Understanding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 2nd Edition

About the Course
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex syndrome that may occur after exposure to one or more traumatic events. PTSD involves a characteristic set of symptoms that includes re-experiencing the traumatic event, avoiding stimuli associated with the traumatic event, having negative changes in mood or cognitions associated with or worsening after the traumatic event, and experiencing increased reactivity and arousal. With the high prevalence of trauma exposure within the U.S., health care professionals are providing care to many trauma-exposed patients who are at risk of developing PTSD, and who may not have the comfort level or skills needed to assess and intervene appropriately. It is essential for occupational therapy practitioners to be able to screen for the presence of traumatic experiences, as well as possible PTSD symptoms, in all encounters with clients and families so that referrals to treatment can be provided. This basic-level course provides an overview of PTSD for occupational therapy practitioners working in a variety of roles and settings. This course addresses basic information regarding PTSD, including DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, etiology, incidence, risk factors, interventions, and treatment methods. With distinct mental health training and education targeting occupational performance, occupational therapy practitioners are integral to the interdisciplinary team for those at risk for or diagnosed with PTSD and their families. Unique historical perspectives, assessment, and treatment practices specific to occupational therapy will also be presented.

Learning Outcomes
  • Recognize the history, incidence, etiology, and risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Describe the key components of trauma informed care.
  • Identify diagnostic criteria and occupational therapy assessment tools across all age groups for PTSD.
  • Identify the major clinical signs and symptoms of PTSD, including differential diagnoses related to PTSD.
  • Summarize occupational therapy intervention approaches for the amelioration of PTSD symptoms.
  • Develop occupation-based treatment approaches and clinician self-care strategies.
About the Authors
Elizabeth A. Sherman, MA, MOT, OTR/L, (they/she) is a clinical occupational therapist and faculty member in the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) and Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) degree programs at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Elizabeth received their BS in exercise science from West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania, her master of occupational therapy from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, and her MA in infant and early childhood development (IECD) from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. Elizabeth is currently completing her PhD in the IECD program at Fielding with concentrations in reflective practice and the developmental, individual differences, relationship-based (DIR) model. Elizabeth has also completed a certificate program in evidence-based trauma-sensitive yoga methodology developed at the Justice Resource Institute in Massachusetts. Elizabeth is currently completing their dissertation on autistic-created and autistic-driven supports for agentic action in the autistic community across the life span. Elizabeth’s clinical occupational therapy work is focused primarily on neurodiversity-affirming (inherently trauma-informed) and community mutual aid support for autistic children and adults as well as collaborative mental health care for children, adults, and families. She presents regularly for graduate occupational therapy programs and state organizations across the U.S. Elizabeth’s current primary commitment to scholarship and service is engaging in collaborative, autistic-led advocacy efforts aimed at reducing systemic trauma and the incidence of PTSD in the autistic community through expanding access to basic needs and authentic community care for autistic community stakeholders. 

How to Receive Credit
  • Read the entire course online or in print.
  • Answer the final examination questions at the end of the course. A passing grade of 70% is required. Test questions link content to learning objectives as a method to enhance individualized learning and material retention.
  • Provide required personal information and payment information.
  • Complete the mandatory course evaluation.
  • Print your Certificate of Completion.

Resolution of Conflict of Interest
Colibri Healthcare, LLC implemented mechanisms prior to the planning and implementation of the continuing education activity, to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals in a position to control content of the course activity.

Sponsorship/Commercial Support and Non-Endorsement
It is the policy of Colibri not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.

©2022: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge of the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal, or professional advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal, or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation nor circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials. Quotes are collected from customer feedback surveys. The models are intended to be representative and not actual customers.