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J Trauma Stress. 2019 Dec;32(6):877-880. doi: 10.1002/jts.22474. Epub 2019 Dec 4.

Commentary on the Special Section on Complex PTSD: Still Going Strong After All These Years.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut, USA.


Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is inherently complex, yet a growing evidence base indicates that a complex variant (CPTSD) can be distinguished from classic PTSD based on evidence of clinically significant affect, interpersonal, and self/identity dysregulation. This Commentary to the Journal of Traumatic Stress special section on CPTSD reviews the results of four new studies that empirically tested the structure, traumatic stressor antecedents, and construct validity of CPTSD in relation to PTSD and borderline personality disorder (BPD). Based on these and prior empirical findings, a reconceptualization of PTSD, CPTSD, and BPD as posttraumatic threat, betrayal, and rejection disorders, respectively, is proposed. Implications for treatment of trauma survivors are discussed in relation to articles in this special section, which describe a modular framework for CPTSD treatment and an innovative attachment and self-regulation focused on the redesign of a traditional outpatient mental health clinic.


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