Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for PTSD

A Case Formulation Approach

Claudia Zayfert and Carolyn Black Becker

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
November 27, 2006
ISBN 9781593853693
Price: $76.00 $64.60
252 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
October 15, 2008
ISBN 9781606230312
Price: $31.00 $26.35
252 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
March 1, 2011
ePub ?
Price: $31.00 $26.35
252 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub) ?
Price: $62.00 $34.10
252 Pages
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Presenting clear-cut strategies for working with traumatized patients who have multiple co-occurring disorders and life problems, this highly practical manual puts an array of proven cognitive-behavioral strategies at the clinician's fingertips. The authors illustrate the "whats," "whys," and "how-tos" of exposure, cognitive restructuring, and other effective techniques for treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and show how to organize interventions within a systematic yet flexible case formulation. Throughout, detailed clinical material shows exactly what the process of therapy looks like and offers guidance for overcoming treatment hurdles. More than 20 reproducible clinical tools are included.

See also the related self-help guide, When Someone You Love Suffers from Posttraumatic Stress, an ideal recommendation for clients and their family members.

“A tool that any psychotherapist working with a variety of populations can relate to, thus making the book immediately applicable to a wide range of treatment environments....This book manages to be a significant resource for clinicians of all levels....It is an excellent learning tool for clinicians or graduate students inexperienced with PTSD who may be preparing to tackle their first cases....Simultaneously, it is also an outstanding resource for the experienced clinician, particularly one who is currently being challenged by a PTSD patient who is not processing in therapy....It will be a conduit to improve the lives of many suffering from PTSD.”


“This book will be an invaluable resource for all clinicians involved in the treatment of PTSD. It is compassionate, wide-ranging, and lucid, and demonstrates an admirable grasp of the complexities and realities of clinical practice.”

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Book Reviews

“This book is an outstanding example of a bridge between research and practice. The approaches manifest through the presentation of case descriptions, patient-therapist dialogues, and patient handouts. The discussion of common difficulties demonstrates the authors' profound experiences in therapy as well as in conducting trainings. Zayfert and Becker take the therapist very seriously, by promoting the art of individualized therapy based on evidence.”

Journal of Psychosomatic Research

“The book is extremely well written....There is a balance of attention to objective research and clinical implications....Will be best used as either a teaching supplement in graduate programs or as an educational/clinical adjunct for seasoned therapists.”

Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy

“The authors' extensive experience in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is well demonstrated in this book....The authors' goal is to demonstrate how CBT can be implemented in a flexible manner, allowing the varying and at times complicated needs of traumatized patients to be addressed. I believe they have achieved this goal admirably in a well structured and easy to read book. It succeeds in clearly outlining how to use a case formulation approach to provide CBT for PTSD patients on an individual case by case basis....Through use of detailed clinical examples the authors have illustrated the practicalities of applying exposure and cognitive restructuring techniques in a clear and easy to follow manner. Many examples of worksheets and handouts for use with patients are included in the chapters focusing on treatment. It is an excellent addition to the PTSD treatment literature. Recommended.”

Journal of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

“This is a useful, clearly and coherently written book about how to use a case formulation approach to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in adults using cognitive-behavioral therapy....Each chapter offers ideas about how to handle tricky or stuck clinical situations together with lots of case examples. There are well-written photocopiable handouts on reactions to traumatic experiences, cognitive-behavioral therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, exposure and cognitive restructuring....Overall the book presents a nice blend of evidence-based practice and a thorough clinical knowledge of working with patients. Given the trend for off-the-shelf and manualized treatment packages often to be delivered by staff with little training, this book illustrates the importance of the sophisticated therapeutic skills of being able to engage and collaborate with a patient to explore the nature of that patient's difficulties and to create a fit between the published evidence and the needs of the individual.”

British Journal of Hospital Medicine

“This book is an example of the scientist-practitioner model at work. Zayfert and Becker provide a comprehensive integration of cognitive-behavioral theory and practice that will be useful to clinicians of all levels of experience. Empirical principles of CBT are applied with expertise and clinical acumen in this illuminating, hands-on guide.”

—Jason T. Goodson, PhD, Dartmouth Medical School

“This book transforms research and theory into practice. There is something in it for everyone, from the beginning to the advanced clinician. It is filled with great examples that are vivid, realistic, and not overly simplistic.”

—Kristin Oliver, PhD, Trinity University

“This well-written, well-structured book provides an excellent roadmap for the clinician. The authors outline the many options and choices that CBT practitioners face with patients with PTSD, and show how to deal with these within an individualized case formulation. Instructive clinical examples provide pragmatic, concrete guidance for navigating complex situations. The frequently asked questions on troubleshooting clinical roadblocks are immensely helpful. Zayfert and Becker's approach to CBT provides an excellent balance between structure and flexibility, making a real contribution to the dissemination of evidence-based treatments for PTSD. I would recommend this book to any colleague or student involved in treating those who have suffered psychological trauma and its consequences.”

—Nicholas Tarrier, PhD, University of Manchester, UK

“Finally, a CBT guide that gracefully bridges the gap between research-derived therapies and their real-world applications! In plain language, this book highlights the strength of CBT for organizing treatment that works for a lamentably common affliction, PTSD, even in patients with many problems. From literature review to case description, from session transcription to specific instruction, from assessment measures to troubleshooting, every means is exploited in the service of enabling competent care. In their clarity of clinical vision, and with evident commitment and compassion, the authors offer remedy for the concerns of the treater as well as the patient. Highly recommended.”

—Elizabeth B. Simpson, MD, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Table of Contents

1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for PTSD: Overview and Empirical Foundation

2. Cognitive-Behavioral Conceptualization of PTSD

3. Assessment, Case Conceptualization, and Treatment Planning

4. Embarking on Treatment: Clearing the Path for Success

5. Psychoeducation

6. Introducing Exposure Therapy

7. Imaginal Exposure

8. Cognitive Restructuring

9. Supplemental Tools

10. Putting It Together

About the Authors

Claudia Zayfert, PhD, a clinical psychologist and an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School, has been involved in treatment, research, and training related to PTSD for over 15 years. She completed her doctoral degree at West Virginia University and was a Research Associate at the National Center for PTSD. She is Director of the Anxiety Disorders Service and the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Treatment Program in the Department of Psychiatry at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. Dr. Zayfert's primary interests have been the treatment of PTSD with comorbid conditions. Her current research is focused on treatment of posttraumatic insomnia. Dr. Zayfert has published extensively and has presented at national and international conferences to promote the use of empirically supported treatments for anxiety disorders in clinical practice. She routinely provides training and consultation regarding cognitive-behavioral treatments for complicated PTSD.

Carolyn Black Becker, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Trinity University, San Antonio. Trained at Rutgers University, Dr. Becker is a practicing clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of PTSD, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders. She has over 14 years of experience with cognitive-behavioral treatments for a variety of anxiety disorders, including PTSD. The primary focus of her teaching, research, and clinical work is the implementation of scientifically supported prevention and treatment interventions in clinical settings. In addition to numerous publications on these topics, Dr. Becker regularly presents at national and international conferences and provides training and consultation to clinicians.


Trauma specialists interested in evidence-based treatment; cognitive-behavioral therapists, particularly those working with multistressed populations. Also of interest to graduate students and residents in clinical psychology, psychiatry, clinical social work, and related fields.

Course Use

May serve as a text in graduate-level courses and clinical practica.