What is it about?

Experiencing trauma in childhood or adolescence can impair some essential capacities that are required for developing social adjustment and social skills. Although current psychotherapy with traumatised young people have been successful in improving PTSD symptoms, they have overlooked the long-term effects of trauma on social life of young people. Through a comprehensive process of intervention mapping and over several empirical studies, we identified the specific ways through which trauma can impair the social life of young individuals, and accordingly, we mapped a theory-and-evidence-based integrative intervention to improve and prevent the effects of trauma on social life of young people.

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Why is it important?

After having a stuffiest level of replication and modification, this intervention can fill an important gap in current psychotherapy with young people having a trauma history (especially those with a history of complex trauma). We believe that receiving this intervention in late adolescence or early adulthood can prevent serious trauma-related psychosocial issues. When the treatment-resistant effects of trauma on social life is effectively targeted and improved in adolescence or early adulthood, it can possibly prevent developing/maintaining more complex patterns of trauma-related disorders such as C-PTSD or borderline personality disorder.


My colleagues and I have already applied this intervention in our own practice and we have observed positive outcomes and feedback from our clients even those with complex trauma-related disorders. There are also a few unpublished pilot studies supporting the efficacy of this intervention for young people with a history of complex trauma. We do not recommend this intervention as a substitute for current psychotherapy for trauma-related disorders. However, we believe that this intervention can be considered as a short-term psychotherapy facilitating the efficacy of longer-term psychotherapies or educational programmes focusing on social skills/adjustment of young people with a trauma history.

Dr Habib Forooshani
Queensland University of Technology

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Targeting treatment-resistant effects of trauma for promoting social adjustment: An intervention mapping protocol augmented by empirical pilot studies., Traumatology An International Journal, September 2021, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/trm0000329.
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