Tamara McClintock Greenberg, PsyD, MS


Feel entitled to an absorbing life

Treating Complex Trauma:
Combined Theories and Methods

First Edition

2020, Springer

This forward-thinking volume outlines several approaches to therapeutic treatment for individuals who have experienced complex childhood and adult trauma, providing a framework for helping challenging patients and emphasizing the importance of maintaining good therapeutic relationships. Responding to the intense disagreement and competition among clinicians championing their own approaches, the book identifies the strengths and limitations of multiple theories of treatment, addressing the need for qualified clinicians to be versed in multiple theories and techniques in order to best benefit their patients.

Among the topics discussed:

  • Difficulties in diagnosing cPTSD among other similarly presenting disorders
  • Cultural and ethnic considerations in trauma treatment
  • Addressing avoidance when talking to patients
  • Maintaining the therapeutic relationship with aggressive patients
Treating Complex Trauma: Combined Theories and Methods serves as a practical guide for therapists looking to applying multiple approaches in their practice, with the aim of providing the most effective treatment strategy possible for each individual.

“For the first time in the professional literature we are finally afforded a clear, cogent, and detailed explication of complex trauma and the multifaceted parameters of treatment. Dr. Tamara McClintock Greenberg provides perspicacious insight and clinical wisdom only a seasoned career therapist can yield. Offering sophisticated and nuanced distinctions between complex trauma and PTSD, she shows how treatment is necessarily contextual and tailored to the unique clinical and personality dynamics of the sufferer that is thoroughly client specific within the therapeutic dyad. She dispenses with simplistic and supercilious attitudes that embarrassingly boast a uniform or manualized treatment to trauma, instead carefully taking into consideration polysymptomatic, neurobiological, and socialcultural differences that inform the interpersonal, emotional, and safety milieu from the beginning of treatment to stabilization, the working-through process, and then onto successful recovery. This is a must-read book for those in training and senior clinicians alike.”

Jon Mills, PsyD, PhD, ABPP

Faculty, Postgraduate Programs in Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy, Adelphi University, NY; author of Treating Attachment Pathology

“Dr. Greenberg has written an invaluable book on treating complex trauma. She delves into multiple approaches, assessing what techniques the client can tolerate at a given therapeutic stage. She covers how to maintain consistency and connection through a flexible approach and avoid pitfalls. This is a must read for clinicians wishing to treat clients with complex PTSD.”

“Combining her training and expertise in psychology and behavioral medicine, she facilely navigates the turbid waters of how medical illness and aging is informed by unconscious dynamics, childhood familial relations, somatisation, coping and recovery, and the convergence of mind and body. Healthcare practitioners of all types who work therapeutically with chronically ill and older adults will find this to be a perspicacious and indispensable approach to clinical praxis.”

Louann Brizendine, MD

Clinical Professor UCSF; author of The Female Brain

“Tamara McClintock Greenberg has written a much-needed book in the field of psychotherapy. In her Treating Complex Trauma: Combined Theories and Methods the reader can find a complete review of the main topics related to the treatment of complex trauma, in which she very successfully brings together extensive clinical examples, her own personal responses and the most up-to-date knowledge on the subject.”

“One of the strengths of this book is that all of these issues, and more, are treated with a very secular, critical, appreciative and disenchanted attitude, as is appropriate for a true scholar. At the same time, the style of writing and narrative is deeply rooted in the author’s experience of clinical activity and she does not shy away from exposing her style of conducting sessions and therapies (for example, her support for ‘clinical hypothesis testing’ and transparency), and offering her personal understanding and views on specific topics. Vignettes are sophisticated, detailed, illustrative and pleasant to read, representing thoughtful pieces in which the treated topic is illustrated in a very personal and valuable way for clinicians. At the end of some chapters the most important points are summarized through bullet points, which makes the book helpful for teaching. In short, the book as a whole is well-structured, based on updated research and critically written.”

“…the merits of this book are many, the most important being to make a serious and pervasive disorder such as complex trauma more understandable and therefore more treatable, providing clinicians with a wide framework of concepts and therapeutic tools, and a sustained example of how to build one’s own personal toolbox…”

Monica Luci
Author, A complex treatment for complex trauma, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, DOI: 10.1080/02668734.2021.1915857