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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Worksheets

The page contains information about PTSD, complex PTSD, acute stress disorder, trauma, and dissociative disorders.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs maintain an up-to-date list of assessment tools and measures for PTSD. My preferred self-report measure is the recently-updated PCL-5, and the CAPS-5 remains the gold standard interview measure for PTSD.

Treatment guides

  • NICE guidelines for PTSD (March 2005)
  • Guidelines for Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder in Adults – ISST-D
  • Guidelines for the Evaluation and Treatment of Dissociative Symptoms in Children and Adolescents – ISST-D


Treatments for PTSD include:

Some helpful intervention materials for PTSD

  • PTSD self-help booklet from Glasgow STEPS including information about PTSD and self-help interventions
  • Treatment manual for PTSD

Information handouts

Exercises, Worksheets & Workbooks (Grounding techniques)

PTSD is characterised by flashbacks and dissociation. Grounding techniques are essential to help people remain focused and in the present. They can be used to prevent arousal from getting too high during trauma reprocessing.

  • Beyond reliving in PTSD treatment: advanced skills for overcoming common obstacles in memory work (Hannah Murray & Sharif El-Leithy)
  • Using compassionate imagery in shame based flashbacks in PTSD (Deborah Lee)
  • Psychological treatment of PTSD (Kitchiner & Hunter)
  • Using exposure to treat PTSD: why, when, and how? (Fyvie)
  • A trauma-focused cognitiver behavioral therapy case conceptualization: from assessment to termination – Alison Hendricks

These papers are recommended reading if you intend to work with PTSD. Ehlers & Clark (2000) present a comprehensive cognitive model, Grey et al (2002) present a framework for working with the meaning of the worst moments, and Brewin et al (1996) present a model for understanding what is happening to memory in PTSD.

  • Brewin, C. R., Dalgleish, T., Joseph, S. (1996). A dual representation theory of posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychological Review, 103, 670-686 (Useful for understanding the neural basis of memory in PTSD)
  • Brewin, C. R., Gregory, J. D., Lipton, M., Burgess, N. (2010). Intrusive images in psychological disorders: Characteristics, neural mechanisms, and treatment. Psychological Review 117(1), 210-232
  • Ehlers, A., Clark, D. M. (2000). A cognitive model of posttraumatic stress disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 38, 319-345 canonical reference for the treatment of PTSD: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy [TF-CBT]. This model is suitable even for more complex PTSD, within a phased approach)
  • Grey, N., Young, K., & Holmes, E. (2002). Cognitive restructuring within reliving: a treatment for peritraumatic emotional “hotspots” in posttraumatic stress disorder. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 30, 37-56
  • Schauer, M., Elbert, T. (2010). Dissociation following traumatic stress. Journal of Psychology, 218(2), 109-127

Complex PTSD

Complex PTSD (cPTSD) has been a somewhat disputed diagnostic category. Some argue that it is simply a severe form of PTSD, whereas others believe that it represents a distinct cluster. DSM5 has a single PTSD category with degrees of severity, ICD-11 is expected to have PTSD and complex PTSD categories.

  • Cloitre, Courtois, Ford, et al. (2012). The ISTSS expert consensus treatment guidelines for complex PTSD in Adults. Retrieved from:
  • Friedman, M. J. (2013). Finalizing PTSD in DSM-5: Getting here from there and where to go next. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 26, 548-556 (Not strictly about complex PTSD but speaks about definitions)
  • Herman, J. L. (1992). Complex PTSD: A syndrome in survivors of prolonged and repeated trauma. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 5(3), 377-391
  • Terr, L. C. (1991). Childhood traumas: An outline and overview. American journal of psychiatry, 148(1), 10-20

Other papers

  • Arntz, A., & Weertman, A. (1999). Treatment of childhood memories: Theory and practice. Behaviour research and therapy, 37(8), 715-740
  • Medford, N., Sierra, M., Baker, D., David, A. S. (2005). Understanding and treating depersonalisation disorder. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 11, 92-100
  • Read, J., Hammersley, P., Rudegeair, T. (2007). Why, when and how to ask about childhood abuse. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 13, 101-110

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