🚧 Website Maintenance in Progress: Thank you for visiting! We are currently in the process of enhancing our website to serve you better. Please check back soon for our new and improved website.

The ISTSS board of directors has identified the development of PTSD Treatment Guidelines as a priority for the Society. Hence in November 1997, the board established the PTSD Treatment Guidelines Task Force co-chaired by Edna Foa, Terence M. Keane, and Matthew Friedman. The guidelines are intended to inform the clinician about treatment of individuals with PTSD.

The co-chairs assembled the task force by identifying experts in the major schools of therapy and treatment modalities that are currently employed with patients who suffer from PTSD. The task force was expanded as additional relevant treatment approaches were identified.

Thus, the task force represented experts across approaches, theoretical orientations, schools of therapy, and professional training. The focus of the guidelines and its format was determined in a series of meetings.

The co-chairs commissioned position papers on the major treatment areas or modalities from task force members. Each paper was written by a designated member with assistance from other members or clinicians, as deemed necessary. The position papers included a literature review of research and clinical practice. The position papers address the following areas related to PTSD:

  • Psychological Debriefing;
  • Cognitive Behavior Treatment;
  • Pharmacotherapy;
  • Treatment of Children and Adolescents;
  • EMDR and Other Neoteric Approaches;
  • Group Psychotherapy;
  • Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy;
  • Inpatient Treatment;
  • Psycho-social Rehabilitation Techniques;
  • The Use of Hypnosis;
  • Marital and Family Therapy; and
  • Creative Arts Therapies.

Based on the position papers, and careful attention to the literature review, a draft of practice guidelines for each treatment approach was developed. In the guidelines, each treatment approach or modality was assigned ratings with respect to strength of evidence regarding its efficacy. The ratings were standardized, using a coding system adapted from the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service).

The guidelines were reviewed by the task force for concurrence, sent for review to a broad range of professional associations, presented at a public forum at the ISTSS annual meeting in November 1998, and placed on the ISTSS Web site in March 1999 for comments from the membership.

The proposed guidelines were presented to the board at the ISTSS annual meeting in 1998 and will be discussed during the mid-year board meeting in 1999.

The PTSD Treatment Guidelines will be published by Guilford Publications Inc. in late 1999. The task force plans to include comments from the membership gathered through the Web in the final publication.