The "Health" model - part 2: case study of a guideline base treatment program for Complex PTSD relating to childhood sexual abuse

Pam Connor, Daryl Higgins

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This study outlines some of the practical issues for practitioners in the use of a guideline-based treatment program: HEALTH (Connor & Higgins, 2008 Connor, P. K. and Higgins, D. J. 2008. The “HEALTH” model – Part 1: treatment program guidelines for Complex PTSD. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 23(4): 293–303. [Taylor & Francis Online], [Google Scholar] ). Issues are explored using a case study of a 23-year-old woman who had multiple trauma experiences throughout her childhood and who was diagnosed with Complex PTSD (CP). The objective of the treatment program was “ego strengthening” and reduction of CP-specific symptomatology. Through this, the aim was to increase her capacity for eventual exploration and working through of her early abuse. The use of the HEALTH treatment guidelines with this case allowed for an individualised focus, with the program being tailored to meet the client's needs. A major positive outcome of the treatment program was that the client reported improvements in all CP symptoms identified at the outset and reported being more capable of undertaking work directly related to the earlier abuse issues. A case study is used to explore issues for practitioners in implementing this guideline-based treatment program. The case study demonstrates that – in addition to focusing on core-PTSD symptoms undertaking therapeutic work to address directly the abuse issues – there are important the benefits for clients when CP-specific symptoms are addressed directly, as outlined in the HEALTH model
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-410
Number of pages10
JournalSexual and Relationship Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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