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Assessing Military Clients for Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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PTSD |  Trauma
Kelly Chrestman |  Paula Domenici, Ph.D.
Course Levels:
4 Hours 15 Minutes
Media Type:
Access for event date only.



This workshop will review a method for screening, assessment, and treatment outcome monitoring of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) centered on the use of the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL5). Participants will be introduced to VA/DOD best practices for diagnosing military-related PTSD including screening for trauma-related disorders, obtaining thorough military and trauma histories, conducting a semi-structured diagnostic interview, and using self-report measures to track treatment outcome. DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for PTSD as well as Other Unspecified Specified Trauma and/or Stressor Related Disorders are reviewed. Tools for assessing PTSD and common comorbid conditions are discussed including appropriate use of the PCL 5, Life Events Checklist 5 (LEC 5), Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption Questions (AUDIT-C). Semi-structured clinical interviewing techniques are reviewed and then practiced by participants for the intended purposes of screening, diagnostic assessment, and tracking treatment outcome. Unique variables that can impact the assessment and feedback process with a military population are identified. Role-plays and demonstrations will be used to help develop participants’ PTSD assessment skills.


Participants will be able to:

  1. Apply the VA/DOD Guidelines for the Assessment of Trauma and PTSD.
  2. Discriminate between symptoms of PTSD and other disorders based on the DSM-5.
  3. Facilitate the screening, diagnostic assessment, and tracking of treatment outcomes in PTSD patients using the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5)
  4. Communicate results of diagnostic assessments as well as treatment outcome measures to clients to facilitate effective treatment.


The Center for Deployment Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Center for Deployment Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.


American Psychological Association (APA)

The Center for Deployment Psychology is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Center for Deployment Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its content.



Kelly Chrestman's Profile

Kelly Chrestman Related seminars and products: 3

Center for Deployment Psychology

Kelly Chrestman, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist working as the lead for online consultation services at the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. In this capacity, she is responsible for the development of the CDP’s web based consultation services to DoD and military mental health providers.

Dr. Chrestman received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee and her Master of Arts and Doctor of Psychology degrees from Nova Southeastern University. She completed a clinical psychology internship at the University of Mississippi, Jackson VA Medical Center Consortium and postdoctoral training at the Women’s Health Sciences Division of the National Center for PTSD,Boston, Massachusetts. Prior to joining the CDP, she was a research scientist at Behavioral Tech Research, Inc. and a clinical psychologist at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania.

As a clinical and research psychologist, much of Dr. Chrestman’s work has focused on trauma, violence and anxiety. She is particularly interested in the dissemination of empirically supported treatments, and using technology to improve the accessibility of treatment and training in community settings. She has trained numerous student and mental health professionals from the United States and other countries in techniques for treating PTSD and other anxiety disorders.

Dr. Chrestman is a co-author of Prolonged Exposure Therapy for Adolescents with PTSD: Emotional Processing of Traumatic Experiences (2008) and has authored several articles on community and professional responses to trauma, particularly domestic violence and sexual assault.

Financial: Kelly Chrestman is employed by Center for Deployment Psychology.

Non-financial: Kelly Chrestman has no relevant non-financial relationships to disclose. 

Paula Domenici, Ph.D. Related seminars and products: 1



Paula Domenici, Ph.D., is a licensed counseling psychologist working as the director of Civilian Training Programs at the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.  She oversees all civilian courses and training programs, and develops and presents workshops on deployment-related topics for military and civilian clinicians across the country.

Dr. Domenici specializes in war-related trauma and the treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.  She also worked at the National Naval Medical Center, treating Navy personnel and Marines returning from Iraq and Afghanistan in the outpatient behavioral health clinic and inpatient casualty care unit.

Earlier in her career, she was an American Psychological Association Congressional Fellow at the Office of Senator Hillary Clinton, as well as a staff psychologist at the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center. She is a co-author of two books, Courage after Fire: Coping Strategies for Troops Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and Their Families; and Courage after Fire for Parents of Service Members: Strategies for Coping When Your Son or Daughter Returns from Deployment. 


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We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call the Center for Deployment Psychology at 301-400-4160 or email

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