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A critical evaluation of the conceptual model and empirical evidence for current cognitive behavioral approaches to post-traumatic stress disorder from a counseling psychology perspective
Catherine Athanasiadou-Lewis
Senior Lecturer in Counseling Psychology, London Metropolitan University, Department of Psychology, School of social sciences, London, United Kingdom

Article ID: 100010P13CA2017

Address correspondence to:
Dr. Catherine Athanasiadou-Lewis
London Metropolitan University, School of social sciences, Room T6-20
Tower Building, 166-220 Holloway Road
London N7 8DB

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How to cite this article
Athanasiadou-Lewis C. A critical evaluation of the conceptual model and empirical evidence for current cognitive behavioral approaches to post-traumatic stress disorder from a counseling psychology perspective. Edorium J Psychol 2017;3:1–9.

Recent innovations in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research have led to new and potentially significant psychological treatments. Parallel to that, new enhancements to empirically validated cognitive approaches have been identified. This paper aims to review the current literature and research evidence on cognitive-behavioral interventions for post-traumatic stress disorder. More specifically, the paper will examine the core principles of the most predominant theories informing trauma focused therapies, by providing an account and a critique, of the robustness and validity of each model. The review concludes with the claim that cognitive behavioral approaches do offer a coherent basis for the treatment of PTSD as evident by the plethora of multi-representational approaches to trauma; whilst their efficacy is being favoured by a rich body of research evidence. However, a number of methodological limitations related to randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and conceptual omissions that fail to capture the disorder in its entirety, point to the embracement of alternative approaches to PTSD such as psychodynamic and eclectic therapies, which is in line with counseling psychology's pluralistic ethos. Future research may wish to focus on exploring these claims further, by conducting a meta-analysis of outcome studies across all major therapeutic modalities.

Keywords: Bonafide treatments, CBT models, Evidence base, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Randomized control trials

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Author Contributions
Catherine Athanasiadou-Lewis – Substantial contributions to conception and design, Acquisition of data, Analysis and interpretation of data, Drafting the article, Revising it critically for important intellectual content, Final approval of the version to be published
Guarantor of submission
The corresponding author is the guarantor of submission.
Source of support
Conflict of interest
Authors declare no conflict of interest.
© 2017 Catherine Athanasiadou-Lewis. This article is distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided the original author(s) and original publisher are properly credited. Please see the copyright policy on the journal website for more information.

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