First Advisor

Shawn Johnston

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology and University Honors




Post-traumatic stress disorder, Psychic trauma




PTSD is a recent disorder in the scope of psychology, only formally introduced to the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in the 1970s. Since then, recognition of the disorder and its sources has increased both in psychological awareness and public consciousness. PTSD can come from any severe traumatic event, and can take several forms, as well as imitate other disorders. Although many perceive it as an incurable mental illness, there are numerous evidence-based treatments available. In addition to proven cognitive, psychodynamic, and humanistic therapies, experimental methods are testing new exposure techniques and new ways of reducing patient arousal. This thesis contains a comprehensive review of the major methods, common comorbidities, misdiagnoses, and best practices for the treatment of PTSD. It is intended for the provider, but the information within can provide PTSD sufferers, friends, and family with the knowledge they need to make an informed care decision.


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