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New ISTSS Prevention and Treatment Guidelines

The ISTSS Guidelines Committee, established by the Board of Directors of the ISTSS in 2015, developed the updated ISTSS Prevention and Treatment Guidelines. The updated Guidelines replace those published in 2009 and the ISTSS guidelines for the treatment of Complex PTSD published in 2012.  The updated Guidelines are based on extensive reviews of the clinical research literature and are intended to assist clinicians who provide prevention and treatment interventions for children, adolescents and adults with or at risk of developing PTSD and Complex PTSD.
The ISTSS PTSD Prevention and Treatment Guidelines Methodology and Recommendations, and Position Papers on Complex PTSD are available to download from this webpage. These documents are key components of the updated Guidelines; the final component, the third edition of Effective Treatments for PTSD, to be published September 2, 2020, will focus on providing practitioners with more detailed guidance on the use of the recommendations and position papers to inform clinical practice. 
The Methodology and Recommendations document includes the full recommendations and describes the methodology used to develop them and the position papers.  Important issues that should be considered when interpreting the recommendations, and translating them into practice, are highlighted. It was decided to publish the recommendations and position papers in advance of the book as they represent a comprehensive and up-to-date synthesis of high quality research evidence that is likely to help practitioners in their work. 
The documents found here are protected under copyright of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Permission of ISTSS is required for photocopying, reprinting, electronically storing or using any part of the Treatment Guidelines document. Permission may be sought by contacting ISTSS Headquarters, One Parkview Plaza, Suite 800, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181 USA (Phone: +1-847-686-2234/Fax: +1-847-686-2251).

View the Treatment Guidelines Documents

ISTSS PTSD Prevention and Treatment Guidelines Methodology and Recommendations*
Position Paper on Complex PTSD in Children and Adolescents 
Position Paper on Complex PTSD in Adults
The evidence summaries that generated the recommendations, along with reference lists of included studies, are available to download for ISTSS members only. 

*The Methodology and Recommendations document was amended on March 19, 2019, as a result of recognition that a study of early treatment for children and adolescents was wrongly classified. This has resulted in the recommendation for early treatment on page 13 being changed to, "There is insufficient evidence to recommend Brief CBT-T, CBT-T or Stepped Preventative Care within the first three months of a traumatic event for the treatment of clinically relevant post-traumatic stress symptoms in children and adolescents."

Related Publications

Bisson JI, Berliner L, Cloitre M, Forbes D, Jensen TK, Lewis C, Monson CM, Olff M, Pilling S, Riggs DS, Roberts NP, Shapiro F. (2019).  The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies New Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of PTSD: Methodology and Development Process.  Journal of Traumatic Stress, 32, 475-483.

The ISTSS Guidelines Committee 

The ISTSS Guidelines Committee includes experts from various areas, including members with considerable systematic review and guideline development expertise. The table below lists the Committee members along with their specific areas of responsibility/expertise. The Committee has worked as a team and collectively reviewed the evidence and made decisions.

Name Proposed area(s) of responsibility
Lucy Berliner Children and adolescents, and social approaches
Jonathan Bisson Chair and pharmacological treatments
Marylene Cloitre Complex PTSD
David Forbes Vice-chair, chair book subcommittee and early intervention
Lutz Goldbeck * Children and adolescents
Tine Jensen * Children and adolescents
Catrin Lewis Methodological expertise and web-based interventions
Candice Monson Psychological treatments
Miranda Olff ISTSS Board liaison and psychological treatments
Steve Pilling Methodological and guideline development expertise
David Riggs Psychological treatments
Neil Roberts Methodological expertise and co-morbidity
Francine Shapiro+ Psychological treatments
* Lutz tragically died on 30 October, 2017, and Tine subsequently joined the Committee.
+Francine tragically died on 16 June, 2019.

It is recognised that many of the committee members have some conflicts of interest. To recognize these and minimize their impact, all committee members have declared their conflicts of interest.