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PTSD 101 Core Curriculum

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One Veteran One Standard:
PTSD 101 Core Curriculum



What is PTSD? http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/ptsd/Player/launchPlayer.html?courseID=1477&courseCode=PTSD101-02

The course What is PTSD? provides an overview of PTSD. The author outlines the history of the diagnosis and the current DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria, which includes a detailed description of each symptom cluster. Prevalence rates, course, comorbidity, and risk factors for both civilian and veteran populations are reported from the National Comorbidity Study and other recent investigations.

Author: Jessica Hamblen, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Describe the diagnostic criteria for PTSD
   2. Describe the prevalence, consequences, and longitudinal course of PTSD in civilian and veteran populations
   3. Report the risk factors for PTSD

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.

Assessment http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/Assessment2/Player/launchPlayer.html?courseID=1478&courseCode=PTSD101-03

The course Assessment of PTSD outlines the necessary components for quality PTSD assessments and reports. Presented is an integrated model of risk factors, stressors, resiliency, and PTSD symptoms as it relates to assessment. The author discusses multimethod and dimensional assessment, as well as the evaluation of comorbid conditions, quality of life, and personality functioning.

Author: Terry Keane, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Outline the necessary components of a thorough PTSD assessment and report
   2. Describe important documents used to gather background and supportive information for the diagnosis of PTSD
   3. Understand how neuropsychological assessment can assist the diagnostic process

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.

Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapies http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/Psychotherapies/Player/launchPlayer.html?courseID=1480&courseCode=PTSD101-06

This online course, Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapies for PTSD, outlines the components and empirical support for two evidence-based treatments: Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). An interactive learning tool and case examples with audio excerpts help further a provider's understanding of these treatments.

Author: Candice Monson, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Understand the theoretical underpinnings of CPT and PE
   2. Describe the components of CPT and PE
   3. Report the evidence for the use of these treatments for PTSD

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.

Overview of the VA/DoD 2010 Clinical Practice Guideline for PTSD http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/CPG_Overview/Player/launchPlayer.html?courseID=1520&courseCode=PTSD101_cpg_overview

The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of the newly revised (2010) VA/DoD clinical practice guideline recommendations for PTSD. The presenter describes the evidence behind the recommendations for psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy and also reviews the changes made from the previous 2004 version, including recommendations for treating co-occurring conditions.

Author: Matthew J. Friedman, MD, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Review changes between 2004 and 2010 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
   2. Describe the evidence for the psychotherapy recommendations
   3. Describe the evidence for the pharmacotherapy recommendations
   4. Describe recommendations for treating complex comorbid conditions and symptoms

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.

Pharmacological Treatment http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/Pharmacological/Player/launchPlayer.html?courseID=1537&courseCode=PTSD101-01

Pharmacological interventions for PTSD are common, and considerable research has been conducted on the effectiveness of such treatment. The course, Pharmacological Treatment of PTSD and Comorbid Disorders, provides a review of the human stress system and the relationship between neurotransmitters and PTSD.

It reviews controlled medication trials for PTSD and summarizes the relative evidence for psychotherapy versus pharmacological interventions. The author also discusses current practices for combining treatments and for managing comorbid conditions.

Author: Matthew J. Friedman, MD, PhD

   1. Understand how the human stress system is altered by PTSD
   2. Describe how these alterations indicate the usefulness of certain medications
   3. Report the current evidence regarding the effectiveness of different medications for PTSD

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.

Goals and Objectives

Sylvain Chartrand CD:
PTSD 101 Beyond the Basics

Looking for more detailed information about treating PTSD? These courses explore advanced topics.
Advanced Clinical Practice

Deepen your understanding of PTSD treatment with advanced courses taught by expert clinicians.

Recommendations for Acute Stress Management and Prevention of PTSD http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/acute_stress/Player/launchPlayer.html?courseID=1566&courseCode=PTSD101_watson_pfa

VA/DoD PTSD Clinical Practice Guideline Series (2010)

The course, Recommendations for Acute Stress Management and Prevention of PTSD, provides an overview of the Clinical Practice Guideline for acute stress management and prevention of PTSD. The author reviews the literature supporting interventions for acute stress and describes two specific protocols: Psychological First Aid and Stress First Aid.

Author: Patricia Watson, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Summarize the recommendations in the VA DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for PTSD (2010) for management of acute stress and prevention of PTSD
   2. Describe the evidence-informed principles underlying the intervention strategies of Psychological First Aid and Stress First Aid
   3. Describe the basic objectives and intervention strategies of Psychological First Aid and Stress First Aid

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.


Cognitive Processing Therapy http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/CPT/Player/launchPlayer.html?courseID=1568&courseCode=PTSD101_cpt

VA/DoD PTSD Clinical Practice Guideline Series (2010)

This presentation provides an overview of the 2010 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for Cognitive Processing Therapy as a Level A psychotherapy intervention for PTSD.

The author carefully reviews the research support for Cognitive Processing Therapy and provides information about delivering the treatment.

Author: Kathleen Chard, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Summarize the VA/DoD 2010 Clinical Practice Guideline for PTSD related to Cognitive Processing Therapy
   2. Review the empirical evidence supporting Cognitive Processing Therapy
   3. Describe and demonstrate the clinical application of Cognitive Processing Therapy

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/prolonged_exposure/Player/launchPlayer.html?courseID=1521&courseCode=PTSD101_pe

VA/DoD PTSD Clinical Practice Guideline Series (2010)

This presentation describes the clinical application of Prolonged Exposure (PE) and provides a thorough review of research supporting its use for PTSD.

The author also reviews the 2010 VA/DoD Guideline recommendation for the use of PE with patients who have PTSD.

Author: Sheila Rauch, PhD, ABPP

Goals and Objectives

   1. Summarize the Veteran's Affairs / Department of Defense (DoD) 2010 Clinical Practice Guideline for PTSD related to Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE)
   2. Review the empirical evidence supporting PE
   3. Describe and demonstrate the clinical application of PE

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and Stress Inoculation Training http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/emdr/Player/launchPlayer.html?courseID=1533&courseCode=PTSD101_emdr-sit

VA/DoD PTSD Clinical Practice Guideline Series (2010)

The purpose of this course is to review the VA/DoD 2010 clinical practice guideline recommendations regarding EMDR and SIT for PTSD.

The presenter provides an overview of the components of each treatment and presents the research evidence behind these models for PTSD.


Author: Joe Ruzek, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Summarize the 2010 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline recommendations for EMDR and SIT
   2. Describe EMDR and the research literature supporting its use for PTSD
   3. Describe SIT and the research literature supporting its use for PTSD

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Coming soon.

Increasing Effectiveness of PTSD Treatments http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/PTSD_Treatment/player.html

This course addresses how to increase the effectiveness of evidence-based treatments for PTSD, particularly in difficult cases and situations. The author presents how to decide who is appropriate for evidence-based treatment using assessment. She discusses common barriers to effective delivery of PTSD treatment and provides solutions to overcome these barriers.

Author: Kathleen M. Chard, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Understand the limitations of evidence-based therapy for PTSD
   2. Identify and address potential treatment-interfering behaviors
   3. Develop strategies for managing complex cases

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.

Overcoming Barriers http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/downloads/audio/murphy-rosen_barriers_a.zip

The course Overcoming Barriers to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Treatment Engagement reviews strategies for improving PTSD patients' motivation to engage in treatment and to change long-standing maladaptive ways of coping with PTSD symptoms. Topics reviewed include behaviors that PTSD patients are often ambivalent about changing, roadblocks to admitting need to change, overview of a PTSD motivation enhancement group, treatment-related beliefs (fears and expectancies), and therapeutic alliance factors.

Author: Ronald Murphy, PhD (biography unavailable) and Craig Rosen, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Identify reasons why patients may be reluctant to change long-standing behaviors
   2. Outline key elements of the PTSD Motivation Enhancement Group
   3. Articulate common differences between clients' and therapists' perspectives and assumptions that may impede effective treatment

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.

Couples and PTSD http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/couples_therapy/player.html

This presentation provides an overview of the research documenting the association between PTSD and intimate relationship problems.

The rationale and methods for including partners and loved ones in the assessment and treatment of PTSD are also discussed.

Author: Candice Monson, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Review research documenting association between PTSD and intimate relationship problems
   2. Discuss inclusion of partners in the assessment of PTSD and relationship functioning
   3. Review different methods of incorporating significant others in PTSD treatment

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.

Group Treatment for PTSD http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/group/Player/launchPlayer.html?courseID=1527&courseCode=PTSD101_group

This presentation describes the clinical application of group therapy for PTSD and carefully evaluates the research support for group therapy.

The authors also review the recommendations provided by the 2010 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for PTSD regarding the use of group therapy for PTSD.

Author: Denise M. Sloan, PhD and Tracie Shea, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Describe group therapy for PTSD
   2. Describe the important methodological factors to consider when evaluating clinical trial research on group treatment for PTSD
   3. Evaluate the available research for group treatment
   4. Review the 2010 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for group treatment for PTSD

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Coming soon.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/ACTherapy/Player/launchPlayer.html?courseID=1468&courseCode=PTSD101_act

The purpose of this PTSD 101 course is to describe the theoretical underpinnings and clinical application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as it could be applied to PTSD.

The presenters also describe the limited empirical support for delivering ACT to persons with PTSD and discuss the need for more research.

Author: Robyn Walser, PhD and Sonja Batten, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Describe Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): Overview and theoretical underpinnings
   2. Review the state of the evidence
   3. Explore the six core processes used in ACT and introduce their clinical application

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Coming soon.

Sylvain Chartrand CD:
PTSD 101 Comorbidities and Complications

The presence of co-occurring conditions can increase the complexity of treating patients with PTSD. These courses address conditions that commonly go hand-in-hand with PTSD.

Anger, Aggression and PTSD http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/Anger/Player/launchPlayer.html?courseID=1505&courseCode=PTSD101_anger

This course provides a review of the literature that describes the prevalence of anger and aggression in patients with PTSD and the interaction between anger and PTSD symptoms.

The author reviews the 2010 VA/DoD Guideline for treating anger and PTSD and describes a clinical application.

Author: Casey Taft, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Understand the association between PTSD and anger/aggression
   2. Review the 2010 VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline recommendations for treating anger and PTSD
   3. Describe a clinical application for Anger, Aggression, and PTSD: Strength at Home

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.

Functional Impairment and PTSD http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/functional_impairment/Player/launchPlayer.html?courseID=1534&courseCode=PTSD101_functional-impairment

In this PTSD 101 course, the presenter aims to help providers understand the interaction between PTSD and functional impairment and make informed decisions when choosing assessment measures.

The course also reviews the VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guideline (2010) recommendations for assessing functional impairment in people with PTSD.

Author: Brian P. Marx, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Understand how PTSD impacts quality of life
   2. Identify the VA/DoD 2010 Clinical Practice Guideline recommendations for assessing PTSD-related functional impairment
   3. Examine measures that assess psychosocial functioning among those with PTSD

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Coming soon.

Managing PTSD and Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorders http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/SUD/Player/launchPlayer.html?courseID=1556&courseCode=PTSD101_sud

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the VA/DoD 2010 clinical practice guideline recommendations for managing substance use disorders and PTSD through psychotherapy and pharmacology.

The presenters describe the co-occurrence of these conditions and identify evidence-based assessment and treatment strategies.

Author: Daniel Kivlahan, PhD and Debra Kaysen, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Review evidence on co-occurrence of substance use disorders (SUD) and PTSD
   2. Identify key recommendations for integrated psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy treatment of SUD and PTSD from the VA/DoD 2010 PTSD Guideline
   3. Identify measures and methods for treatment monitoring related to PTSD and SUD
   4. Illustrate ways of addressing substance abuse in PTSD treatment

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Coming soon.

Physical Health Effects http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/downloads/audio/schnurr_physical_health_a.zip

The course Physical Health Effects of Traumatic Exposure provides a review of the physical health effects of traumatic exposure. Research findings from both civilian and military populations are featured. The author illustrates how a person's reaction--PTSD especially--mediates the effect of exposure and that there are plausible mechanisms through which PTSD could promote health.

Author: Paula P. Schnurr, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Report the effects of trauma on physical health
   2. Relate the latest research findings related to the effects of traumatic exposure on the health of civilians and military Veterans
   3. Predict plausible mechanisms through which PTSD could promote poor health

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.

Sleep Problems, Insomnia, and PTSD http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/sleep/Player/launchPlayer.html?courseID=1535&courseCode=PTSD101_sleep

The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the VA/DoD 2010 clinical practice guideline recommendations for managing sleep problems and PTSD.

The presenters describe primary sleep disorders and comorbid conditions, as well as a general approach and evidence-based pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy interventions to treat these issues.

Author(s): Bruce Capehart, MD, MBA, and Jason DeViva, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Review the 2010 VA/DoD PTSD Clinical Practice Guideline recommendations for medical management of insomnia
   2. Identify three comorbid conditions and three primary sleep disorders likely to affect sleep in Veterans with PTSD
   3. Describe the evidence base for three pharmacotherapies and three psychotherapies in the treatment of sleep problems related to PTSD
   4. Describe a general approach to assessing and treating sleep problems associated with PTSD

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Coming soon.

Integrated Smoking Cessation and PTSD Treatment http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/smoking_cessation/Player/launchPlayer.html?courseID=1484&courseCode=PTSD101-10

This presentation is meant to provide an overview of the negative effects of smoking, particularly on Veterans with PTSD, and to help providers understand the rationale for providing tobacco cessation treatment to patients.

The authors describe the rationale and evidence for integrating smoking cessation into PTSD treatment and provide an overview of psychological and pharmacological interventions.

Author: Miles McFall, PhD and Andrew J. Saxon, MD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Provide a rationale for tobacco cessation as a health care priority for Veterans with PTSD
   2. Understand the reasons and evidence for an integrated care approach for smoking cessation among smokers with PTSD
   3. Describe psychological and pharmacological interventions for smoking cessation

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.

Traumatic Brain Injury http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/TBI/player.html

The course Windows to the Brain: Neuropsychiatry of TBI examines the functional anatomy of emotion, memory, and behavior circuits, using graphics and figures. The author discusses types of injuries and common functioning deficits, as well as prevalence rates of TBI in OEF/OIF veterans. A discussion of PTSD and TBI is also provided, as well as an overview of assessment and treatment.

Author: Robin A. Hurley, MD, FANPA

Goals and Objectives

   1. Describe the functional anatomy of emotion, memory, and behavior circuits
   2. Report common functioning deficits in civilian brain injury
   3. Describe up-to-date assessment and treatment of TBI

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.

One Veteran One Standard:
PTSD 101 Specific Populations - Military Issues

Combat Stress Injuries http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/downloads/audio/nash_combat_stress_a.zip

The course Combat Stress Injuries examines the common stressors of operational military deployments, from the merely annoying through the potentially devastating, and places such experiences in their context defined by military cultural values and identity. The normal process of adaptation to stress is described, and it is contrasted with the injuries that can be inflicted on the mind and brain when adaptive capacities are exceeded. The three major mechanisms of stress injury are listed, and the effects of one of them (traumatic stress) are described in detail.

Author: William P. Nash, MD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Describe the major stressors of combat and operational military deployments, and of subsequent homecoming
   2. Describe the two main reasons for the gap between relatively frequent adverse stress responses during deployment and relatively mental health diagnosis and treatment after deployment
   3. Describe the three tactics of normal adaptation to stress, and the normal time course for adaptation and re-adaptation
   4. Describe the differences between normal adaptive responses to stress and those that are symptomatic of a stress injury, and list the three common mechanisms of stress injury
   5. Describe the major components of traumatic stress injuries, and the nature of the biological and psychosocial damage such injuries entail

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.

Understanding Military Culture http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/ptsd101/flash-files/Military_Culture/player.html

Understanding military culture is important when treating Veterans. This course presents important information regarding military demographics, branches, rank, status, and stressors. The author provides useful terminology and visuals to help the viewer understand military culture.

Two programs created to help service members prevent and manage combat and operational stress are also described, Army Battlemind and Marine Corps Combat Operational Stress Continuum. Finally, additional Army and Marine Corps interventions are discussed, as well as assessment and treatment implications for clinicians.

Author: Patricia J. Watson, PhD

Goals and Objectives

   1. Describe military terms and demographics
   2. Discuss stressors in the military
   3. Report programs offered by DoD relevant to combat and operational stress
   4. Describe implications of military culture for clinicians

Continuing Education (CE) Credits: Read the brochure (PDF) required for this course, which lists specialties that may receive credit. See more on CE Credits.

Sylvain Chartrand CD:
PTSD is characterised by flashbacks and dissociation. Grounding techniques are essential to help people remain focused and in the present. They can be used to prevent arousal from getting too high during trauma reprocessing.

[pdf]http://knowledgex.camh.net/amhspecialists/specialized_treatment/trauma_treatment/Documents/first_stage_trauma_143_147.pdf[/pdf]

Progressive muscle relaxation patient handout
[pdf]http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/docs/Info-PMR.pdf[/pdf]

Calming breathing patient handout
[pdf]http://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au/resources/docs/Info-Calming%20technique.pdf[/pdf]

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