03-01-2019 | Editorial
Editorial for the Special Issue on Negative Appraisals in Trauma: Current Status and Future Directions for Research
Marcella L. Woud, Birgit Kleim, Jan C. Cwik
Cognitive Therapy and Research
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‘Things will never be good again.’ … ‘My reactions to the trauma show that there is something wrong with me.’ … ‘Nobody and nothing can be trusted.’ These are only some examples of idiosyncratic appraisals endorsed by survivors of traumatic events such as serious car accidents, natural disasters, or assaults. Within cognitive models of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (e.g., Brewin et al.
; Ehlers and Clark
; Foa et al.
; Resick and Schnicke
), such negative appraisals are assumed to play a central role in how PTSD is developed and maintained. Negative appraisals, besides other factors, may thus explain why only a certain proportion of trauma survivors develop PTSD. More specifically, negative appraisals may lead to dysfunctional processing of and rumination about specific worst moments during the trauma, and may hamper the elaboration of trauma memories, leading in turn to posttraumatic stress symptoms such as intrusive memories of the trauma. These processes may then culminate in a vicious cycle of reinforced dysfunctional, trauma-related appraisal strategies and behaviors, such as avoidance. …