Cognitive behaviour therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder

Clin Psychol Rev. 2003 May;23(3):501-22. doi: 10.1016/s0272-7358(03)00035-7.


Following considerable empirical scrutiny, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) has proven to be a safe and effective treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This article overviews the general principles of treatment and describes the components that comprise CBT for PTSD. We then move on to review the efficacy of CBT for the treatment of PTSD caused by various traumas, including assault, road traffic accident (RTA), combat, and terrorism. Recent advances in early intervention and in the treatment of disorders that are comorbid with PTSD are reviewed. Finally, future directions are discussed. In particular, it is proposed that randomised controlled trials (RCT) of CBT for PTSD must be conducted with enhanced methodological rigour and public health relevance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*