Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is quite different from Complex Trauma. PTSD is a clinical diagnosis usually applied when an person has experienced a life-threatening event and develops certain symptoms. Complex Trauma refers to the pervasive effects of chronic early maltreatment within a care-giving relationship. Complex Trauma usually results in more impairments that does PTSD.
Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy is an evidence-based, effective, and empirically validated treatment for Complex Trauma.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is characterized by symptoms such as repeated, intrusive upsetting memories of the trauma; avoidance of similar situations and things which might remind one of them; a feeling of detachment from others; hypervigilance, and overarousal. It is associated with problems at work and at home and it is estimated that between 1% and 14% of people might suffer from it over the course of their lifetime. A team of researchers from New York reviewed 57 studies into treatments for PTSD and acute stress disorder which can often lead to it. They found that there was the strongest evidence for trauma-focused cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). There was some evidence that stress innoculation training, hypnotherapy, interpersonal psychotherapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy were effective for PTSD and that trauma-focused CBT was effective for acute stress disorder. The study also found evidence that trauma-focused CBT was effective for assault- and road-traffic-accident-related PTSD.
Ponniah, Kathryn and Hollon, Steven D. - Empirically supported psychological treatments for adult acute stress disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder: a review Depression and Anxiety December 2009, 26(12), 1086-1109