The Reconstruction of Criterion A in DSM-5: Is it a True Incorporation of Secondary Traumatization into the PTSD Diagnosis?

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Abstract

In DSM-5, the event criterion (criterion A) for PTSD includes indirect exposure as a potential source of PTSD. In light of the revised criterion A, it is now important to reevaluate the concept of “secondary traumatization” vis-á-vis the PTSD diagnosis. I argue that, while including indirect exposure in DSM-5 was an important step forward, there is still a considerable gap between what DSM views as indirect trauma exposure and what research has taught us about the underlying mechanisms of secondary traumatization. Thus, while DSM-5 certainly moved in the right direction, researchers are encouraged to explore new avenues of research in order to bridge the gap between the existing empirical and theoretical knowledge about secondary traumatization and the diagnostic criteria for PTSD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-349
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • DSM-5
  • Diagnosis
  • PTSD
  • indirect exposure
  • secondary traumatization
  • vicarious trauma

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