In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Empirically Supported Treatments: Meta-Analyses and Systematic Reviews
  • Other Interventions with Traumatized Children
  • Natural Disasters and Mass Violence
  • Military Veterans
  • Cultural Sensitivity
  • Target Groups
  • Growth and Resilience

Related Articles Expand or collapse the "related articles" sectionabout

Forthcoming Articles Expand or collapse the "forthcoming articles" section

  • Homelessness: Ending Homelessness as a Grand Challenge
  • Immigration and Child Welfare
  • Impacts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  • Find more forthcoming articles...


Social Work Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Allen Rubin
  • LAST REVIEWED: 28 April 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 14 December 2009
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0007


Like most topics in the area of mental health or mental illness, there is an enormous amount of literature on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Likewise, most of that literature is dated and not based on rigorous research. As with virtually any topic in the helping professions, even the empirical literature is comprised mainly of studies with serious methodological flaws. Students and scholars seeking to learn about post-traumatic stress disorder will benefit from an annotated bibliography that identifies the most recent sources that provide comprehensive coverage of the key topics and that are built on a strong empirical foundation. This annotated bibliography attempts to do that. The sources it identifies provide up-to-date, empirically based information on the history of post-traumatic stress disorder, its etiology and epidemiology, biological aspects, psychological and neurobiological theories, assessment, evidence-based interventions, cultural issues, resilience, and applications to particular traumatized populations.

General Overviews

For people who are new to the topic of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the sources in this section provide the best starting point to begin reading about it. Those who want a basic and broad overview, one that covers the waterfront relatively briefly without delving into things in much depth, might start by reading Cash 2006. A lengthier and more in-depth, more scientifically oriented, and comprehensive overview is provided in Friedman, et al. 2007. Those seeking an overview that emphasizes evidence-based practice guidelines might begin with Foa, et al. 2008. Follette and Ruzek 2006 is similar to the sources already mentioned but gives more attention to specialized service delivery considerations when treating different populations. Meichenbaum 2003 too is quite comprehensive, but readers may struggle with its unorthodox organization.

  • Cash, Adam. 2006. Posttraumatic stress disorder. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

    Offers basic coverage of many aspects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that does not delve into each aspect in depth. The topics include biological aspects, theories of stress and coping, cross-cultural issues, assessment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic treatments, group therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), feminist therapy, pharmacological treatments, crisis intervention, terrorism, resilience, and many others.

  • Foa, Edna B., Terence M. Keane, Matthew J. Friedman, and Judith A. Cohen, eds. 2008. Effective treatments for PTSD: Practice guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. 2d ed. New York: Guilford.

    This edited volume covers empirically supported approaches to assessment, reviews of clinical and research literature on alternative interventions to treat acute stress disorder and prevent chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reviews of clinical and research literature on alternative psychosocial and pharmacological treatment approaches for chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, and treatment guidelines for alternative treatment approaches.

  • Follette, Victoria M., and Josef I. Ruzek, eds. 2006. Cognitive-behavioral therapies for trauma. 2d ed. New York: Guilford.

    This edited volume provides chapters on assessment, different intervention approaches, and specialized delivery considerations when intervening with different populations. The breadth of this compendium’s coverage along with each chapter’s review of supporting research limit the extent to which this book can provide step-by-step guidance for practitioners.

  • Friedman, Matthew J., Terence M. Keane, and Patricia A. Resick, eds. 2007. Handbook of PTSD: Science and practice. New York: Guilford.

    The twenty-six chapters of this comprehensive compendium cover the historical background of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), its psychological and neurobiological theories, its epidemiology, how to assess it, alternative interventions, cultural issues, forensic issues, resilience, and other topics.

  • Meichenbaum, Don. 2003. A clinical handbook/practical therapist manual for assessing and treating adults with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Clearwater, FL: Institute Press.

    This lengthy book includes chapters on the epidemiology of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a constructive narrative conceptualization of post-traumatic stress disorder, assessment, treatment alternatives, treatment guidelines, postdisaster interventions, and clinical training. Its ambitious scope limits the detailed treatment guidance it can provide. It contains a wealth of information, but practitioners might struggle with its organization.

back to top

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.

How to Subscribe

Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.