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Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Exposure to a potentially traumatic event (PTE) is a common experience, with up to three quarters of the population likely to experience at least one during their lifetime. PTEs involve exposure to an event involving threat, actual or perceived, to the life or physical safety of the individual, their loved ones or those around them. They can be experienced on a single occasion or repeatedly.

A degree of psychological distress is very common in the early aftermath of traumatic exposure and can be considered a part of the normal response. When the individual's psychological distress following exposure to a traumatic event persists, and is severe enough to interfere with important areas of psychosocial functioning, it can no longer be considered a normal response to traumatic exposure. The possibility of a posttraumatic mental health disorder such as PTSD should be considered.

The Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder aim to support high quality treatment of people with PTSD by providing a framework of best practice around which to structure treatment. While there has been growing consensus about the treatment of ASD and PTSD in recent years, approaches are varied and there is still a gap between evidence-based practice and routine clinical care.

A suite of products that accompanies the main Guidelines includes:

*an easy to read summary booklet of the recommendations contained in the Guidelines for mental health professionals
*a booklet for adults affected by trauma
*a booklet for teenagers affected by trauma
*a storybook for children who have experienced trauma
*a practitioner guide for mental health professionals who work with children, adolescents and their families.

Children and teenagers get factored into the new guidelines for PTSD treatment (ABC)

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