Posttraumatic Stress (PTSD) (276)
I suffered two big traumatic experience at a very young age. My father died when I was two, my mother when I was eight.
My brother & I went to live with my mom's sister, my aunt & my uncle. For the most part, it was a good experience, although she was young & having children of her own. I quickly became the babysitter, maid, nanny, as she worked part time.
Jealousy set in as I was in high school and was more involved in sports & school events and a boyfriend. I married early and have a wonderful marriage and 3 great boys of my own now - the twins are seniors.
A survivor of childhood trauma who had suffered from insomnia, but who has been sleeping well for years now, first from years of listening to the Healthful Sleep imagery, and then from a year of using the Healing Trauma imagery, asks a question we hear frequently:
My question is this: Should I mix things up a bit and listen to something else for a while? I am of the ilk that says "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Yet, I wonder if there is any wisdom in listening to something different from time to time. You know, it is recommended that one change shampoos for a month to get the best results and the same for deodorant. I'm sure there are other examples. I think I'm afraid that I am going to somehow become immune to the PTSD CD and that scares me. What would you recommend? (Probably the anxiety and panic one now that I've revealed my fear!)
BR, your book, "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder" [Ed. note: Either this was someone else’s book, or he’s referring to Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal] was amazing. It helped me to understand my illness and how to begin a recovery process.
I do not understand something that I hope you can answer. When a person is dissociating or in a state of dissociation, do they actually know what they are doing but can't remember it afterwards or is it case of a person does not know what they are doing when they dissociate and that's why they can't remember?
Researchers from the University of London’s Institute of Psychiatry explored which conditions predicted successful outcomes for 77 adults with chronic PTSD who were randomly assigned to either exposure therapy and/or cognitive restructuring therapy, as compared with relaxation therapy.
The CAPS (Clinician Administered Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Scale) was used to measure outcomes.
More social support on the Significant Others Scale significantly predicted better outcomes on the CAPS, even after controlling for the effects of the treatment group and of pre-treatment severity. A particularly important finding was that social support was a significant predictor of outcome for subjects receiving cognitive restructuring and (or) exposure therapy, but did not impact subjects in the relaxation condition.
I am leaving soon for Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, to provide mental health services to our military and their families. I have been in private practice for the last 6 years, and have used your book Invisible Heroes and CD's nearly daily. My question is this:
Do you have any advice for me as I begin this two year assignment?
This anecdote appeared amid our lively debate last week on using guided imagery downrange, and it’s a great reminder of how imagery gets used on a regular basis by prisoners of war. People who are trapped in conditions of sensory deprivation invariably turn to imagery - they just intuitively go there. Here is the posting:
Hi Belleruth, I love your CDs and use them personally and in my clinical practice. I would like to suggest that there is a great need for a guided imagery CD specifically designed for law enforcement personnel, to help them deal with trauma that they experience on the job on a regular basis.
I use EMDR with them to resolve trauma, but sometimes I would like to send them home with a more portable form of help for Critical Incident Stress outside of therapy sessions.
Although I use the Healing Trauma, Relieve Stress and Healthful Sleep CDs with my cop clients, sometimes they are just too "warm and fuzzy" for this population.
Please let me know what you think. I would be very glad to help with this if it becomes a reality. Thank you for your time.
C. W., LMFT
Researchers from the San Diego V.A. system examined the efficacy of Imagery Rehearsal Therapy or IRT (a kind of nightmare reprocessing therapy that trains people to use a variety of “lucid dreaming” to change or control the content of the nightmare) on reducing nightmares in veterans seeking outpatient treatment for chronic, trauma-related nightmares.
Of those offered IRT, veterans who completed a full course of treatment for PTSD in the past year were more likely to initiate treatment. However, completion of IRT was not related to previous treatment, demographic variables, or nightmare severity as reported at the first treatment session.
Treatment completers reported significant reductions in nightmare frequency and intensity, severity of insomnia, and subjective daytime PTSD symptoms. Insomnia and PTSD symptoms, on average, were below clinical cutoffs following treatment, and 23% of patients showed a complete treatment response (defined as one or no nightmares per week).
Researchers from the University of Southern California’s Department of Psychology performed a meta-analysis of what treatment approaches work best for women who have been sexually assaulted during adolescence or adulthood.
Altogether, 32 articles were located using data from 20 separate samples. Of the 20 samples, 12 targeted victims with chronic symptoms, three focused on the acute period post-assault, two included women with chronic and acute symptoms, and three were secondary prevention programs.