shnaider, P., Pukay-Martin, N. D., Sharma, S., Jenzer, T., Fredman, S. J., Macdonald, A., & Monson, C. M. (2015). A preliminary examination of the effects of pre-treatment relationship satisfaction on treatment outcomes in cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy for PTSD. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 4, 229–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ryerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.The Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Farrah Hughes
    • 1
  • Allen Sabey
    • 2
  1. 1.Employee Assistance ProgramMcLeod HealthFlorenceUSA
  2. 2.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA