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Treating PTSD in Preschoolers

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Table of Contents

I. Introduction and Background 1. Overview of Preschool PTSD Treatment Why Is Treatment Needed? Development of Preschool PTSD Treatment The Evidence Base Who Is Appropriate for Treatment? How Is the Treatment Theorized to Work? Components of PPT Feasibility of Using CBT Techniques with Young Children Parent-Child Relational Considerations Practical Matters 2. Assessment What Are Traumas for Young Children? Assessment of PTSD Is More Difficult Compared to Other Disorders What Do We Know about Assessing PTSD in Young Children? Symptomatic and Impaired, but Not Diagnosed Assessment Measures The Intake Assessment before Session 1 II. Treatment Manual Session 1. Psychoeducation Session 2. Oppositional Defiance Session 3. Feelings Session 4. Coping Skills Session 5. Tell the Story Session 6. Easy Exposure Session 7. Medium Exposure Session 8. Medium Exposure Session 9. Worst Exposure Session 10. Worst Exposure Session 11. Relapse Prevention Session 12. Graduation III. Parent Handouts, Child Worksheets, and Therapist Forms Appendix 1. Illustrations of PTSD Symptoms Appendix 2. Fidelity and Achievement ChecklisT (FACT) Appendix 3. Cheat Sheets References Index

About the Author

Michael S. Scheeringa, MD, MPH, holds the Venancio Antonio Wander Garcia IV, MD, Chair of Psychiatry and is Vice Chair of Research and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Tulane University School of Medicine. His research focuses on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in youth, including preschool children, and has included large multimodal assessment studies and randomized clinical trials. He developed and tested a cognitive-behavioral therapy manual on preschool PTSD treatment, which was the basis for this book. Dr. Scheeringa also developed one of the few diagnostic assessment interviews for young children, the Diagnostic Infant and Preschool Assessment. He is currently working to support the implementation of evidence-based screening, assessment, and treatment for trauma-related problems in the child welfare system in Louisiana. Dr. Scheeringa is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a recipient of the Irving Phillips Award for Prevention from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, among other honors.


"Tackling the challenge of how to conduct CBT for PTSD with young children, this practical manual provides a detailed treatment overview, clearly defined goals and objectives for each session, and user-friendly guidance for conducting sessions. The section chock full of clinical worksheets is a boon to clinicians."--Lisa Amaya-Jackson, MD, MPH, UCLA-Duke National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, Duke University School of Medicine "Scheeringa walks the clinician through 12 sessions that combine purposeful, well-researched techniques with developmental awareness. New and seasoned therapists alike will welcome the clear direction facilitated by worksheets and handouts. Mastery of this material will help therapists with the arduous task of effectively helping young children struggling with the consequences of trauma."--Victor G. Carrion, MD, Director, Stanford Early Life Stress and Pediatric Anxiety Program at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University "This compelling book is written by one of the true pioneers in the field of trauma in very young children. Scheeringa provides a very readable guide to his theory-driven manualized protocol based on CBT. Practitioners will particularly love the step-by-step instructions, many case examples, discussions of specific clinical challenges, and downloadable child and parent worksheets."--Markus A. Landolt, PhD, Professor and Head of Pediatric Psychology, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Switzerland "Scheeringa has provided us with a brilliant, easy-to-use manual, complete with excellent examples that include the voices of therapists, children, and parents. His detailed 'how-to' instructions are grounded in theory, research, and extensive experience working with young children after trauma. This book should be in the hands of all clinicians working with young children and their caregivers."--Alison Salloum, PhD, LCSW, School of Social Work, University of South Florida "Scheeringa has almost single-handedly established the empirical study and diagnosis of PTSD in preschool children; the inclusion of a preschool PTSD diagnosis in DSM-5 is largely due to his foundational work. Years of clinical experience have been distilled into this highly accessible volume, which assumes little background knowledge and is backed by theory and careful empirical study. Scheeringa carefully explains both how to conduct assessments and therapy with traumatized young children and why to follow the structure he has outlined. Each section is illustrated with clear examples drawn from extensive real-world experience. I cannot exaggerate the value of this book to anyone who works with young children exposed to trauma--it will be the clinical manual of choice for this population for many years to come."--Richard Meiser-Stedman, PhD, DClinPsy, Department of Clinical Psychology, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom

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