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The Biology of Trauma: Implications for Treatment & Prevention

Professor Richard Bryant

Acute stress disorder (ASD) describes initial stress reactions that are predictive of chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Recent biological models of posttraumatic stress have pointed to the importance of acute reactions in the genesis and maintenance of PTSD.  This presentation will review prevailing biological models of trauma response, with specific focus on fear conditioning models.  There will be a review of empirical studies of biological markers of adaptive and maladaptive responses to trauma.  These studies will include studies of heart rate, neuroimaging, and startle response.

Recorded at the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS)
20 August 2007, New South Wales, Australia.

Richard Bryant
Richard Bryant
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Professor Richard Bryant

Richard Bryant is Scientia Professor of Psychology at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. He is also an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Director of the Traumatic Stress Clinic at Westmead Hospital. He has published over 350 articles on trauma, anxiety, and treatment. His work has focused on the assessment and treatment of trauma reactions, as well as the cognitive and biological mechanisms underpinning traumatic stress. He is also studying the effects of complex trauma on clinical presentations, including those of refugees and torture survivors. He currently serves on the committee addressing Complex PTSD for both DSM-5 and ICD11

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