Treatment implications in CTPSD
Clinical assessment of the temporal and functional linkages between trauma exposure and symptoms should always be carried out by a skilled clinician with great care and on an individual case by case basis.
CTPSD reflects more generalized and persisting patterns of impairment in self-regulation, identity and relatedness for children with the re-experiencing, avoidance and increased arousal symptoms of PTSD.
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) state that
‘To date, there is not enough evidence to recommend a particular treatment for CPTSD in children. However, there may not be a need for an entirely new or different treatment for CPTSD.
Many trauma-focused treatments contain components that address both the PTSD symptoms and the CPTSD symptoms of negative self-concept, emotion dysregulation, and difficulties in relationships and show benefits on outcomes other than PTSD.
It appears, that children classified as having PTSD or CPTSD can benefit by TF-CBT, an existing effective trauma-focused treatment, although the CPTSD children somewhat less so (Sachser et al, 2016).
This is consistent with the general finding that children and adolescents with more severe clinical presentations and co-morbidities tend to benefit less from standard evidence-based treatments (EBTs). Therefore, adaptations of trauma-focused EBTs for children and adolescents and other disorders that involve internalizing or externalizing problems similar to those comprising CPTSD, may be needed in order to adequately treat CPTSD.