Briere and Scott’s Principles of Trauma Therapy: A Comprehensive Assessment

1. Introduction

This essay aims to provide a comprehensive assessment of Briere and Scott’s (2006) principles of trauma therapy, with a focus on their theoretical orientation and the assessment process. In order to do this, the essay will firstly present a brief overview of the main principles outlined in the article. Secondly, it will critically evaluate the theoretical orientation of Briere and Scott’s principles of trauma therapy. Finally, the assessment process will be discussed, along with a critique of the article.

2. Theoretical orientation of Briere and Scott’s principles of trauma therapy

The theoretical orientation of Briere and Scott’s principles of trauma therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps people to change their negative thoughts and behaviors by teaching them new, more positive ways of thinking and behaving (Briere & Scott, 2006).

CBT has been found to be effective in treating various mental health conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse (Briere & Scott, 2006).

3. Assessment of Briere and Scott’s principles of trauma therapy

The assessment process for Briere and Scott’s principles of trauma therapy begins with a thorough intake interview. During this interview, the therapist will ask the patient about their past experiences with trauma and their current symptoms. The therapist will also ask about the patient’s goals for treatment and what they hope to achieve through therapy (Briere & Scott, 2006).

After the intake interview, the therapist will assess the patient’s symptoms using various diagnostic tools. These tools include the PTSD Symptom Scale (PSS), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) (Briere & Scott, 2006).

The therapist will then create a treatment plan that is tailored specifically to the needs of the patient. The treatment plan may involve individual therapy sessions, group therapy sessions, and/or exposure therapy (Briere & Scott, 2006).

4. Conclusion

In conclusion, Briere and Scott’s principles of trauma therapy are based on the cognitive behavioral therapy approach. The assessment process for these principles begins with a thorough intake interview and includes the use of various diagnostic tools. The treatment plan that is created for each individual patient is based on their specific needs and may involve individual or group therapy sessions, as well as exposure therapy.


Briere and Scott's principles of trauma therapy are based on the idea that the therapeutic process should focus on helping clients to gradually and safely confront their memories and emotions related to the traumatic event. This gradual exposure is thought to help clients process and make sense of their experiences, eventually leading to healing.

These principles help to explain the process of healing from trauma by providing a framework for how therapists can work with clients to address their individual needs. The approach is designed to be flexible and adaptable, which allows clinicians to tailor the therapy to meet each client's unique needs.

There is growing evidence that exposure-based therapies, like those based on Briere and Scott's principles, are effective in treating PTSD. Studies have shown that these approaches can lead to reductions in symptoms, improved functioning, and increased quality of life for individuals with PTSD.

While there are many potential benefits to using Briere and Scott's principles in therapy, there are also some potential drawbacks or limitations. One potential drawback is that the approach may not be appropriate for all individuals with PTSD. Another potential limitation is that the therapist must have a good understanding of trauma and its effects in order to effectively utilize this approach.

When working with clients who have experienced traumatic events, clinicians can best utilize Briere and Scott's principles of trauma therapy by taking a flexible and individualized approach. It is important to remember that each client will respond differently to treatment, so it is important to tailor the therapy specifically for each individual client's needs