Individual Approaches to Prevention and Early Intervention

Teresa M. Au, Caroline Silva, Eileen M. Delaney and Brett T. Litz

in The Oxford Handbook of Traumatic Stress Disorders

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195399066
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Individual Approaches to Prevention and Early Intervention


This chapter provides an overview of individual and small group-based approaches for prevention and early intervention of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Using the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) classification system for preventive interventions of mental disorders (universal, selective, and indicated), we describe individual and small group early interventions and review the effectiveness of these strategies. Specifically, psychological debriefing, psychological first aid, and psychoeducation have been used as selective interventions targeting individuals exposed to trauma with varying degrees of success. However, there is strong empirical support for using cognitive behavioral therapy as an indicated preventive intervention to help symptomatic individuals in the weeks or months following traumatic exposure. A review of the literature also suggests that future research should explore different modes of delivery and devote more attention to determining the best time to intervene after traumatic exposure.

Keywords: individual; small group; prevention; early intervention; posttraumatic stress; ptsd

Article.  12891 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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