Therapeutic assessment of complex trauma: A single-case time-series study

Anna Tarocchi, Filippo Aschieri*, Francesca Fantini, Justin D. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The cumulative effect of repeated traumatic experiences in early childhood incrementally increases the risk of adjustment problems later in life. Surviving traumatic environments can lead to the development of an interrelated constellation of emotional and interpersonal symptoms termed complex posttraumatic stress disorder (CPTSD). Effective treatment of trauma begins with a multimethod psychological assessment and requires the use of several evidence-based therapeutic processes, including establishing a safe therapeutic environment, reprocessing the trauma, constructing a new narrative, and managing emotional dysregulation. Therapeutic Assessment (TA) is a semistructured, brief intervention that uses psychological testing to promote positive change. The case study of Kelly, a middle-aged woman with a history of repeated interpersonal trauma, illustrates delivery of the TA model for CPTSD. Results of this single-case time-series experiment indicate statistically significant symptom improvement as a result of participating in TA. We discuss the implications of these findings for assessing and treating trauma-related concerns, such as CPTSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-245
Number of pages18
JournalClinical Case Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Therapeutic Assessment
  • complex trauma
  • single-case experiment
  • time series

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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