Anger and Aggression: PTSD Monthly Update - July 2014

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PTSD Monthly Update

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Feature Topic

For Providers

For VA Providers

Research at the Center

PTSD in the News

July 2014 Issue


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Feature Topic

Anger and Aggression

Couple having a disagreement

Anger is a common response to trauma. It can create major problems in the personal lives of those who have experienced trauma and those who suffer from PTSD.

Anger can be especially common if you have been betrayed by others. This may be most often seen in cases of trauma that involve exploitation or violence.

Anger can be experienced as physical arousal, thoughts and feelings, and aggressive behavior.

Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Anger

Cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) can help with:

  • The increased physical arousal, tension, and negative emotions that come with anger by teaching you skills like progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing.
  • Recognizing and challenging the thoughts that make you angry and respond using positive coping rather than aggressive behaviors.

Cognitive-behavioral therapies that work for PTSD, like Cognitive-Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure, have also been found to help with anger. Learn more about these and other PTSD treatments.

PTSD Coach Online for Stress and Anger

PTSD Coach Online is a web-based self-help resource offering 17 tools to address stress-related symptoms and enhance problem-solving skills. It includes nine tools to help you manage anger.

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For Providers

Anger, Violence, and PTSD

Although PTSD is associated with increased anger, the majority of Veterans and non-Veterans with PTSD have never engaged in violence.

Clinical Practice Guidelines logo

Learn about:

Find guidance on treating PTSD and anger in the VA/DoD PTSD Clinical Practice Guidelines.

Earn CE/CMEs While Learning about Anger and Affect Regulation

Please tell others about Continuing Ed Course opportunities:

New Versions of the CAPS-5

There are now three versions of the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5) corresponding to different time periods:

  • Past week - used only to evaluate PTSD symptoms over the past week
  • Past month (for current PTSD) - PTSD diagnostic status evaluation
  • Worst month - for lifetime PTSD evaluation

Use our online request form to obtain the scale.

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For VA Providers

New Versions of the CAPS-5

The past week, past month, and worst month versions of the CAPS-5 are now available in PDF on the Center's Intranet assessment page. Find a new one hour training outlining the differences between CAPS-IV and CAPS-5, and guidance in how to administer the CAPS-5 on the Center's Intranet provider education page.

2014 VA PTSD Consultation Program Lecture Series

Subscribe: Learn about our PTSD Lectures

VA staff can sign up for VA Staff PTSD Updates to receive monthly registration instructions for these live lectures.

Next Lecture in the Series

  • 8/20 at 2 pm ET - Sara Landes, PhD on When to Consider DBT for Patients with PTSD

Mark your calendar for the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 2 pm ET.

PTSD Consultation Program

Free PTSD consultation for anyone working with Veterans.
Call 866-948-7880 or

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Research at the Center

An Intervention for Intimate Partner Violence

Center investigators recently published a pilot trial of the "Strength at Home-Couples" intervention for intimate partner violence (IPV). The 10-session cognitive-behavioral group program was effective in preventing IPV in military couples. The investigators are continuing a larger study to confirm the findings.

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PTSD in the News

San Diego VA Encourages Vets To Seek Treatment for PTSD. Dr. Sonya Norman discusses evidence-based psychotherapies for PTSD in a KPBS News story on June 27th, PTSD Awareness Day. Read more.*

Veteran Who Lost a Friend in Combat on Overcoming PTSD. A Huffington Post blog by National Center for PTSD staff profiles one AboutFace Veteran who turned his life around with treatment. Read more.*

Alternative Treatments in Action at Vermont VA. Dr. Paula Schnurr contributes to a story on therapies to complement conventional PTSD treatments in the July 20th issue of the Valley News. Read more.*

Be sure to forward this update to others so they can subscribe. We send only one update per month to keep you informed of the latest PTSD developments.

Thank you,

The Staff of VA’s National Center for PTSD

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Produced by VA’s National Center for PTSD - Executive Division
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*Links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website to a non government site.
VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of these linked websites.