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CDP Presents The Elephant in the Room: Treating PTSD When Clinicians Have Negative Reactions to Patients' Sociocultural Views

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Abigail C. Angkaw, PhD |  Brittany N. Hall-Clark, Ph.D.
Course Levels:
90 minutes
Media Type:
Access for event date only.



Evidence-based treatment guidelines, such as the 2017 VA/DOD Clinical Practice Guideline, help clinicians provide effective care for individuals with PTSD, such as prolonged exposure or cognitive processing therapy. However, clinicians may experience difficulties in providing PTSD treatment if they have strong reactions to patients’ sociocultural views. This “elephant in the room,” which may range from a clinician disagreeing with a patient’s political views to a clinician being offended by a patient’s use of racist language, can impact a clinician’s abilities to work well with the patient and to provide effective PTSD treatment. When clinicians and patients are experiencing shared multiple stressful, overlapping, and prolonged events -- as is happening currently with the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice/Black Lives Matter protests, presidential election, US Capitol riots, and severe climate events -- providing strategies and guidance to help PTSD clinicians to manage strong reactions and to use a cultural conceptualization of their patients’ sociocultural views to inform evidence-based PTSD care is highly important. The purpose of this presentation is to help bridge the gap between a clinician having a strong reaction to their patient’s sociocultural views and providing effective evidence-based PTSD treatment.


Learning Objectives 

At the end of this presentation learners will be able to:


  1. Develop strategies PTSD clinicians can utilize if they have strong reactions to a patients’ sociocultural views.

  2. Formulate a conceptualization of patients’ views either within or outside of a trauma framework.

  3. Employ case conceptualization to determine when and how to address patient views within PTSD evidence-based treatment. 



Abigail C. Angkaw, PhD's Profile

Abigail C. Angkaw, PhD Related seminars and products

Abigail Angkaw is a Consultant with the PTSD Consultation Program through the National Center for PTSD, clinical psychologist, Section Chief at the VA San Diego, and an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Diego. Her primary research interests include PTSD and co-occurring conditions as well as improving the delivery of mental health treatment. Coming from a military family, Dr. Angkaw is personally invested in helping providers through complex clinical and administrative challenges to provide high quality care for Veterans with PTSD. Dr. Angkaw received her PhD from the University of Cincinnati and completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the UCSD and VA San Diego.


Brittany N. Hall-Clark, Ph.D.'s Profile

Brittany N. Hall-Clark, Ph.D. Related seminars and products

Brittany N. Hall-Clark is a Consultant with the PTSD Consultation Program through the National Center for PTSD, a Texas-licensed clinical psychologist in private practice, and an Assistant Professor within the Division of Behavioral Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Hall-Clark's research interests include acculturative stress, cultural identity, and culturally sensitive treatment. She obtained her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Hall-Clark completed a 2-year fellowship with STRONG STAR, a multidisciplinary PTSD research consortium.



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