About Jon Finch

Clinicians PTSD blog is written by Dr Jon Finch a Clinical Psychologist, a clinician treating PTSD and traumatised individuals for over 10 years. It is mainly for clinicians treating people who have PTSD and other trauma related conditions. It is focused on evidence-based therapy, trauma focused therapy and Cognitive Processing Therapy.

Will talking about trauma damage the therapeutic relationship?

Common sense (of the clinical variety) tells us that a strong therapeutic alliance predicts better outcomes. The research indicates this is true in PTSD treatment (Keller, et. al.2010). Some therapist worry that discussing trauma undermines therapeutic alliance and leads to poor engagement in treatment. Chen, et al (2019) compared therapeutic alliance in CPT, a therapy where [...]

By |2019-06-23T21:06:05+00:00June 23rd, 2019|

Evidence supporting intensive delivery of Cognitive Processing Therapy

The evidence base for very short-term, intensive treatment for PTSD is growing. Investigators from the U.S. National Center for Veterans Studies conducted an open trial of 2 weeks of daily CPT supplemented with recreation and psychoeducational sleep classes. Military Servicemembers and Veterans with PTSD or subthreshold PTSD (N = 20) engaged in 12 sessions of individual CPT over 2 weeks. [...]

By |2019-06-08T12:55:16+00:00May 25th, 2019|

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends

You might know the words from the Beatles or Joe Cocker, either way it is an important message about the significance of support. As common sense would tell us the same applies to those who are going through PTSD treatment. However, the kind of support is very important.  Should it be accommodating the needs of [...]

By |2019-06-08T12:54:10+00:00April 29th, 2019|

Trauma therapy drop out more often than other clients?

Clinicians are often worried about their clients dropping out of therapy when they are treating trauma. Are the dropout rates for PTSD therapy worse than for other problems? The research seems to suggest that they are not. A meta-analysis led by investigators at the University of Texas examined dropout from 115 studies of cognitive behavioral [...]

By |2019-04-24T05:04:40+00:00March 30th, 2019|

PTSD is not a risk factor for heart disease

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, has previously been associated with major forms of cardiovascular disease However, research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association on the 13th of February 2019 shows that PTSD is not an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The authors outlined that comorbid conditions explain the association between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and [...]

By |2019-04-24T05:06:33+00:00February 23rd, 2019|

Does CPT work?

A 2019 meta-analysis of 11 studies with a total of 1130 participants showed that CPT outperformed inactive control conditions on PTSD outcome measures at posttreatment and follow-up. The average CPT-treated participant fared better than 89% of those in inactive control conditions at posttreatment and 82% at follow-up. Reference Gordon J. G. Asmundson, Audur S. Thorisdottir, [...]

By |2019-04-24T05:09:00+00:00February 9th, 2019|

Co-Occurring PTSD and Substance Use Disorder influence on therapy outcome?

As many clinicians are aware, PTSD and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) commonly co-occur.  As a result, it is important for clinicians to understand how these two disorders effect treatment. In a recent study Bountress et al. (2018) examined this question.  Their results are interesting. In their article, Bountress et al. (2018) compared treatment outcomes for [...]

By |2019-01-09T03:21:29+00:00January 9th, 2019|

Stabilisation in trauma treatment

When a client presents with complex PTSD (cPTSD), they often have high levels of distress, which may be difficult to manage. This has prompted experts to consider how to manage these clients. Guidelines have been developed, however these guidelines have since been questioned regarding their necessity and impact on client outcomes and access to effective [...]

By |2019-01-08T10:04:33+00:00October 27th, 2018|

The Blame Game

Client presentation and choice of therapy is often a challenge for clinicians. There are often many facets of a client’s experience of PTSD. This includes dissociative experience, multiple traumas, chronicity, severity, experience of tonic immobility and self-blame. All these may be considerations in the choice of therapy. Research suggests that cognitive processing therapy (CPT) may [...]

By |2019-01-08T10:06:38+00:00September 25th, 2018|

Practice and PTSD treatment

Practice Makes Perfect Less PTSD Symptoms Engaging your clients in practice outside a session has always been thought an important factor for improvement in many therapies. In a 2017 article in the journal Behavior Therapy (doi:10.1016/j.beth.2017.12.001) this commonsense idea was supported by the data for Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). What you should know when thinking [...]

By |2019-01-08T10:08:16+00:00August 27th, 2018|