The role of negative cognitions, emotion regulation strategies, and attachment style in complex post-traumatic stress disorder: Implications for new and existing therapies

Thanos Karatzias, Mark Shevlin, Philip Hyland, Chris R. Brewin, Marylene Cloitre, Aoife Bradley, Neil J. Kitchiner, Sandra Jumbe, Jonathan I. Bisson, Neil P. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective
We set out to investigate the association between negative trauma-related cognitions, emotional regulation strategies, and attachment style and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD). As the evidence regarding the treatment of CPTSD is emerging, investigating psychological factors that are associated with CPTSD can inform the adaptation or the development of effective interventions for CPTSD.

Method
A cross-sectional design was employed. Measures of CPTSD, negative trauma-related cognitions, emotion regulation strategies, and attachment style were completed by a British clinical sample of trauma-exposed patients (N = 171). Logistic regression analysis was used to assess the predictive utility of these psychological factors on diagnosis of CPTSD as compared to PTSD.

Results
It was found that the most important factor in the diagnosis of CPTSD was negative trauma-related cognitions about the self, followed by attachment anxiety, and expressive suppression.

Conclusions
Targeting negative thoughts and attachment representations while promoting skills acquisition in emotional regulation hold promise in the treatment of CPTSD. Further research is required on the development of appropriate models to treat CPTSD that tackle skills deficit in these areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-185
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Psychology
Volume57
Issue number2
Early online date22 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • attachment
  • complex post-traumatic stress disorder
  • emotional regulation
  • negative cognitions
  • treatment

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