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by Dr Jacob
Ellis and Dr
Last updated: November 2019
The rationale for the clinical construct of complex
post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) in children is that it
provides a coherent conceptualisation of the presenting symptoms
resulting from severe and usually prolonged or repetitive
interpersonal trauma. CPTSD is seen as a complicated adaptation to
this traumatic experience.
In cases of child abuse the perpetrator is
often in a caregiving role. Other causes in children and adults
include experiences relating to war and refugee status. Victims of
torture or domestic abuse may also develop CPTSD. In this
module, we will focus on the impact of CPTSD in early
childhood caused by abuse and neglect.
The term 'complex post-traumatic stress
disorder' describes the pervasive developmental impact of complex
trauma and its disruptive effect on core developmental processes
including attachment, identity and self-regulation. Although not
yet recognised in DSM-5 or ICD-10, the term is widely used by
clinicians because it is clinically meaningful, capturing some of
the more chronic symptomatology and extensive comorbidity. It
provides a useful framework for treatment. A new proposal for
diagnostic criteria for CPTSD has been accepted and will appear in
ICD-11 (Brewin et al, 2017).
Given the high prevalence of abuse and
neglect, clinicians will encounter children and young people who
have experienced complex trauma in their clinical practice, and
therefore need to be familiar with the relevant theory, assessment
techniques and management.
Assessment of eating disorders in children and young
people by Dr Agnes Ayton, Dr Dasha Nicholls and Dr
Depression in children and adolescents: Part
1 and Part
2 by Dr Raphael Kelvin
Or why not try another Quickbite module?:
medication in breastfeeding by Dr Charles Musters and Dr
Download take-home notes to print and