Diagnoses Specific to Crisis and Trauma


Responses to crises and other trauma-causing events often are normal responses to abnormal situations. When these responses result in difficulty functioning in daily life, helping professionals need to consider if the client needs specialized conceptualization within a diagnostic framework. Some diagnoses that require clinical conceptualization and treatment include posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), complex posttraumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD), acute stress disorder, and dissociation. Each of these diagnoses is distinct in terms of how the individual experiences the traumatic event and the idiosyncratic nature of the individual experiencing it. It is important to fully assess a client’s situation before determining a diagnostic category so as to better ensure the most appropriate treatment intervention.

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For this Discussion, select one of the following diagnostic categories: C-PTSD, acute stress disorder, or dissociation. Think about the similarities and differences between PTSD and the other diagnostic category you selected. Consider how you would determine the accuracy of a diagnosis of PTSD, C-PTSD, acute stress disorder, and dissociation.


Post two similarities and two differences between PTSD and the other diagnostic category you selected. Explain how you might determine the accuracy of PTSD, C-PTSD, acute stress disorder, and dissociation diagnoses.


Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources.



Required Readings

To prepare for this assignment review the resources below

Required Readings

James, R. K., & Gilliland, B. E. (2017).Crisis intervention strategies (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.

  • Chapter 7, “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder” (pp. 145-202)

van der Kolk, B. A. (2005). Developmental Trauma Disorder: Toward a rational diagnosis for children with complex trauma histories. Psychiatric Annals, 35(5), 401–408.


Maletis, J. (2018, June). The psychology of post-traumatic stress disorder [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/joelle_rabow_maletis_the_psychology_of_post_traumatic_stress_disorder#t-300561


van der Kolk, B. (Producer). (n.d.). Bessel van der Kolk on understanding trauma [Video File]. Psychotherapy.net.


  • Watch “The Single and Complex Developmental Trauma” segment by clicking the applicable link under the chapters tab.


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