This book is the second edition of the well-known Psychological Assessment of Adult Posttraumatic States, published in 1997. A major update from the first edition, it presents a detailed, yet practical summary of the major issues and instruments involved in the assessment of posttraumatic disturbance. Dr. Briere analyzes the types of traumas most likely to produce long-term difficulties. He also explains the biological, historical, social, and cultural factors that mediate between trauma and outcome. New research on traumatic events, including rape, stalking, sex trafficking, torture, terrorist attacks, motor vehicle accidents, and disasters, is placed into clinical context.

Especially relevant to the clinician, researcher, and forensic specialist, this second edition reviews the available research on standardized measures currently available for evaluating trauma's impact, noting the psychometric characteristics of each instrument. A comprehensive review of new trauma-relevant measures is provided, emphasizing their direct clinical relevance to the assessment of posttraumatic states. In addition, frequently used general psychological tests get a critical look from the trauma assessment perspective. Dr. Briere also makes new recommendations for the composition of trauma-related test batteries that can be customized to fit the clinical question and the time available for assessment.

New to the second edition is additional information on the complex process of psychodiagnosis, including coverage of research and controversies in acute stress disorder, brief psychotic disorder, the dissociative disorders, traumatic grief reactions, "complex PTSD," borderline personality disorder, and trauma-related panic disorder.

Table of Contents



I. Etiology and Phenomenology of Posttraumatic Stress

  1. Trauma Types and Characteristics
  2. Symptoms, Syndromes, and Disorders

II. General Issues in the Assessment of Posttraumatic Stress

  1. Critical Issues in Trauma-Relevant Assessment
  2. Assessment of Traumatic Events
  3. Diagnostic Interviews
  4. General Objective and Projective Measures
  5. Trauma-Specific Objective Measures
  6. Putting It All Together: Assessment of Pretrauma Functioning, Traumatic Events, Moderating Influences, and Posttraumatic States
  7. Conclusion

Appendix: Initial Trauma Review–Revised (ITR–R)



About the Author

Author Bio

John Briere, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology as well as the Director of Psychological Trauma Program for the Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, University of Southern California.