Third-Wave Behavioral Therapies for the Co-Occurrence of PTSD and Substance Use Disorders

Christopher R. Berghoff, Matthew T. Tull

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This chapter aims to spur further research on third-wave behavioral therapies for the comorbidity. It reviews of relevant theoretical and empirical research on the functional relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)/substance use disorder (SUD) and the potential utility of third-wave behavioral therapies in addressing PTSD/SUD. The chapter presents an overview of different third-wave behavioral therapies and a brief description of each treatment, followed by a discussion of extant research on the utility of each treatment in addressing PTSD/SUD. Research on emotion regulation deficits among individuals with PTSD/SUD suggests that individuals with co-occurring PTSD/SUD may be at high risk to engage in maladaptive behaviors to obtain short-term relief from internal experiences perceived as aversive and intolerable, especially emotions. Clinical trials that explicitly examine the efficacy of modified Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) in addressing co-occurring PTSD/SUD are needed. The treatment target hierarchy of DBT would assist therapists in prioritizing order in which to address problem behaviors and symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPosttraumatic Stress and Substance Use Disorders
Subtitle of host publicationA Comprehensive Clinical Handbook
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781315442631
ISBN (Print)9781138208971
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


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