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Acute Stress Disorder

What It Is and How to Treat It

Richard A. Bryant

Hardcovere-bookprint + e-book
March 30, 2016
ISBN 9781462525089
Price: $46.00
338 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
March 1, 2016
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $46.00
338 Pages
print + e-book
Hardcover + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $92.00 $50.60
338 Pages

Drawing on extensive research and clinical experience, leading authority Richard A. Bryant explores what works—and what doesn't work—in managing acute traumatic stress. He reviews the current state of the science on acute stress disorder (ASD) and presents diagnostic guidelines based on DSM-5. In a straightforward, highly readable style, Bryant shares rich insights into how to provide effective, compassionate care to specific populations, including those with mild traumatic brain injury, military personnel and first responders, and children. Evidence-based intervention procedures are described. Reproducible assessment tools and handouts can be downloaded and printed in a convenient 8½“ x 11” size.

“An encyclopedic knowledge of acute stress reactions underpins this highly readable book. Both researchers and clinicians will take this book from the shelf and refer to it repeatedly. It deserves a wide readership among those interested in the impact of community disasters as well as individual traumas of all kinds. This book will prove to be a benchmark reference for the traumatic stress field.”

—Alexander C. McFarlane, MD, Director, Center for Traumatic Stress Studies, University of Adelaide, Australia

“Bryant is the rock star of ASD, having done the most important clinical research in the field for the past 20 years. This is one of the most valuable and most readable books I have encountered in a long time. It should be on the bookshelf of all therapists and trainees to give them the knowledge to help humanity recover from life’s traumas. The volume provides everything professionals need to know to treat ASD, including the research on initial reactions to trauma, scripts for describing the treatment to patients, and session-by-session instructions for intervention.”

—Barbara Olasov Rothbaum, PhD, ABPP, Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Emory Healthcare Veterans Program and Trauma Anxiety Recovery Program, Emory University School of Medicine

“Accessible, thoughtful, and comprehensive. Remarkable for its scholarship, this book represents a seamless synthesis of historical, cultural, scientific, and clinical perspectives. Bryant focuses on the most important questions relevant to acute stress responses, all the while infusing the discussion with a healthy dose of common sense and firsthand clinical experience. Mental health clinicians, behavioral scientists, and those involved in mental health policy will all find this text both useful and engaging.”

—Jennifer J. Vasterling, PhD, Chief of Psychology, VA Boston Healthcare System; Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine

Table of Contents

I. Theoretical and Empirical Issues

1. Lessons from the Past

2. Diagnosis of Acute Stress Disorder

3. Acute Stress Disorder in DSM-5

4. Do Initial Reactions Predict Long-Term Reactions?

5. Biology of Acute Stress Reactions

6. Cognitive Features of Acute Stress Reactions

II. Assessment

7. Assessing Acute Stress Reactions

III. Treatment

8. What about Psychological Debriefing?

9. An Overview of Treatment for Acute Stress Disorder

10. How to Treat Acute Stress Disorder

11. Challenges to Treating Acute Stress Disorder

IV. Special Considerations

12. Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

13. Working with Military Personnel and First Responders

14. Acute Stress Disorder in Children

15. Acute Stress Disorder and the Law

16. Concluding Comments

V. Appendices

Acute Stress Disorder Structured Interview–5

Acute Stress Disorder Scale–5

Prolonged Exposure Monitoring Form

Thought Record Form

Trauma Hierarchy Form

In Vivo Exposure Form

About the Author

Richard A. Bryant, PhD, FAPS, is Scientia Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, and Director of the Traumatic Stress Clinic. He has won numerous research awards, including the Robert S. Laufer, PhD, Memorial Award from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, the Distinguished Contribution to Psychological Science Award from the Australian Psychological Society, and the Founders Medal from the Australasian Society for Psychiatric Research (now the Society for Mental Health Research). His research has focused on understanding and treating acute stress disorder, and he has conducted many experimental, longitudinal, and intervention studies of acute traumatic stress. Dr. Bryant has served on both the DSM-5 and ICD-11 work groups that have written traumatic stress diagnostic guidelines. He has published over 420 peer-reviewed journal articles and 60 book chapters.


Clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, mental health and pastoral counselors, and psychiatric nurses; also of interest to trauma researchers.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in graduate-level courses.