Controversies Related to the Study and Treatment of Multiple Experiences of Trauma
The past two decades have brought considerable advances in our understanding, assessment, and treatment of retraumatization. However, if this ¢eld is to continue meaningful advancement, it must evolve in theoretical sophistication and precise speci¢cations of relevant constructs. As a ¢rst step in spurring scienti¢c progress, we believe that those who work in this area should come to some level of consensus about what is meant by terms such as revictimization, retraumatization, and multiple experiences of trauma. Are these terms synonymous with one another, or do they point to subtly different constructs? Are we referring to all potentially traumatic events (PTEs) when we talk about retraumatization, or are only those PTEs that lead to symptoms relevant to this ¢eld? Without a greater level of conceptual clarity on these issues, we believe that the ¢eld of retraumatization will lack the appropriate framework to continue advancing in ways that will lead to improved clinical care and prevention. This chapter will highlight a series of questions and controversies related to the conceptual understanding of retraumatization, which we believe merit further attention due to their clinical, research, and policy implications.