Expert international trauma clinicians’ views on the definition, composition and delivery of reintegration interventions for complex PTSD

Background: Research has previously distinguished between complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) and PTSD, with the former including a range of disturbances in self-regulatory capacities in addition to difficulties associated with PTSD. Clinical guidelines have previously recommended a phase-based approach for the treatment of CPTSD, yet the final ‘reintegration’ phase of treatment has been overlooked in research, with limited evidence into its value and effectiveness, and inconsistencies in its definitions and understanding.


Objective: We set out to define and determine the key principles of ‘reintegration’ and to specify the components and method of delivery of treatment.


Method: Leading national and international clinical and academic experts in CPTSD were interviewed and asked about their views of how ‘reintegration’ should be defined, its role in the treatment of CPTSD, what it should be composed of, the key principles of its delivery, and how it should be evaluated. We analysed transcripts of the interviews following the principles of Codebook Thematic Analysis.


Results: We conducted 16 interviews with leading national and international experts with at least 10 years’ experience of treating people with CPTSD. Themes derived from our analysis demonstrated that while the definition and composition of reintegration varied greatly between experts, the key principles in its delivery were consistent across all experts.


Conclusions: The results of this study lay the foundation for a framework of what reintegration is and how it can be used in, but also highlight the need for more research to be conducted on the role of reintegration in the treatment of CPTSD. Consensus for the definition and composition of reintegration is still yet to be reached. Possible measures for evaluating reintegration should also be explored in the future.




  • Reintegration is one of the recommended phases of treatment for CPTSD, however recent research has found that there are inconsistencies in its definition, role and value.
  • The current study shows the opinions of experts, highlighting areas of consensus as well as differences in views with regards to the definition, composition and key principles in the delivery of reintegration.
Maria Condon, Michael A. P. Bloomfield, Helen Nicholls & Jo Billings | 2023
In: European Journal of Psychotraumatology ; ISSN: 2000-8066 | 14 | 1 | februari | 2165024
Affected Populations, Expert Testimony, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Psychotrauma, PTSD (en), Reintegration, Treatment