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New ISTSS Prevention and Treatment Guidelines

Based on extensive reviews of the clinical research literature, the ISTSS Prevention and Treatment Guidelines 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 Guidelines Committee, established in 2015, developed the guidelines to replace the previous versions published in 2009 and 2012.

The updated guidelines have several components: The full methodology and recommendations are publicly available with open access, as are two position papers on complex PTSD. These documents represent a comprehensive and up-to-date synthesis of high quality research evidence that is likely to help practitioners in their work. The evidence summaries that generated the recommendations, along with reference lists of included studies, are available to download for ISTSS members only. 

The final component, the third edition of Effective Treatments for PTSD, published September 2, 2020, focuses on providing practitioners with more detailed guidance on the use of the recommendations and position papers to inform clinical practice. 

Purchase Now: Effective Treatments for PTSD, Third EditionEffective Treatments for PTSD, Third Edition

Edited by David Forbes, Jonathan I. Bisson, Candice M. Monson, and Lucy Berliner (About the Editors)

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Grounded in ISTSS' updated PTSD Prevention and Treatment Guidelines, the third edition of this definitive work has more than 90% new content, making it virtually a new book. It has been fully rewritten to reflect over a decade of clinical, empirical, and theoretical developments, as well as changes in DSM-5 and ICD-11. Chapters describe PTSD assessment and intervention practices that have been shown to work and provide practical, real-world implementation guidance. The revised edition features an increased research-to-practice focus for applying the recommendations in specific clinical situations. Read more.

“Congratulations to Dave Forbes, Jon Bisson, Candice Monson, and Lucy Berliner on overseeing this new edition. They have masterfully synthesized the wide-ranging research on treating PTSD that has been going on since the second edition of this volume came out. Their editorial vision has brought a fresh perspective to the ISTSS treatment guidelines, and offers the field an invaluable resource. We’re thrilled to see the careful work in this arena continue, giving guidance to practitioners and researchers around the world.”

—Edna B. Foa, PhD; Terence M. Keane, PhD; Matthew J. Friedman, MD, PhD; and Judith A. Cohen, MD, editors of Effective Treatments for PTSD, Second Edition


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Plus: Preview the table of contents.

View more titles on trauma, PTSD and suicide.


Guidelines Documents

*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."

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, 111 West Jackson Blvd., Suite 1412, Chicago, IL 60604 USA (Phone: +1-847-686-2234/Fax: +1-847-686-2251).

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.