Train Mental Health Professionals for Treating PTSD: APA's Clinical Practice Guideline - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Article review
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1030 Words
Date:  2023-01-29


Although there is a significantly high prevalence of trauma cases over the world, there has been a shortage of adequately trained clinicians and health professionals to deal with the increasing number of trauma cases (Forbes, Creamer, Bisson, Cohen, Crow, Foa & Ursano, 2010). In this light, recent studies have placed more emphasis on the need to adopt the American Psychological Association's Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder.

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This guideline was developed to lead the clinicians in the planning for treatment of the trauma patients. Although several professionals and clinicians have praised the method, others have resisted it (Norcross & Wampold, 2019). For instance, it is argued that the guideline does not comprehensively address the most critical aspect of trauma treatment such as the consideration of the cultural needs of the patient as well as the individual's need and the clinical self-care. However, the paper suggests specific methods of training that can take into consideration such limitations of the APA PTSD Guideline.

Trauma is associated with long-time exposure to various forms of medical and psychological disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorders, complex posttraumatic disorder, drug or substance abuse disorder and anxiety, among others (Bryant-Davis, 2019). However, despite the ever-increasing frequency and prevalence in traumatized individuals, very little training has been done for clinicians to make them capable of dealing with trauma among those affected individuals (Dominguez & Lee, 2017).

Most of the trauma training sessions often lack the fundamental components of trauma training such as the skill-based practical training that takes into account the cognitive, behavioural and the physical responses of various individuals to trauma (Norcross & Wampold, 2019). Furthermore, the practices often lack the knowledge-based academic education about trauma and individual reactions towards different trauma management strategies.

Author's Main points on the American Physiological Association

The author emphasizes the need to have better and adequate training for the mental clinicians regarding the assessment and the treatment of trauma (Norcross & Wampold, 2019). There is a need to offer sufficient and relevant trauma training for professionals for the provision of adequate services for the trauma-impacted people within the society (Dominguez & Lee, 2017).

Again, there is a need to reach a consensus on the competencies that the trauma trainees and professionals should pose to work with the trauma patients (Dominguez & Lee, 2017). The author reports that 60 professionals participated in a Trauma conference that was organized to come into an agreement on the recommended knowledge, attitudes, and skills that are required of the trainees and professionals for better training in dealing with trauma individuals (Norcross & Wampold, 2019).

Furthermore, the author notes that the APA PTSD was developed two years after the 60 trauma experts had developed the Guidelines on Trauma Competencies thus there needs to be consistency between the two guidelines (Norcross & Wampold, 2019). Although 60 trauma experts agreed upon the competency guideline, a team of 12 trauma experts created the APA PTSD (Dominguez & Lee, 2017).

The team agreed that the reduction in the PTSD indicators of severe harm as the most vital trauma treatment outcome while they viewed other factors such as quality of life and treatment-related side effects as essential but not crucial (Dominguez & Lee, 2017). Several debates, however, claim that the RCT format does not give room for effective stage-oriented treatment because they cannot be customized to deal with more complex trauma cases in individuals (Norcross & Wampold, 2019). Therefore, because of the narrow focus of APA PTSD, it has attracted many controversial debates (Dominguez & Lee, 2017).

The intended audience for this article are the policymakers in the healthcare sector. This is because the article addresses vital guidelines that should be considered in training trauma experts and healthcare professionals so that they can comprehensively and adequately address trauma in the affected individuals (Norcross & Wampold, 2019).

Specific Issues Addressed in the Article

The article addressed some few specific issues on the training of trauma professionals and experts. For instance, the author notes that the development of the APA PTSD was done two years after the 60 trauma experts had developed the Guidelines on Trauma Competencies (Norcross & Wampold, 2019). This implies that there needs to be consistency between the two guidelines. Again, even though 60 trauma experts agreed upon the competency guideline, a team of 12 trauma experts created the APA PTSD (Forbes et al., 2010).

The article also deals with specific concerns on the trauma-informed professionalism competency which relates the ability of a person to act ethically on behalf of the survivors of trauma within therapeutic conditions as well as within systems and organizations with the including mechanisms for maximization of optimal outcomes (Dominguez & Lee, 2017).

The Relevance of the Information in the Article to the Critical Issues in Healthcare

The need for professionalism in attending to clients is one of the significant concepts of the article that is relevant to the critical issues in Healthcare (Dominguez & Lee, 2017). There is a need for the assistance of the trainees and professionals on how to treat the most challenging clients rather than the simple cases in clients. In Healthcare, the term client could even refer to the patients admitted for diverse health conditions (Dominguez & Lee, 2017).


In conclusion, the rising cases of trauma around the world call for the need to train the trauma professionals and experts adequately. APA PTSD guidelines are some clear examples of the important guidelines that need to be born in mind in preparing such trauma experts. The major concepts in the APA PTSD guidelines are highly relevant to the critical issues in Healthcare.


Bryant-Davis, T. (2019). The cultural context of trauma recovery: Considering the posttraumatic stress disorder practice guideline and intersectionality. Psychotherapy, 56(3), 400.

Dominguez, S., & Lee, C. (2017). Preliminary Comments on the 2017 APA Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Adults. DOi. 10, 23.

Forbes, D., Creamer, M., Bisson, J. I., Cohen, J. A., Crow, B. E., Foa, E. B., ... & Ursano, R. J. (2010). A guide to guidelines for the treatment of PTSD and related conditions. Journal of traumatic stress, 23(5), 537-552.

Norcross, J. C., & Wampold, B. E. (2019). Relationships and responsiveness in the psychological treatment of trauma: The tragedy of the APA clinical practice guideline. Psychotherapy.

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Train Mental Health Professionals for Treating PTSD: APA's Clinical Practice Guideline - Essay Sample. (2023, Jan 29). Retrieved from

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