Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Jessica Toft


Social Work


The purpose of this systematic literature review was to explore the question: “What scholarly literature exists which explores the interrelated themes of treating Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Use Disorders in the presence of a Personality Disorder?”. Using the databases PILOTS: Published International Literature On Traumatic Stress , PsycARTICLES and PsycINFO and working within specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, seven peer-reviewed articles met the criteria and were reviewed. Each article was coded and five interrelated treatment themes emerged: 1) behavior is functional, 2) acceptance of self, 3) cognitive reappraisal, 4) collaboration, 5) healthy expression. The research shows that humans who experience trauma are best rehabilitated through a corrective experience rather than a correctional one. The difficulties in locating enough studies to complete this systematic literature review indicate that more research needs to be done in developing best practices to treat clients who are incarcerated.

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Social Work Commons